Perth Mint to Launch Blockchain-powered Gold Supply Product in 2021
Australia’s leading precious metals refinery, Perth Mint, and the Israeli blockchain technology company Security Matters have teamed up to launch what they call a mine-to-marketplace ethical gold supply chain solution.
The companies said the solution will be run by a joint venture named trueGold, with transparency guaranteed by blockchain technology. They said the product will launch in a “full commercial roll-out” in Q1 of next year.
In a July 29 filing to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Security Matters wrote that each of partner would own 50% of the venture, which will initially be funded by USD 720,000 in third-party capital raised from undisclosed investors.
Perth Mint last year announced that it was launching a digital token that it says is underpinned by government-guaranteed gold reserves.
The latest development comes in the wake of a damning report by the Australian Financial Review, which claimed that Perth Mint had bought USD 143.6m worth of “conflict gold” from a convicted killer in Papua New Guinea.
The report triggered a probe into the mint’s activities, ordered by West Australian Premier Mark McGowan. The government of West Australia is Perth Mint’s owner. In the aftermath of the scandal, two of the world’s largest financial firms, HSBC and JPMorgan, said they would stop buying gold from the mint.
But Perth Mint appears confident that it can put the past behind it with its new offering.
Hugh Morgan, an Australian businessman with more than 30 years of experience in the mining industry and a 14-year stint as Director of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), was appointed trueGold’s chairman.
Morgan said, in the filing, that the firms would use to track the “pathway gold takes from mine to consumer or investor” was “without peer.”
“The technology is a disruptive and novel process to enable tracing of gold production thereby enabling the consumer and investor to have confidence in any representation the gold is derived from sources applying the environmental and operational standards consistent with those set by the World Gold Council and the London Bullion Market Association.”
Security Matters, meanwhile, said it has begun commercialization for its technology, which it said uses a hidden chemical-based “barcode” to permanently and irrevocably mark objects, safeguarding them from theft and fraud.
These barcodes can be scanned using a Security Matters-created device, allowing users to access data on the objects – with the entire system protected by blockchain technology.