The World Gold Council’s (WGC) head of global sales and regional CEO, Joe Cavatoni, explained on Friday that he believes the gold industry will integrate with blockchain technology in order to “help the industry standardize reporting.” Cavatoni spoke about the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA) and WGC’s Gold Bar Integrity Programme (GBI) which aims to methodize “an international system of gold bar integrity, chain of custody and provenance.”

Gold Bar Integrity Initiative Will Help Investors Feel ‘Comfortable Knowing Where the Gold Is Coming From’

Joe Cavatoni, the World Gold Council‘s (WGC) head of global sales and regional CEO, discussed gold markets in a recent interview published Friday. Cavatoni talked about how gold is used in various products, which helps fuel demand for the precious yellow metal.

He highlighted that one of gold’s industrial use cases includes cancer treatment and gold is an ingredient in products like iPhones and iPads. Gold nanoparticles are also leveraged in photothermal therapy that is often used to kill cancer cells.

Cavatoni also conversed about the WGC’s Gold Bar Integrity Programme (GBI), a distributed ledger concept backed by the WGC and the LBMA. GBI was officially announced in March 2022, and it intends to leverage blockchain technology crafted by the distributed ledger firms Axedras and Peer Ledger.

Cavatoni thinks that the GBI tech will help monitor gold transactions, gold quality, chain of custody, and sourcing. Cavatoni expects to have a “type of blockchain database construction in place to help the industry standardize reporting, [in order to] trace and track the integrity of gold bars, and take it all the way back to sourcing so that you can feel good and comfortable knowing where the gold is coming from.”

While the GBI project is an LBMA and WGC effort, Cavatoni remarked that a “group of organizations” are planning to utilize the GBI program and tools. When the blockchain program was first announced, LBMA’s CEO Ruth Crowell explained that the international trade in wholesale, “physical gold depends on confidence.”

Crowell insisted that the Gold Bar Integrity initiative was a watershed moment for the precious metals sector. “This is a major advance in furthering transparency for the common good of the gold industry,” Crowell said at the time. Cavatoni remarked during his interview on Friday that the “[gold] industry needs to be trusted by people that want to be a part of it.”

“If trust is an impediment for greater adoption in gold, because some people feel that being off-grid is a better way than being on-grid, we’d rather embrace trust and transparency and grow the industry in a legitimate way and make it better,” Cavatoni said. “None of what we’re doing is going to prevent anyone from simply taking [a] physical delivery of gold,” the WGC head of global sales and regional CEO added.

Axedras’ Bullion Integrity Ledger and Peer Ledger’s MIMOSI Connect

In March, LBMA and WGC said the initial phase will see both Axedras and Peer Ledger demonstrate their technologies. The Axedras website shows the company has a proprietary blockchain called the Bullion Integrity Ledger (BIL).

The BIL network is a “member-based platform for peer-to-peer interaction,” and claims to be decentralized and secure. “[BIL] enables its members to share information following this unified data standard and to record the outcomes of business transactions in an immutable and auditable manner,” the Axedras web portal notes.

Peer Ledger’s website says that it uses “blockchain technology to solve environmental, social and governance problems in global supply chains.” The company offers MIMOSI Connect which “gives companies a trusted, immutable record of transactions, documents, and metrics across their entire supply chain to support responsible supply chain management and due diligence.”

Besides Cavatoni’s recent commentary this past week about a group of organizations using GBI, LBMA and WGC have already listed a number of participating GBI companies. Firms mentioned include CME Group, Barrick Gold Corporation, Brinks, Centerra Gold Inc., Argor Heraeus SA, Asahi, Aura Minerals Inc., Perth Mint, Pro Aurum, Rand Refinery, Royal Canadian Mint, and Standard Chartered.

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