Buying physical precious metals is a time-proven method of securing generational wealth while reckless central bankers debase currencies and ignite the worst inflation storm in a generation. Gold and silver investing has long been seen as a hedge against inflation and a store of value against currencies. Access to physical precious metals is challenging and usually involves a bullion dealer. Sometimes online dealers take weeks to receive the delivery.
South Korean convenience store GS Retail, with 10,000 locations, has understood the soaring demand for 'sound money' and wants to enhance accessibility. The company rolled out gold bar vending machines with offerings in five sizes, weighing 0.13 ounces to 1.3 ounces, according to UPI News Korea.
"The most popular gold bar is the smallest, the 0.13-ounce one, which is currently priced at around $225," a GS Retail representative told the media outlet.
"People in their 20s and 30s appear to be the main buyers, purchasing physical gold as an investment vehicle, especially in times such as these, when its value is continuing to rise," the representative said.
GS has rolled out 29 gold bar vending machines with plans to increase to 50 by the end of the year.
A combination of banking crises in the US and Europe, global slowdown fears, persistent inflation, and depreciating currencies has led to surging demand for physical gold in the first quarter of the year. Even central banks are on a buying spree.
"Niggling inflation and the SVB crisis seem to have caused more people to be interested in anti-inflationary assets such as gold.
"But a gold bar purchased at a convenience store seems more like something done in fun rather than as a means for serious investment. I believe the popularity of these gold bars is mainly due to its easy accessibility, at convenience stores no less," Inha University Professor Lee Eun-hee said in a phone interview.
It's all about accessibility. Just like there are cryptocurrency ATMs, the next wave might be precious metals vending machines, though don't put any of these machines in US Democrat cities because thieves will be all over them.