DAVID MYTON talks to its CEO, Andreas Ruf.
The Perth Mint recently announced it had chosen InfiniGold technology to power GoldPass®, a smartphone app that allows investors the ability to securely buy, store and sell gold via digital certificates.
Andreas Ruf (pictured), the CEO of InfiniGold, has been involved in managing and growing technology start-up companies here and in Europe for more than 20 years – the past 14 of those in various roles at the CMCRC. He joined InfiniGold in 2017.
Ruf explains that with GoldPass®, gold can be bought and sold in real time, based on the global gold price, trading in a 24/7 marketplace with The Perth Mint.
The InfiniGold platform, he says, “combines The Perth Mint’s expertise, security, scale and quality in gold production and storage methods with innovative technology of the global digital markets – making investment in, and distribution of, gold assets far more widely available”.
Switzerland and gold
Ruf, born and raised in Germany, says gold has always been important to investors in Europe because it is safe and secure.
He splits his time between Australia and Germany, where his home town is also “just a stone’s throw” from the Swiss border. “I think Switzerland and gold are a perfect match,” says Ruf, pointing out that most of the gold produced in the world at some point transits through Switzerland.
“For me, coming out of the Capital Markets industry and having also worked with DigiCash, the company that pioneered the digitisation of assets like cash in the late 1990s, it made sense to be involved with InfiniGold.”
He points out that the new app allows access “to real, physical gold”.
“… the infrastructure to offer physical gold has become so expensive in a tight market, that the banks can not afford to offer it to retail customers anymore”
“Once you could walk into a bank and buy bullion from a display cabinet and take it home, but the infrastructure to offer physical gold has become so expensive in a tight market, that the banks can not afford to offer it to retail customers anymore,” he says.
“This new platform makes it a lot easier for people to buy physical gold without the burden of having to store it themselves.
“You can use GoldPass® to buy, sell and hold gold without seeing it. You buy it from The Perth Mint and they store it for you, so you have access to physical gold – it’s really there and in your name. The gold can also be instantaneously transferred to other GoldPass® app users.
“The digital certificate you end up with on your phone is like a digital contract directly between the investor and The Perth Mint. And the weight and purity of the gold stored there is guaranteed by the Government of Western Australia – and that guarantee is unique for investment and storage programs even in global comparison and one of our main competitive advantages.”
Younger generations of investors
Ruf says a major goal with the new technology is to “bring awareness” of gold to younger generations and to highlight the importance of portfolio diversification by investing in this asset that has proven its stability and safety over thousands of years.
“We want to create an awareness with the smart phone generation that ‘hey, gold is a cool investment“
“We want to create an awareness with the smart phone generation that ‘hey, gold is a cool investment’ – you might want to consider putting some of your money into it to safeguard against economic and financial downturns and unforeseen crises. And now you can do that by using an App based on our new technology basically at no cost in terms of IT infrastructure.”
The app is “the closest a customer can get in the digital world to buying physical gold – much closer than other products based on futures, leveraged positions, future production, or gold held by opaque networks of custodian companies,” he says.
Owners can collect their physical gold from The Perth Mint, or have it delivered “to just about anywhere in the world”.
They can also verify their holdings against The Perth Mint’s own records of ownership at any time.
Ruf says he is delighted The Perth Mint chose InfiniGold technology to power GoldPass® “and equally excited to be able to give investors a simple, seamless and secure way to add gold to their asset portfolios”.