A Letter from Roy Sebag Founder of BitGold and CEO of GoldMoney Inc.
I want to personally thank you all for the passion and support you have exhibited for BitGold. Ultimately, it is you we have built this for and it is you who make this successful.
2015 was a year when an idea became a business defying logic, conventional wisdom, and the laws of linearity. An idea, hatched by two young entrepreneurs has now evolved into a global platform spanning 600,000 members in nearly 200 countries. An idea that has led to a 50 person team operating a platform that safeguards over $1.5 billion of precious metal assets for over 100,000 members with a positive balance. An idea that has seen some of the world’s greatest investors from George Soros, Albert D. Friedberg, Adam Fleming, Eric Sprott, James Turk and others join with unwavering support and assurances of integrity.
What we have achieved this year is truly historic. In fact, I believe the ramifications will only be truly appreciated several decades from now. We have shown that gold as commodity money has a place within the existing laws and regulations and can be consistent with the ethos of social progress and upward mobility.
We do not need to be fearful or greedy to educate people on the merits of gold. We do not need gold to rise in one specific currency (USD) for hundreds of thousands to derive value and be empowered by our platform. We do not need to be opposed to the beautiful improvements in the quality of life or social cohesion achieved over the last 50 years. Instead, we can show why gold helps solidify the continuation of these trends.
Utilizing commodity money makes sense for responsible citizens seeking to peg their labour, goods, and services to a unit of account that mimics their own personal consumption and savings requirements. Take a look at your own monthly aggregate spending, unless the majority of your income is spent on financial assets, you are likely better off utilizing a commodity money to measure your earnings power and net worth.
Utilizing gold as commodity money makes sense because of universal truths and the laws of physics. Unless you have superhuman powers, you too are bound by the laws of physics and so it makes sense to own the one element of just 92 which is immortal to human entropy and can be bequeathed to your family tree as an heirloom leaving an enduring legacy to posterity.
Utilizing gold as commodity money makes sense because it removes friction costs, settlement times, and foreign exchange from the transfer of value between two parties. Even if you don’t want to own gold at the end of the process, you should be able to see why using gold as a conduit for value transfer is superior to any banking system or method (it’s all in the fees).
There's an upheaval in financial services coming. This upheaval will see long held axioms tested to their core. What is money? Why does it cost money to move money? Why does one nation have stronger money while others have weaker money?
From the ancient Minoan traders in Crete 4,000 years ago to John Law and the Mississippi Bubble just 300 years ago, history is littered with thousands upon thousands of experiments with different types of money. Money that was deposited with banks paying an unfair rate of interest, money that was government backed by a promise, money that favoured the elite, or money that favoured a specific ideology or doctrine over others. These have all been tried and have failed over and over again. Yet no matter how many times these experiments take place, our natural states cause a reversion to the mean with respect to what we regard as money. We seem to always rediscover the value of utilizing gold as a neutral global commodity medium and unit of account. I posit that this is a “science thing” not an “economic thing”.
We are a brilliant species that is enthralled by our planet and universe. We seek to work hard and share our prosperity with our family and neighbours. And we engage in trade as a byproduct of our natural evolutionary productivity. We don’t like to sit around and sloth, we enjoy improving ourselves each and every day. As the scale of time is stretched, our species resorts to our default state of cooperation, empathy, and prosperity.
I believe that BitGold has spawned yet another reversion and that our success coincides with the upheaval we are seeing in digital value transfer (cryptocurrencies) and fintech in general (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Wallet, Square, Stripe, Paypal). Globally, a subliminal “a-ha” feeling is developing with respect to the friction surrounding financial services. That feeling is akin to that of the last riders of horse buggies in Detroit in 1908 as they began to notice the Ford Model T driving down the streets. That we use gold as our only unit of account and store of value means that we are in pole position to create a global unified payments and savings network not restricted by any nations currency or debt system. While it is still early, I am confident that a mere decade from now over half the global population will rely on financial technology companies such as BitGold for their financial services completely supplanting the incumbent’s core businesses lines.
To that end, we are working tirelessly to complete our ecosystem. In 2016 we will be enabling Business Accounts, Invoicing, Checkout Widgets, US Payments, and a Public API. We are also working on several confidential features that will improve the user experience and allow more of you to rely on the platform for your everyday financial services needs. .
We ask you to continue in your efforts to spread the word about BitGold. In 2015 the GoldenHeart program saw enormous success. We made changes to the program that some of you are unhappy with. I have heard these criticisms but respectfully disagree. The GoldenHeart program today is more aligned than ever and those of you that have reached four or five star status can attest to this. There are no more settlement delays and the per user gold bonus for 4 and 5 quality score users is much higher than it ever was. I assure you that if you take the time to refer quality members who will make deposits, use the platform, and provide transparent information about their identity, you too will see your quality score rise and your ability to earn gold through referrals compound. Remember, we are in this for the longterm and expect you to be as well.
Here is to you, our community and an even more incredible 2016.
Thank You and Happy New Year!