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What happened: Tether, a major platform facilitating digital use of traditional currencies, plans to launch gold-backed stablecoin — announce Tether Gold (XAU₮), a digital asset providing exposure to physical gold (XAU). Furthermore, Tether Gold (XAU₮) is the only product among the competition that offers zero custody fees and has direct control over the physical gold storage, safely held in a Switzerland vault, adopting best in class security and anti-threat measures. The addition of XAU₮ represents an important milestone in technological innovation and new product development, with the Tether group of companies already supporting US dollar, euro and offshore Chinese yuan.
Chart of the USD/BTC trading pair from EXANTE
What really happened: Despite the fact that the possible benefits of fusing both physical and digital assets may look lucrative, this is not the timely innovation in crypto ecosystems, Tether is infamous for having a problem with the audit of fiat, which can easily be audited in the electronic form. Moreover, with frequent audits of physical gold inventories that can be easily faked with tungsten, only more problems arise.
Gold is an outdated value in today’s world that represents everything that the new generation stands against. This asset will never be praised by the Millennials as they surely won’t make their savings in something as outdated in the digital age as gold. They live and think differently and see digital money, cryptocurrencies, and gifts such as crypto kitties dApps as a natural thing.
Next, maintenance of huge amounts of gold results in a negative carry - a condition where investments cost more than they bring in over a short-term time frame. This is very expensive, and thus, even while maintaining the price per unit of gold, gold-backed tokens are doomed to decaying value. However, the mass market will never accept such a product for masses, so it’s a losing game. The Stable Report data indicates that more than 40 stablecoin projects that were initially backed by gold have already closed up the shop.
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