New Gold-Backed Debit Card Launched In Partnership With MasterCard

Tyler Durden's picture

In recent years, there has been a major debate about the respective merits of gold versus Bitcoin, even though many, not all, gold bulls are also supporters of the latter. Gold advocates generally view favourably Bitcoin’s inherent characteristics of decentralisation, finite supply and ability to operate (so far) outside of the usual interference by western central banks. Having said that, the launch of Bitcoin futures on the CME in the coming weeks could lead to naked shorting of “paper Bitcoin” by any parties, including central banks and large commercial banks, who deem capping of the Bitcoin price necessary. As we discussed last week in "Financial Times: Sell Bitcoin Because The Market Is About To Become "Civilized", this could align Bitcoin with one of the major issues which has held the gold market hostage for years, time will tell.

While many gold investors remain entrenched in the view that gold will (eventually) prove to be the better store of value, one thing many would acknowledge is that Bitcoin is likely to evolve into a superior means of payment. However, that could be in the process of changing.

A fintech start up is partnering with some financial heavyweights to create a payments system backed by physical – not paper – gold. According to the Financial Times.

The world’s oldest currency is being brought into the digital age with the launch of a debit card and app that will allow people to pay for goods in gold.

 

Fintech group Glint has teamed up with Lloyds Banking Group in the UK and MasterCard to create an app that enables people to load credit in various currencies, which can then be used to buy a portion of a physical gold bar. Customers use the app at the checkout to select whether to pay in a currency or gold, before transacting with their MasterCard.

The development marks the first time people in the UK and overseas can own just a portion of a gold bar through an app, which can then be used in mobile and debit card-based payments. The app also allows people to send gold to peers in the form of a digital payment. Jason Cozens, Glint’s chief executive and co-founder, said: “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. “Unlike paper currencies, gold can’t be wiped out, devalued or corrupted.”

If you’ve been watching carefully Glint (website is glintpay.com) has been working towards this moment for some time. The Crunch reported a capital raising in August this year, noting the impressive list of backers.

Glint, a stealthy London fintech startup that promises a new “global currency,” has raised £3.1 million from a plethora of individual backers in the financial services and asset management space, alongside early-stage investor Bray Capital.

They comprise Haruko Fukuda, former CEO of the World Gold Council and NED of Investec Bank; Oliver Bolitho, formerly Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management Asia; Hugh Sloane, co-founder of asset manager Sloane Robinson; and Lord Flight Of Worcester, formerly of Guinness Flight Global Asset Management.

Other supporters of the new app include the Tokyo Commodity Exchange, and NEC Capital Solutions, a technology integration company. The co-founder and COO of Glint, Ben Davies (right in the photo below), is well known to us for his media appearances - often lambasting manipulation of the gold price – and for running the precious metals investment fund, Hinde Capital. The CEO and co-founder, Jason Cozens, also has gold market experience, having set up “GoldMadeSimple.com, a website that allows investors to buy and store physical gold. Additionally, he set up two ecommerce and online marketing businesses.

In terms of how the service works, the FT reports.

Glint is working with Lloyds in the UK as the deposit holder for customers storing money on their app. When a customer decides to buy gold through the app, this is used to purchase part of a gold bar that is physically allocated in vaults in Switzerland. The app will initially be available in the UK and Europe from Monday before being rolled out in Asia and the US next year.

Mr Davies said the app helps to “democratise” gold by opening access to people who might not be able to afford to buy a whole bar, rather than the commodity being the “preserve of the wealthy”. He added: “The advent of electronic wallets and faster payments through technology means we’re able to use gold in the electronic payment system.

 

“We believe over next few decades people will need the ability to protect their money by owning gold and have the ability to spend it.

We doubt that we’ll have to wait two decades before the vast majority of people will need to protect the value of their money. It could be a matter of months, so Glint’s new service might prove timely. Here are some further thoughts from Davies in the FT article.

Glint’s new service is riding the wave of alternative payments, such as bitcoin, as more people seek payment methods that can store value in a way that differs from traditional currencies. Ben Davies, a co-founder of Glint, said: “We want to create a fairer form of money whereby we give you choice and control over how you protect your money in an era where central banks issue more currency, and so the value of your currency is falling.”

So, is the question gold, Bitcoin or both?
 

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Golden Showers's picture

What a bunch of bullshit.

The day may come when I go to the store with my gold coin and shave off some scrapes, like a firestarter. Like magnesium to buy a roll of poo tickets. Or use it as gas coupons. Bull. Shit.

