Blockchain technology has over the years been described as having the potential to disrupt and transform several aspects of the business process. One of the key areas of implementation that the technology has found is in supply chain management. The ability to track the movement of an asset or product across the vast supply chain network and record same in an unalterable digital ledger has led to the development of a number of blockchain-based supply chain management solutions. These solutions have been tested and utilized in several business segments such as FMCG, pharmaceuticals, and now, gold. Two companies have come together to create a blockchain-based gold supply framework that not only provides proof of provenance for gold but also ensure ethical best practices in the trade.
In February 2018, U.S.-based fintech company, Emergent Technology Holdings entered into a partnership with Canadian gold producer, Yamana Gold to develop a blockchain-based gold supply chain solutions framework. The “responsible” gold blockchain solution will track the provenance of gold from point of origin all the way up to the vault. The technology will be used to materially simplify as well as automate the traceability of responsibly-sourced gold that is delivered to refineries.
According to Andrew Parsons, the Chief Administrative Officer of Emergent Technology, the blockchain platform was developed by industry-leading experts. He also declared that the platform provides complete quality assurance and absolute provenance for all the gold in the ecosystem of the platform.
As part of the partnership, a new digital currency called g-coin is being developed. Each g-coin will be backed by 1 gram of conflict-free gold with its value being tethered to the spot price of gold. The g-coin, as a digital asset that is issued on a blockchain, will act as a digital certificate indicating the ownership of gold. This means that it can be used for wealth transfer, payments, as well as for investment purposes.
According to Peter Marrone, the CEO of Yamana, the g-coin is both socially and economically responsible since it is backed up an actual physical asset, gold. He also declared that the decision of his company to partner with and invest in Emergent was based on their robust responsible gold supply ecosystem. Mr. Marrone also added that the use and promotion of conflict-free gold is a great way to stamp out armed conflict in gold mining areas and that his company is committed to being at the forefront of advocating for conflict-free gold. The g-coin will be available as an investment class and a new cryptocurrency before the end of the first half of 2018.
While this isn’t the first blockchain-based gold tracking platform that has been developed, Mitchell Davis, the Chief Commercial Officer of Emergent Technology believes his company’s platform is “fundamentally different.” He hinged his conviction on the uniqueness of his company’s product on the fact that it is designed only to cater for conflict-free gold. In an email to CNBC, Mr. Davis spoke of the company’s ambition to create an ecosystem capable of tracking the complete spectrum of the gold supply chain.