In this edition of The Daily, we cover the U.K. Royal Mint’s decision to freeze a plan to issue digital gold tokens. We also look at a new Australia Post ID verification service, as well as a warning by the Maltese financial regulator about a cryptocurrency investment platform.
Mint Scraps Virtual Coin Plan
The Royal Mint has shelved a plan to issue digital gold tokens similar to so-called stablecoins. The move came after CME Group’s decision to pull out of an agreement to provide a trading platform for the project, as well as the U.K. Treasury’s refusal to approve plans to allow the coins to be traded on an undisclosed cryptocurrency exchange, Reuters reported, quoting multiple sources.
The state-owned mint first announced the plan to produce up to $1 billion of digital gold coins in 2016. The intention was to provide investors with an alternative to buying and trading physical gold. The launch of Royal Mint Gold (RMG) was initially expected in the fall of 2017, but the mint later postponed the plan until spring of this year. However, CME — which has invested in fintech startups and recently launched bitcoin futures contracts — decided to walk away from the project, following changes in the U.S. exchange operator’s management team.
Earlier this year, the Royal Mint attempted to save the RMG project by securing an agreement with an unnamed cryptocurrency exchange. However, the U.K. government reportedly blocked the proposed partnership on the grounds that it would be too risky. The Royal Mint said in a statement that it would revisit the plan “if and when market conditions are right.”
Cryptocurrency Exchanges Adopt Australia Post’s Digital ID Service
State-owned Australia Post is now offering a digital identity service that allows users to register with online platforms in minutes and verify their identities without uploading multiple documents. Several cryptocurrency trading businesses have already adopted the Digital ID service.
Cameron Gough, general manager of the Digital ID project, said the technology gives people more control over the personal data they are expected to share with companies and other organizations. He said it could also appeal to investors who have thus far been reluctant to undergo certain verification procedures.
“Most people hand over their driver’s license to prove they can legally go to a bar, but all that is needed is a name and birth date — not that information plus your full residential address,” Australian news outlet Micky quoted Gough as saying.
The Digital ID team is currently working with Australian cryptocurrency trading startups Coinjar and Coin Loft. And Digital Surge, a Brisbane-based bitcoin exchange, has already integrated the technology into its platform. Josh Lehman, director of Digital Surge, said the service has allowed the company to sign up and verify new customers much faster than before. Digital ID is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has issued a warning about Primetradingbot, a cryptocurrency trading company that claims to legally operate from the crypto-friendly Mediterranean nation. The regulator said the online platform is not licensed on the so-called “Blockchain Island” and described it as a “dubious scheme.”
“Although this entity purports to operate from an address in Malta, the MFSA does not believe this to be the case,” it said, as quoted by Malta Today. “The MFSA wishes to alert the public, in Malta and abroad, that Primetradingbot is not licensed or otherwise authorized by the MFSA to provide any investment or other financial services which are required to be licensed or otherwise authorized under Maltese law.”
The regulator said that Primetradingbot offers what is advertised as a high-yield, bitcoin-related investment program. It warned about potential financial losses and has advised traders against dealing with the trading platform.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Royal Mint.