Perth Mint enlists SMX for blockchain-based ethical gold supply chain solution

The partnership will see the establishment of trueGold, which will report on where the gold originated from and how the metal moves through the entire production and distribution process.

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Image: Perth Mint

The Perth Mint has announced partnering with Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed Security Matters (SMX) on a "mine-to-marketplace ethical gold supply chain assurance" solution.

The supply chain-focused blockchain technology company said that following regulatory approvals, the initiative would lead to the formation of "trueGold", which has been in the works for two years.

Security Matters and the Mint would then commence the development of a "high-tech proprietary supply chain solution" that utilises the former's blockchain technology.

"This is a particularly significant development given the increasing focus on environmental, social, and governance practices across the world pertaining to the gold supply chain," Perth Mint CEO Richard Hayes said.

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"This game-changing technology will report on the origin of the gold and how the metal moves through the entire production and distribution process.

"This complete transparency will instil even greater trust in a commodity which already provides the ultimate refuge during times of economic and geopolitical turmoil."

They expect the full go-live of trueGold, as well as the opportunity for other industry players to participate, will occur at the beginning of next year.

The Perth Mint and Security Matters are seeking the involvement of other gold industry supply chain participants as part of the commercialisation, with its "stakeholder acquisition strategy" focussing on the onboarding of miners, insurers, vaults and storage companies, and end-product customers including financial institutions, jewellery industry leaders, and technology companies.  

"The trueGold project perfectly demonstrates how easily big changes can be made to supply chains and distribution processes when adopted by leading organisations, and how technology can be used to drive change," SMX founder and CEO Haggai Alon said in a statement to the ASX.

"By differentiating between and employing a different technique to the three product lifecycles: Raw material to production; production to commercial; and commercial to recycle, you can create an entire technology-driven ecosystem that promotes and drives integrity, anti-counterfeiting, corporate transparency, accountability, and sustainability."

The initiative follows the Mint in October launching a new gold token -- a digital token backed by a certificate issued by the mint and guaranteed by the government of Western Australia.

The launch of the Perth Mint Gold Token (PMGT) was assisted by InfiniGold, which calls itself a precious metals digitisation company. InfiniGold developed a platform for the digitisation of gold and other precious metals that the mint will use for its PMGT play.

According to InfiniGold, PMGT is digitised gold that allows users to acquire and gain entitlement over government guaranteed physical gold stored at the Perth Mint.

It offers institutional investors an alternative to traditional gold products such as gold ETFs, "with the additional benefits of real-time trading and settlement enabled by blockchain technology"

Meanwhile, SMX in September lodged a patent application in the United States pertaining to materials and methods used in the marking, classification, and identification of seeds and plants.

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Its patent can be applied to mark, track, and manage the supply chain of cannabis plants, cannabis products, and products containing cannabis-derived ingredients. It also covers the use of its own chemical solution for marking plants that can be completed during any of the six stages of plant growth and cultivation, as well as directly to the seed prior to planting.

In an announcement to the ASX last month, Security Matters said its technology has been focused on the plastics, agriculture, electronics, fashion, and resources sectors, as it's designed around the process of separating materials during chemical and mechanical recycling.

The Ketura, Israel-based company is also targeting the fashion industry with its "Equilibrium Economy" business model that is aiming to provide retailers with supply chain transparency, brand liability, and cost savings.

For the 2019 calendar year, Security Matters reported a negative cash flow of $3.9 million.

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