Australia's only bullion mint is backing a new digital token aimed to allow investors to trade the precious metal in real time.
The Perth Mint Gold Token (PMGT) was launched by InfiniGold on Friday, and is backed 1:1 by GoldPass certificates issued by The Perth Mint. The digital certificates are 100% gold backed and guaranteed by the Government of Western Australia, which is the sole owner of the 120-year-old mint.
"PMGT is digitized gold that allows users to conveniently acquire and have entitlement over government guaranteed physical gold stored at The Perth Mint in a trusted and cost-effective way," InfiniGold said in an announcement.
The token – designed with the assistance of professional services firm Ernst and Young – is aimed to offer an alternative to traditional gold investment products such as ETFs, while using blockchain tech to allow real-time trading and settlement.
InfiniGold CEO Andreas Ruf said:
As far as the underlying tech goes, PMGT is a compatible with the ERC-20 standard behind by many ethereum-based tokens. InfiniGold is further touting the token as an alternative to U.S. dollar-backed stablecoins such as tether and USD Coin.
Perhaps taking aim at tether – the top stablecoin by market cap that's faced accusations that it manipulated the price of bitcoin and was not actually fully backed by USD – InfiniGold said PMGT's gold backing offers investors "superior transparency, credit quality, risk diversification and hedging against market volatility."
In interviews and press releases, project members have voiced concerns on crypto volatility. Perth Mint’s Hayes told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in January 2018 that traders want another digital alternative to bitcoin, the original digital gold.
Hayes said to ABC:
Now that the tokens Hayes alluded to are coming about, PMGT can make the most of Australia’s largest gold refinery, InfiniGold’s CEO Andreas Ruf told CoinDesk.
The launch comes as haven assets like gold, and possibly bitcoin, are becoming more attractive to investors. Fears of a U.S. recession have seen gold prices bounce in recent weeks, and other companies are launching products to capitalize on the yellow metal's growing popularity.
Just yesterday, crypto liquidity and OTC provider B2C2 launched the first gold derivatives product that synthetically trades against bitcoin and is targeted at investors seeking safety from market uncertainty.
But the project leads say there’s still a market for PMGT, in part because of its custodian’s reputation: the government of Western Australia has an AA1 rating from Moody’s.