St. Patrick's Day, Leprechauns, and Gold

Saint Patrick’s Day occurs on March 17th and is a pop culture celebration of all things Irish. There is a wonderful Irish pub in Washington, DC, near Capitol Hill, named The Dubliner.

Nothing is more Irish than the lore of the leprechaun, a kind of wee folk immutably associated with gold.  As LiveScience neatly describes them:

Leprechauns are often described as wizened, bearded old men dressed in green (early versions were clad in red) and wearing buckled shoes, often with a leather apron. Sometimes they wear a pointed cap or hat and may be smoking a pipe.


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The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

When I was a child and my mother would espy a rainbow, she was almost sure to comment on how there was a pot of gold at its end. The “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” is a commonplace fancy and an exceptionally charming piece of folklore.

Where did this fanciful story come from? And might it have any significance to our investment strategy?

The pot of gold at rainbow’s end is inextricably linked to the leprechauns, and reliable information about their folkloric roots is as elusive and maddening as are leprechauns themselves. 

So where do the rainbows come in?

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Gold Is Steady and Wins the Race!

If you bought bitcoin in 2016 you might be enjoying the roller coaster ride. Your gains, even with the recent epic swoop down in price, are still up 10X or more as of the time of this writing. If you bought it in December 2017, maybe not so much.

G-coins are fundamentally different. G-coins are gold tokens. And the price of gold is not remotely as volatile as that of “cryptocurrencies.” G-coins are simply a “warehouse receipt” of ownership of real gold.

As a recent article by Simone Stolzoff in Quartz headlined Checking bitcoin prices is a fidget spinner for finance nerds observes:

The internet has turned us into excitement-seeking machines. Many social-media sites take advantage of this by employing some basic science. In behavioral psychology, the cycle of linking actions with rewards is called reinforcement.

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The Olympic Gold Medals Are Mostly Silver Because Zeus Is So Poor

We read about the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and are bombarded with stories about the most excellent contestants winning medals. The most prestigious of these medals, of course, are “gold.” Except they’re not. 

At the modern Olympic Games, winners of a sporting discipline receive a gold medal in recognition of their achievement.

At the 1896 Summer Olympics, winners received a silver medal and the second-place finisher received a bronze medal. In 1900, most winners received cups or trophies instead of medals. The next three Olympics (1904, 1908, 1912) awarded the winners solid gold medals, but the medals themselves were smaller. The use of gold rapidly declined with the onset of the First World War and also with the onset of the Second World War The last series of Olympic medals to be made of solid gold were awarded at the 1912 Olympic Games in StockholmSweden.

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Yamana Gold Inc. and Emergent Technology Holdings LP enter into licensing agreement for responsible gold supply chain solution using blockchain platform.

Yamana, a global precious metals mining company, is the first to license Emergent’s blockchain technology supply chain solution, which traces the provenance of Conflict-Free Gold from mines to refineries, and through to vaults. The solution uses blockchain technology to administer smart contracts among the parties involved in the delivery of gold-bearing material, including miners, refineries, logistics providers and insurance companies.

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David Roznowski
Why Bitcoin Never Was, Is Not, And Will Never Be The New Gold Standard

TAKEAWAY: The purchasing power of gold is very stable for reasons we understand very well, and has been for a long time.  Nobody knows – and nobody can possibly even make an educated guess -- what bitcoin is going to be worth ten minutes, ten days, ten months or ten years from now.

There have been rather a lot of promiscuous claims that bitcoin is the new gold standard.  This demonstrates a terrific lack of understanding of the mechanics of the gold standard, or of Bitcoin, or both. Bitcoin, like G-coin, is something great. But it’s apples and oranges.

Bitcoin never was not, is not, and will never be the new gold standard. 

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Emergent Technology Announces Gold Blockchain Platform

Emergent Technology announced today it is releasing a groundbreaking blockchain platform.

The platform has two components:

1)     The Responsible Gold™ supply chain — the only permissioned blockchain that tracks responsibly sourced gold from mine, to refinery, to vault

2)     G-Coin™ — a new digital token backed by responsibly sourced, physical gold

The company’s blockchain went live in 2017. Miners, refiners and other supply chain participants use a mobile application that scans smart chips in tamper-proof seals to record transfer of custody and other data on the Responsible Gold blockchain.

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What Makes Responsible Gold Responsible?

What makes Responsible Gold responsible? So glad you asked!

“On average, producing enough gold to make a single wedding band generates 20 tons of waste.” How are those 20 tons of ore mined and is the waste disposed of responsibly? We care about such things.

Gold is extracted from gold mines, of course. Some of those mines use humane and ecologically responsible practices. Others do not. While all gold is elementally the same not all gold is created equal. Responsible Gold’s gold is meticulously sourced from ethical providers.

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Ralph J. Benko
A Fairy Tale and A Golden Thread

Gold, literally, is elemental, defined as “consisting of a single chemical element.”

So, in another sense, are Fairy Tales elemental, defined as “having the primitive and inescapable character of a force of nature.”

So it does not come as much of a surprise to find gold turning up, over and over, in fairy and folk tales. Gold has been a valued asset and a symbol of supreme value for most of history.


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Gold is Stardust

Gold, in addition to being “unbelievably beautiful,” has another, almost magical, property. Scientists believe that gold is stardust.

Literally stardust.

Joni Mitchell wrote and performed a classic folk song in homage to Woodstock, entitled Woodstock. It was made more famous when covered by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on their album Déjà Vu. Its refrain:

We are stardust, we are golden

We are billion year old carbon

And we got to get ourselves back to the garden….

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Ralph J. Benko
Happy 300th Birthday Mr. Gold Standard, Thank you Sir Isaac Newton

The traditional gift for the 50th wedding anniversary is gold. And according to “Optimism and wealth are often associated with gold. Not only is the metal gold beautiful, it is strong, and resistant to corrosion.”

The classical gold standard was invented exactly 300 years ago, in 1717. So, a 300th anniversary would be Gold X 6.

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Have you missed the boat with gold?

The answer to that is a resounding no!

Especially if you are an individual, corporation, sovereign wealth fund or central bank looking at gold for its safe haven/wealth preservation qualities. And now it’s easier than ever to invest in gold with the introduction of the G-Coin™ — a digital token, backed by vaulted, conflict-free and responsibly sourced gold.

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Matthew Keen