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GBI Integration Allows Ripple Users to Trade, Send, and Spend Gold

By Alec Liu
July 29, 2014

With the launch of the latest Ripple gateway, gold just got a lot more useful.

Gold Bullion International (GBI), one of the world’s leading precious metals providers, now enables people to trade digital units of physical gold, send it to friends and family, or even spend it online. Gold has served monetary and symbolic functions since before the beginning of recorded history. Today, individuals, institutional investors, and central banks continue to maintain strategic holdings in the highly sought-after precious metal. In all, the total market for gold is worth over $8 trillion.

The yellow element Au has stayed in vogue because of its physical properties. Beyond being yellow like the sun, it’s malleable, fungible, and moderately rare. But these same physical properties can also make it unwieldy to manage in the context of the modern world. By integrating with the Ripple protocol, GBI combines the historic qualities of gold with the capabilities of digital currency.

“Ripple changes the dynamics of value, allowing for a real-time market that can instantly trade between gold, currency, mobile minutes, and more,” said Steven Feldman, co-founder and CEO of GBI. “We have been leaders in combining technology and precious metals, and our integration into Ripple allows us to continue our push into digital currencies by enabling investors to now buy digital physical gold.”

This means that anyone holding bitcoin can purchase gold on the Ripple network in the form of XAU balances issued by GBI. These balances are backed by physical gold deposited in secure vaults around the world in cities like New York, London, and Zurich. The firm has over $1 billion in completed transactions, providing services to a broad range of institutional customers including Merrill Lynch.

Not only can users easily send gold to friends and family, anyone can redeem their XAU balances for physical gold delivery at any time.

And thanks to the flexibility of the Ripple protocol, which seamlessly manages all necessary currency conversions behind the scenes, holders of XAU can spend their gold wherever Bitcoin is accepted, such as Overstock, Expedia, and most recently, Dell.

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