The introduction of a new gold-based digital payment system is reaffirming gold’s value as the ultimate store of wealth. Glint, introduced November 21 in Great Britain, allows users to digitally purchase shares of gold bullion that can then be spent just like paper currency through the company’s app or with a Glint MasterCard. Glint is positioning the service as a secure alternative to the much-hyped bitcoin digital currency, which has proven to be extremely volatile.
“Everyone is familiar with gold as one of society’s oldest means of exchange, its universal acceptance, its reliability, its history as a store of wealth and as a means of underpinning the value of ‘paper’ currencies,” said London-based Glint CEO Jason Cozens. “Unlike ‘paper’ currencies gold can’t be wiped out, devalued or corrupted.”
Glint’s founders say they were motivated by the response to the financial crisis a decade ago in which central banks dramatically expanded the monetary supply and engaged in a protracted policy of quantitative easing that they believe can erode the public’s wealth through inflation. Inflation in the United Kingdom stands at 3 percent, its highest level in five years.
Upon depositing funds with Glint, clients can maintain both gold accounts and standard bank accounts. When purchasing an item, Glint users then determine whether they will spend currency or gold.
The service is regulated by the British Financial Conduct Authority and has the backing of Lloyd’s Bank, Japanese information technology company NEC and the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Glint plans to offer its service in Asia and the United States in 2018.
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