BitGold Inc. (not to be confused with Bitreserve’s similarly-named bitgold) has just concluded a $3.5 million investment round ahead of its Q1 launch. The company hopes to make gold a viable payment medium once again by offering a multi-faceted platform that includes a gold exchange, a custodial vault, and a payments service.
Gold has served as a near-universal payment medium for most of human history. However, the proliferation of unbacked government currencies and the rise of electronic payments caused gold to become used less as currency and more as a long-term hedge against inflation.
BitGold CEO Roy Sebag finds that frustrating.
Since my days as a professional investor I have wondered why there’s no easy way to own and spend gold in a legal, transparent, and tax-compliant manner.
In addition to the legal complications of using gold as currency, precious metals are not easily divisible, rendering gold impractical for everyday use. This difficulty was present throughout history, as copper and silver were used for minor transactions while gold was reserved for large ones.
Sebag says BitGold’s aim is to restore gold to its place as a convenient payment medium–and make it viable for small transactions.
True gold ownership requires gold to be safely vaulted and stored, making it extremely difficult to spend, especially in micro-transactions. At BitGold, we solved this problem by developing a platform that is part gold exchange, part payments technology and part custodian, resulting in a powerful user experience that advances gold from a physical element to an instantly accessible unit of account and store of value for the internet, an operating system for gold.
Co-founder Josh Crumb says technological innovations–such as the blockchain–have made that dream possible.
Blockchain technology has unleashed a wave of payments innovation that will empower people the world over by lowering costs and increasing access to safe and transparent financial services…We see gold, the asset bitcoin was designed to mimic, as an important element in this empowerment. The flexibility of the BitGold platform allows gold to be a core savings account coupled with digital currency for seamless global payments, or as a natural-world storage and safety valve for an inevitable internet of money. The internet of money should be rooted in choice and individual empowerment, and we provide that in a flexible and secure platform.
BitGold is slated to launch in the first quarter of 2015.
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