The Perth Mint is creating its own cryptocurrency

Harry Tucker 25 January 2018

Rolls of coins

The West-Australian government owned mint will back the cryptocurrency with gold.

The Perth Mint is one of the most important facilities across Australia's mining industry, processing the majority of gold from Western Australia's mines. It now wants to use that gold to back its own cryptocurrency.

Annually, the Perth Mint exports around $18 billion worth of gold, silver and platinum at a wholesale level. However, it wants to create a cryptocurrency for easier access for consumers to purchase gold and other precious metals.

As well as making it easier to invest into gold and precious metals, the Perth Mint says that blockchain-based cryptocurrencies would make it more transparent and secure to purchase gold.

Through the tech, consumers will be able to see real-time market visibility for trading prices, something that isn't readily available for gold buyers now.

The Mint is targeting investors who are interested in exploring the cryptocurrency space, but may be scared away by the currency volatility of the space - appealing to them with the stability of a gold-backed currency.

"There are a number of offerings out there that use standard blockchain as the underlying record-keeping system, but many of those are not actually gold-backed, so you're relying on the actual blockchain technology itself," Perth Mint CEO Richard Hayes said.

"So there's nothing in terms of cryptocurrencies that actually back the currencies.

"If you use precious metals to back something on blockchain or something that is allied to blockchain, it retains its intrinsic value, unlike the offerings from Bitcoin and Ethereum, which really rely on everyone believing that there's something behind it."

Perth Mint says the launch for its cryptocurrency hasn't been set yet, but gave an indication that it would be sometime in the next "12 to 18 months".

Currently, Australia is the second-largest producer of gold in the world, trailing only China, with Perth the location of the majority of this.

If the Perth Mint continues with its plans it will become the first Australian-government-owned entity to enter the cryptocurrency space.

This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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