Following CME’s Exit Bars the Launch of Royal Mint Digital Gold
Her Majesty’s Royal Mint has been unable to launch its gold-backed cryptocurrency. According to Reuters report of Oct 25, this was as a result of the government disallowing the project. Her Majesty’s Royal Mint is the institution responsible for producing physical coins for circulation in Britain.
According to reports, the Royal Mint first unveiled its project back in 2016. The project was to have issued digital gold tokens valued at $1 billion. The token named Royal Mint Gold (RMG) were to be traded on CME – a blockchain-based platform run by U.S exchange. While BitGo, a blockchain tech firm, was to have been responsible for the development of RMG’s multi-signature crypto wallet.
The project had been promoted as an easy way for investors to purchase and trade the physical gold held in the 1,100 year-old institution’s vaults as well as an additional source of revenue for the Mint as the use of the physical coins in mass circulation drops.
It was discovered by Reuters that the Royal Mint was left in the lurch at the last minute. The RMG project was slated originally for launch in the fall of 2017 and seemed set to forge ahead in early 2018 but three anonymous sources informed Reuters that the Royal Mint had been left without a trading partner at the last moment. One of the unnamed sources purported that “CME’s management changed, and they walked away, didn’t want to get involved.”
The sources were of the opinion that the exit of CME is a reflection of its broader “cooling of enthusiasm towards digital assets,” despite the fact that the platform was one of the first platforms to launch Bitcoin (BTC) future contracts last year. Reuter also reports that CME via its venture capital arm had invested in digital assets startups.
It was purported by one of Reuteers’ sources that “priorities shifted” away from digitalization the moment the CEO,Phupinder Gill retired in late 2016, as well as the subsequently retirement of Sandra Ro, the CME’s head of digitalization, last July. In their official comment to Reuters, CME denied the allegations, saying:
“It is not correct to say we have ‘de-emphasised’ digitization and remain committed to pursuing our digitization strategy.”
Following the exit of CME, the Royal Mint in an attempt to salvage the project made an effort to enter into partnership with an unnamed crypto exchange, but plan that was crushed earlier this year by the U.K’s finance ministry.
Sources informed Reuters that the moved was blocked by the Finance Ministry owing to concerns over potential damage that could accrue to both institutions’ reputation, since the Royal Mint was completely owned by the British Government.
According to reports, the U.K government does not generally regulate crypto exchanges or cryptos, apart from certain derivatives like the crypto-based Contract For Differences (CFDs)
Quoting the Royal Mint, Reuters reports that although the project had proven not feasible based on market conditions, Royal Mint is not giving up.
“sadly, due to market conditions this did not prove possible at this time, but we will revisit this if and when market conditions are right.”
Perth Mint, Australia’s largest precious metal refinery has revealed its plans earlier this year to create a gold-backed cryptocurrency.