New Gold-Backed Debit Card Launched In Partnership With MasterCard

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 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 “, 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?


Golden Showers Tue, 11/21/2017 - 02:44 Permalink

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.

Mementoil BlackChicken Tue, 11/21/2017 - 02:59 Permalink

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.

In reply to by BlackChicken

chubbar StackShinyStuff Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:22 Permalink

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. 

In reply to by StackShinyStuff

HenryKissinger… UndergroundPost Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:06 Permalink

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:… me once...or they can CHANGE the privacy settings so that the (((IRS)))) can fück you this just another (((Unit 8200))) project maybe?

In reply to by UndergroundPost

QueeroHedge Hobbleknee Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:47 Permalink

>>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. 

In reply to by Hobbleknee

BlackChicken Mementoil Tue, 11/21/2017 - 03:40 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Mementoil

TheRideNeverEnds BlackChicken Tue, 11/21/2017 - 04:56 Permalink

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.

In reply to by BlackChicken

yvhmer Mementoil Tue, 11/21/2017 - 07:00 Permalink

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.

In reply to by Mementoil

Easyp Tue, 11/21/2017 - 02:47 Permalink

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 Easyp Tue, 11/21/2017 - 04:36 Permalink

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."

In reply to by Easyp