Gold-backed Currency Launches in Dubai

Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert

Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert

  • New gold-backed currency OneGram launched
  • Backed by one-gram of gold, uses blockchain technology
  • OneGram is first in wave of new Shariah, tech-savvy gold products
  • 2017 sees big changes for gold thanks to Shariah gold and blockchain
  • Gold investors should prepare for tightening in supply
  • Bitcoin and shariah gold demand suggest change in retail investor thinking

Technology, shariah gold and bitcoin point to changing views

Ramadan Kareem rang out across Dubai and the rest of the Muslim World this weekend as the holiest month in the Islamic calendar began. For 29-30 days over a billion Muslims around the world practice sawm (fasting), charity (zakat) and salat (prayer). This period is a time of spiritual reflection, increased devotion and worship as well as a time to come together with loved ones for both the break fast meal (Iftar) and pre-fast meal (Suhur).

Ramadan is obviously observed in different ways around the Muslim world. Here in Dubai a non-Muslim will experience a place full of both celebration and reflection, with events happening every evening that are there to welcome everybody. The month also sees a number of companies launching Ramadan promotions ranging from bank accounts (free banking for six months, anyone?) to spa treatments (2-for-1 massage?) to huge packs of dates (the first food to break the fast).

As part of the celebrations, a new gold-backed currency has been launched, here in Dubai. It is a new currency known as OneGram (OGC) backed by one gram of gold and can be used for digital payments. There is a fixed number of OGCs and digital transaction fees (minus admin costs) will be reinvested to buy more gold. According to the managers, “the amount of gold backing each OGC will increase with time.”

OneGram has been launched by a private company of the same name. The company claims to offer a proof-of-stake blockchain that is ‘’further anonymized’ than Bitcoin. Reports state that ‘developers employ zero-knowledge dual-key stealth addresses and ring signature protocols toward ‘instant, untraceable, unlinkable, trustless transactions.’

Shariah Gold Standard

In December we witnessed the launch of the Shariah Gold Standard. Announced in Bahrain by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the World Gold Council, the Standard is the first ever set of guidelines for the 2 billion Muslims looking to invest in gold-based financial products.

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