Britain's Royal Mint is joining the world of cryptocurrency as it prepares to offer 'digitalized gold' in 2017, turning its on-site bullion vault online.
Royal Mint Gold (RMG) and derivatives marketplace, CME Group are collaborating on a "digitalized gold offering" that will be able to be traded on what's called a blockchain, a database that will see liquid gold become virtual.
The blockchain will become a digital record of all the gold that is owned and kept in the Royal Mint's vault. CME group will be responsible for its trade on a digital platform.
"A good way to look at this project is very similar to pay-as-you-go products in mobile telephony. So in other words, unless you physically buy or sell the product itself, there is no charge or ongoing charge for holding it," Win Wijeratne, CFO of the Royal Mint said.
The digital gold platform will operate for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
"The Royal Mint will place large gold bars into its secure vaults. We will then create the equivalent amount of RMG digitally and the signed ownership of these on the blockchain. Once this is done, holders of RMG will be able to trade them peer-to-peer using a new platform that has been created and will be run by CMS group," Win Wijeratne explains.
At over 1,000 years old, the Royal Mint is the only institution licensed to issue coins in the UK, but clearly not too old to change its gold spots.