London-based Glint has been pretty stealthy about what it deliberate to supply, regardless of a number of funding rounds and a imprecise description that it wished to a create new “global currency” based mostly on gold. Well, at the moment the fintech startup is lastly de-cloaking with a staggered launch of its multi-currency account, app and card that does certainly allow you to retailer your cash in gold and convert it again to fiat forex on the level of fee.
Initially, Glint, which is regulated by the FCA underneath an e-money establishment license, is supporting Sterling and gold, with extra currencies to return. Exchange charges between currencies are promised to be “the real exchange rate,” and the Glint card itself is a Mastercard and due to this fact extensively accepted.
However, whereas some customers might be part of for the low change charge and the Glint pockets’s multi-currency help, the startup’s differentiation is in fact the best way it does in impact flip gold right into a extensively accepted world forex, albeit it by proxy.
Available initially within the U.Ok. and for iOS solely, the best way the app works is as follows: after you have efficiently signed up, together with passing the obligatory anti-money laundering checks, you’re requested to prime up your account, very like quite a few pre-paid playing cards. You can then select to both go away your cash in Sterling or convert it into gold (and in future any of the opposite supported currencies). Then whenever you pay for issues with the Glint debit card you inform the app which ‘wallet’ (a selected fiat forex or gold) you wish to spend from, and Glint does the conversion on the fly, together with successfully promoting the required gold to cowl the price of the acquisition.
In phrases of how your gold is saved, Glint says that bodily gold holdings are legally allotted to every particular person person and held in a London Bullion Market Association Accredited Brink’s financial institution vault in Switzerland. For the privilege, I’m instructed the startup fees an annual storage price, which is taken month-to-month in arrears.
Much just like the argument behind Bitcoin, the broader premise is that by storing your money in gold, you keep away from the volatility of fiat currencies and manipulation from central banks. Unlike Bitcoin, nonetheless, gold as a storage of worth is fairly steady and, in fact, older than even fiat cash.
Meanwhile, as I’ve noted earlier than, Glint’s founders each know a factor or two about gold.
CEO Jason Cozens co-founded GoldMadeSimple.com, an internet site that helps purchasers purchase and promote bodily gold and have it saved securely or delivered. He additionally beforehand based two different firms: Visuality — the place he’s stated to have pioneered Virtual Reality, e-commerce and on-line advertising and marketing, promoting to ERP software program firm McGuffie Brunton — and Bite, a digital advertising and marketing company.
Glint COO Ben Davies is alleged to have over 17 years’ expertise inside worldwide monetary and commodity markets. He was the previous head of buying and selling at RBS Greenwich, and co-founded Hinde Capital in 2007, another funding administration firm specialising in treasured metals.
To date, Glint has raised £6.1 million. Backers embody most lately NEC Capital Solutions (by its enterprise fund co-operated with Venture Labo Investment) and Tokyo Commodity Exchange, along with Bray Capital and quite a few angel traders from the banking and asset administration trade.