In a bold move, BitGold has just acquired for CA$51.9 million (US$42.3 million), incorporating more than 135K of the website’s “gold bugs,” or gold-hoarding enthusiasts.

Goldmoney is a service that allows users to trade and safely store their gold assets, controlling over CA$1.5 billion worth of precious metals in their storage facilities. These assets will be virtually moved to the Aurum ledger, the backbone behind BitGold’s trade engine.

Then and Now

Founded in 2001 by James Turk, GoldMoney’s “low cost storage” fees for gold ranged between 0.12% and 0.18% per year, deducted on a monthly basis from users’ accounts. BitGold, however, seems to feature a simpler and more lucrative pricing. Users can store their gold for free in the company’s vaults. With BitGold, users only pay a flat 1% fee for gold purchases, invoicing and redemptions.

The acquisition is expected to be finalized in less than 60 days. BitGold has gone a long way, from shares valued at 3.3 cents last year, to 701,000 shares trading last Friday at 4.14 CAD. The merger has added a strong shareholder base and three GoldMoney directors to the combined board of directors.

Roy Sebag, BitGold CEO, said:

“With the technology of the BitGold platform, we can expand the GoldMoney legacy of trust, security, and a client centric purpose to new markets, growing from a much stronger base and benefiting all stakeholders. Combining the first global e-marketplace for gold with the latest and most innovative, we instantly become the world’s largest and most active bullion money service.”

Roy Sebag, BitGold CEO

A Libertarian’s Paradise

BitGold, which is backed by big players such as Sandstorm Gold and Dundee Capital Market, has upgraded Goldmoney’s “nonphysical currency” service by relying on the blockchain as opposed to a centralized ledger.

By merging both services, users will be able to trade their gold for the currency of their choice — yes, including bitcoin — and have proceeds wired directly to their bank account. Those who do not wish to depend on fiat or digital currency can have their gold shipped directly to their doorsteps at appropriate fees and quantities.

Previously, Goldmoney users were allowed to transfer funds directly to one another. After the E-Gold money-laundering drama in 2008, however, it became less and less sensible for Goldmoney to continue the service, and it was completely shut down in 2012 subsequent to excessive regulatory complications.

With BitGold carefully taking note of know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, libertarians who do not wish to touch fiat with a 10-foot pole will be able to “spend their gold” conveniently at traditional points of sale via a specialized gold debit, negating the need to depend on cash.

The Paypal of Gold

The ability to purchase everyday goods directly with gold is hardly a new one. Peter Schiff’s book Crash Proof: How to Profit From the Coming Economic Collapse, published in 2007, explained in detail the need for gold to become a standard of paying, thus bypassing otherwise usurious debit card fees. With BitGold, users will be able to transfer to anyone with a mobile phone or email address.

According to BitGold, users can already “spend gold with the BitGold DebitCard, [which is] accepted anywhere globally that accepts major credit cards, including ATM machines to withdraw local currency.”

Bitcoin may be volatile, but gold is not. The ability to withdraw money from ATMs using gold bars tucked safely thousands of miles away is not only fascinating, it’s downright futuristic.