Earlier this week, blockchain precious metals firm Tradewind Markets announced it completed its first trade using the Tradewind Origins blockchain provenance management platform.
The trade involved the sale of gold by Agnico Eagle Mines to the Bank of Montreal. The transaction was confirmed by the Royal Canadian Mint, which consisted of 5,000 ounces of London Bullion Market Association quality-verified gold, worth about $7.4 million.
Launched last November, the Origins platform tracked the transfer of ownership and supply chain data through to the formal assumption of ownership by Bank of Montreal. Agnico provided provenance details of the gold mined from Agnico’s LaRonde mine in Quebec, and the Royal Canadian Mint refined it and tagged it with the particulars of the origin of the precious metal.
“This is a long-awaited development for precious metals markets,” said Michael Albanese, CEO of Tradewind Markets. “By delivering meaningful data on how, when and where these assets were sourced, we are providing the ecosystem with greater visibility into the precious metals global supply chain. By differentiating their metals, companies are unlocking the latent value of their production.”
Ledger Insights previously reported that Tradewind operates a B2B electronic trading platform for gold and silver powered by IEX Technology (not blockchain). The gold bullion is custodied by Royal Canadian Mint. Tradewind’s VaultChain is the blockchain solution which links ownership to physical gold and silver assets to streamline the settlement process. It is based on R3’s Corda blockchain.
By leveraging blockchain, Tradewind records each step in the precious metals supply chain, thus making it easy to get gold certification. The immutable ledger ensures the quality of the metal while tracing its origins. For suppliers, this reduces errors and manual paperwork, increasing efficiency. On the other hand, regulators get a clearer and near real-time time picture of the lifecycle of the metal. And customers can ensure the metal is ethically sourced.
“Meanwhile, precious metals investors and downstream purchasers, such as luxury goods companies and jewellers, will be able to purchase from selective jurisdictions and sources, such as those adhering to the highest ESG ( Environmental, social and governance) standards,” said Ben Lam, treasurer at Agnico Eagle Mines.
To date, Tradewind Markets has raised about $19.6 million, according to Crunchbase. Last year, Michael Albanese, a former JP Morgan executive, joined Tradewind Markets as the CEO.
Among other gold initiatives, Turkey’s Istanbul Clearing, Settlement and Custody Bank (Takasbank) has launched a blockchain gold trading platform for BiGA Digital Gold, a digital asset fully backed by physical gold reserves with the Borsa Istanbul.
Aussie fintech InfiniGold launched a digital token backed by gold stores held by the Perth Mint.
In Indonesia, the Jakarta Futures Exchange is working with Kinesis Money and Allocated Bullion Exchange to develop a platform for tokenized precious metals.
Apart from gold, there are several metals supply chain and sustainability initiatives with major mining partners. These include the World Economic Forum, IBM’s Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network, Forcefield and startup Minehub.