Oh, glint will take care of this and service me? The fuck they will. If it's not in your hands it's bullshit. You know, like a gun. Better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it.

I'M NOT SOLD.

BlackChicken's picture

Agreed.

Real money is tangible. It might be hard to deal with; weight and storage, but nothing worthwhile is easy.

Mementoil's picture

I have never heard of this service and I don't know what it is worth.
But I wouldn't write off the idea of having a portion of your wealth as digital gold with which you can trade.
Yes, it does introduce an element of counter-party risk to the equation, but it might turn out to be a smaller risk than holding dollars or euros, and it's a risk you can take with a small amount of your wealth, in order to enjoy the benefits of digital transactions.

Hobbleknee's picture

Peter Schiff has offered a gold-back credit card for a long time, but it's not available for Americans.

BennyBoy's picture

 

Gold backed or tungsten backed?

StackShinyStuff's picture

Does Goldmoney not already do this???  Not sure why this is considered ground breaking.

chubbar's picture

Yes, Goldmoney already does this but without the opaqueness these folks are offering. Goldmoney holds theirs in a private vault with twice a year audits, gives you several countries to vault in and doesn't have investors with past backgrounds in gold scams. What this feels like to me is one more effort to divert gold investment into something that only appears to be backed by gold. How does anyone know how much gold has been purchased versus how much is vaulted? How about audits or other issues like hacking? Seems sketchy to me.

 

Scuba Steve's picture

Well you know they've farmed out the trading to make extra bucks, getting more information to better trade helps all involved on THEIR teams.

UndergroundPost's picture

Another way to track gold buyers & sellers.

Lloyd's of London + Mastercard = Zero Privacy and Anonymity

HenryKissingerZuckerberg's picture

paper WAS Gold backed... remember?

this card will INITIALLY be gold backed and suddenly ( two days before you gonna cash out) they change the rules and you are back to nothing...

xple here, Deutsche Bank Refuses Delivery Of Physical Gold Upon Demand: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-31/deutsche-bank-refuses-delivery-...

fool me once...

or they can CHANGE the privacy settings so that the (((IRS)))) can fück you easier...

is this just another (((Unit 8200))) project maybe?

lincolnsteffens's picture

All you need to know... "Oliver Bolitho, formerly Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management Asia".

z530's picture

Lots of people have done this...and failed. e-Bullion, whoc closed in 2008, was the closest to this model. They better not plan on taking on US customers.

QueeroHedge's picture

>>Peter Schiff has offered a gold-back credit card for a long time, but it's not available for Americans.

 

Yes hooknosed Schiffy offers lotsa gold as well as sage anti-crypto investing wisdom. Seems the anti-crypto advocates are almost always gold sellers, big coinkydink right? But who am I to question ol' Schiffy, he has called 11 of the last 3 crashes.

 

blargg's picture

In other words, as an alternative to holding fiat in your bank account, with all the same risk save for inflation of fiat.

BlackChicken's picture

I agree with your position, but why not just hold onto what has been proven to be real for thousands of years? Do you think there are powers out there that would LOVE all of us to use a strictly digital format that can be manipulated at a core value? Or erased?

If it's in my hands, I know it's real. That's my basic position.

Mementoil's picture

Oh, I didn't mean to say you shouldn't hold physical gold and silver.
On the contrary, I believe that under the current financial conditions the majority of your wealth should be in that form.
I was just refering to the small amount that you need to be liquid for everyday trade.

stacking12321's picture

it's not one or the other.

for long term savings, hold on to physical gold.

for currency that you expect to be spent soon in the marketplace, something digial makes much more sense, whether dollars, or bitcoin, or e-gold

TheRideNeverEnds's picture

Gold and silver have only been money because they are fairly common metals universally found in nature and they resist decay. Gold and silver are some of the few metals which one can just find naturally all over the planet on the ground as themselves and not compounds needing advanced refinement.

Bitcoin is infinitely more valuable.

BTC has gone up over 9000% vs gold in the last few years but that is a drop in the bucket. BTC cannot be found in nature, no chance, zero. There is more gold in the universe than the entire mass of our solar system yet there is less BTC in the universe than the mass of a human hair.

In ten years one BTC will be worth well over a million dollars, an ounce of gold may be worth around two thousand dollars but probably (much) less.

One BTC is easily worth more than all gold mined in the history of earth.

Gazooks's picture

BTC's best use as of now:

 

 

is measure of inflated fiat

1 over Infinity's picture

I can give you a string of ones and zeros that is not found in natute does that make it valuable?

