Impossible to deny it, crypto-currencies are on the rise. Bitcoin has just passed the $ 8,000 mark this week, a level never seen before for electronic money. To counter this instability, a start-up offers a solution as original as it is old: pay in gold, via an application.
The app is called Glint, and started this Monday in the UK. As TechCrunch explains, the service is like other online banking services. Once registered, the user can then transfer money, which will be converted by Glint into gold. When the customer wants to make a payment, he can then use his Mastercard, gold being converted into the target currency.
This conversion to gold is done physically, that is to say that when you transfer money, the London start-up buys a part, one or two gold bars, which are then stored in a box Swiss bank. The Glint difference is clear: the start-up transforms, by proxy, gold into a global currency.
It has been nearly 40 years since the dollar was no longer regulated by the price of gold and several centuries that the precious metal was not used as currency. But for the creators of Glint, gold can avoid too fast depreciations. “Unlike paper currencies, gold cannot be removed, devalued or corrupted,” said Jason Cozens, president of Glint, in Quartz.
Although gold is still used by the financial markets, the global demand for metal has fallen to its lowest level since 2009. This remains still particularly stable, an advantage against crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin. Gold, says Quartz, has been a safe haven for thousands of years. Glint could therefore “make the metal more user-friendly, and thus create an alternative currency for those who do not like risk”.
If the pitch has convinced you and you want to invest in bullion, it is currently only possible in the United Kingdom and pounds sterling. The company plans to launch in Europe, and elsewhere, sometime next year.