The UK government has blocked a Royal Mint plan to create a “digital gold” token that would trade on a cryptocurrency exchange.
According to sources cited in Reuters, the British finance ministry refused to approve the 1,100-year old Mint’s plans to issue as much as $1 billion worth of “Royal Mint Gold” (RMG) tokens, which would have been backed by gold assets stored in the government-owned Mint’s vaults.
“Sadly, due to market conditions this did not prove possible at this time, but we will revisit this if and when market conditions are right,” a Mint spokesperson was cited as saying.
Initially, The Royal Mint had planned to list the tokens on a blockchain-based exchange operated by U.S. derivatives exchange CME, which also manages the largest regulated bitcoin futures market. However, the CME backed out of the partnership just prior to the scheduled launch date late last year, delaying the project and forcing the Mint to pursue a cryptocurrency exchange listing to save the venture. That was a bridge too far for the finance ministry, who considered such a partnership too risky for the Mint, and, by extension, the government.
Without approval to move forward with the project, Mint CEO Anne Jessop — who was appointed in Feb. 2018 — shut the project down, leading to four employees being laid off and another 7-8 “made redundant.”
Had the whole $1 billion in RMG been issued on a public blockchain, the token could had been numbered some of the world’s most precious cryptocurrencies. At cutting-edge valuations, it would have ranked just outside the pinnacle 15 largestcryptoassets, trailing intently behind NEO and ethereum classic (and so on).
The sources noted inside the file recommended that CME, which launched bitcoin futures in Dec. 2017 and has visible minor-however–developing volumes in this market, may be “cooling” closer to this nascent asset elegance. “CME’s managementchanged, and that they walked away, didn’t want to get worried,” one source instructed the publication.
CME, on its element, instructed Reuters that it turned into “persevering with to evaluate patron demand with our partnerand don’t have anything new to document right now.”
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