 

DelusionsCrowded's picture

In my opinion BTC is an international bankers scam with one of its aims to discredit gold . Gold creationi is outside their control . BTC will get the ditch and the NWO will give us their own version of BTC , a legal version backed by the state guns . 

coded language's picture

You've got some unicorns and skittles shit going on there.

QueeroHedge's picture

>>Gold and silver are some of the few metals which one can just find naturally all over the planet on the ground

 

Technically correct. Please don't breed.

BandGap's picture

I do not like the temptation of credit. I will keep this struggle separate from holding gold.

Looks like a great way to lose what you have.

yvhmer's picture

The system has been around for a while ...

Open an account, put in currency. The company buys gold, has some storage facilities around the world, you can choose in which facility you want your gold stored. There is a mastercard, a debit card, you can use to buy stuff and based on the fiat - gold exchange rate, a certain portion is either credited or debited, depending on the transaction type. And if all goes well, you can arrange for gold delivery at any place of convenience.

So, this story is nothing new. Perhaps a thinly veiled infomercial.

Easyp's picture

In some countries including the uk silver and gold coins remain legal tender.  Holding a few as part of a survival package no bad idea.  Cash is paper and we all pay for stuff with a card reliant on the net and a power grid one day that might be interrupted or even shutdown.

quadraspleen's picture

Gold coins are “legal tender” in the uk. You try spending one in *any* shop. Most banks won’t cash one in without real proof of provenance either, so it isn’t really legal tender at all

Teja's picture

Anyway, Gold being "the Worlds Oldest Currency" is bullshit. I want a Cattle Backed Credit Card! Although it is probably even more difficult to pay your groceries with a cow than with a gold coin.

Scuba Steve's picture

IMO, more US states will adopt this idea ... and I believe that is when the price will truly break FREE.

Its an end around but some states have done it, when the pension debacle goes and SHTF, I think this momentum may

increase especailly if Demorats keep up the retarded antics.

quadraspleen's picture

They lost me at “physically located in a vault in Switzerland “

Next.

HRClinton's picture

What's the problem? If you can't trust a (((gold man))) in CH, then whom can you trust? 

https://youtu.be/FuHQhGqZvY0

Agstacker's picture

I'm sure if you read the fine print on the card application there is no way to take actual delivery of your gold.  

Steroid's picture

"What a bunch of bullshit."

What would you expect from a blend of World Gold Council and Goldman Sachs?

garypaul's picture

Exactly Golden Showers.

I don't want to pay in gold. I want to GET PAID in gold. I want to pay in fiat.

webmatex's picture

Goldfinger - talk to the hand.

Certainly very useful for carrying wealth across borders.

Wonder what the daily limit is?

besnook's picture

this may be the precursor to a real blockchain gold backed digital currency.

BlackChicken's picture

Real gold/silver is not a derivative; it is what it is.

blargg's picture

Are you saying basically that it wouldn't be some new currency, it'd just be gold claims that happen to be on a blockchain?

BlackChicken's picture

No. I'm saying that skipping ANY risk of counterparts by holding physical metal is the most secure way to insure purching power.

However, any claims are just that..claims.

SunRise's picture

Holding physical metal would have counterparty risks:  There's you the honest-to-goodness owner, and Shifty, the thief down the street.  Those risks may be higher than a legitimate, cross-validated reknown vault.

Easyp's picture

According to many gold is a shit investment yet suddenly credit facilities and money transfer systems are springing up backed by gold.  I still think that a secure and independent crypto currency will emerge which will make fiat money worthless but not before the banksters and politicians have tried to stamp it out.

Archibald Buttle's picture

run for the hills. the sky is falling.

wake me up when the average joe has:

a) ever heard of the term "cryptocurrency."

b) the ability to comprehend, in a SHTF situation, something besides "dollars" equals money.

c) started getting worried about the future. especially the ones with descendents, those with skin in the game.

once all of these conditions are met, we should experience "interesting times."

HenryKissingerZuckerberg's picture

b) the ability to comprehend, in a SHTF situation, something besides "dollars" equals money

I am pretty shure in a real SHTF situation EVERY sub human would prefer rice or bullets instead of bitcoin/gold/pieces of paper...

Archibald Buttle's picture

hence the whole "run for the hills" idea. gotsta look out for number one and all...

johnduncan78's picture

And they sell you the gold at what cost? Spot? I can get it at spot most of the time. 

Sizzurp's picture

Why would anyone want to spend their valuable gold when merchants are willing to take fiat?