For the non-initiated, it can be tempting to see mobile payments and all the innovations around them as far away from the tangible concept of a buck in a pocket or a bar of gold in a bank vault. Now, though, BitGold is proving that even bullion has a place in the digital financial revolution.
BitGold and its parents company, GoldMoney, announced Thursday (Dec. 31) that it had officially launched a payment platform for its users to send one-time or habitual payments — all guaranteed by and processed as real gold. Darrell MacMullin, CEO of BitGold, said that his company’s new Request Gold Payment feature is a much-needed step forward for a mode of currency that’s been in use since antiquity.
“Gold has always been a great savings currency,” MacMullin said in a statement. “Now, we add utility to gold with an easy-to-use operating system utilizing the latest payments technology. The BitGold Request Gold feature provides a truly global, efficient alternative to conventional bank or money transfer services and their ‘hidden fees’ in order to request or transfer value cost effectively. As a one-time payment request, or recurring in subscriptions, installments or retainers, this new feature has been designed to take the complexity and hidden costs out of requesting or sending funds globally, saving users both time and money.”
Even when settling peer-to-peer payments in solid gold, the processor still needs a cut, and BitGold will take a 1 percent fee from each transaction. However, that may be a worthwhile charge for cross-border payments, as the P2P payments feature automatically converts differing currencies or simply allows users to trade in gold to avoid potentially costly international processing fees.
While the majority of smartphone users most likely don’t have much gold in their accounts — let alone a surplus to trade — capturing even a small amount of these high-margin transactions could be a windfall for BitGold and GoldMoney.