gold bullion vault

Our Goldbloc is supported by Veridu

You may have noticed on our sign-up page that there have been a few changes in place. We have teamed up with Veridu, a social verification company, to provide added security on our gold investment platform.

Below, Veridu announce this exciting partnership and outline what benefits they will bring to those looking to buy gold with The Real Asset Company.

Banks got you worried about the certainty of your savings? The Real Asset Co has you backed. Gold-backed, that is. The Real Asset Co has long been helping customers diversify their assets and protect their savings by giving them an easy, convenient way to purchase gold bullions (bars/coins). A company after our very own hearts, The Real Asset Co has a huge focus on convenience for users. Buyers can go to their website, choose the amount of gold (or silver) they wish to buy, and The Real Asset Co will deposit it in a safe vault in one of a number of highly secure locations. Thanks to The Real Asset Co, a previously niche and difficult investing strategy is now incredibly easy and convenient for the average citizen.

Since 2008, it has never been more present in our minds that the safety nets we all have – from banks to investment funds – are not a guarantee of security. The Real Asset Co is a fantastic example of a company coming up with innovative ways to meet the needs of its customers, and stay at the forefront of technology. Not content with merely providing a safe, physical place to secure investments away from the bank, The Real Asset Co is soon to launch a gold-backed crypto currency called “Goldbloc”.

A gold-what?

A gold backed crypto currency. Bit of a mouthful! A crypto currency is a relatively modern form of digital currency that operates outside of the traditional fiat currencies we are used to – i.e. those that a government has declared to be legal tender and aren’t backed by commodities. The most commonly known Crypto Currency is bitcoin. A common criticism (or should we say fear) of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are that they are all based in the digital world. many consumers are skeptical, given they can’t see notes and coins in hand. This among a number of other reasons, is why the Real Asset Co has chosen to create a gold-backed crypto currency. It brings the safety and security of the Gold Standard but also creates a stable crypto currency that is independent of any monetary authority and therefore doesn’t have the vested interests of a government trying to prop up an economy. The topic of both gold backed currencies (or their opposites: fiat money) and crypto currency is fairly complex – we’ve written and in depth article that explains all the moving parts here, and we encourage you to check it out – we’ve certainly learned a lot since partnering with The Real Asset Co!

The Real Asset Co has truly created an innovative solution to the risks inherent in currencies in their modern form. By creating a gold backed crypto currency, The Real Asset Co not only brings the safety and security of the Gold Standard, but also creates a stable crypto currency that is independent of any monetary authority and therefore doesn’t have the vested interests of a government trying to prop up an economy. The Real Asset Co records all Goldbloc purchases on a block chains style ledger which means it can be used as a medium of exchange, as well as challenging the status quo for clearing a settlement in the gold market. By taking all the speculation out of the equation, The Real Asset Co could well be creating the most stable and reliable currency around.

Meeting the regulations without losing customers

Whilst KYC (Know Your Customer) and anti money laundering measures are really important, a huge problem for online or global businesses is that users expect to be able to do everything instantly. The advent of the internet has created widespread expectations of simplicity and conveniences. Everyone wants to be able to do things instantly and with ease, and most online businesses can tell you that the minute an extra step or roadblock is introduced, they lose huge percentages of customers. There are countless stories of how businesses have had remarkable increases in sales and interactions from the tiniest of changes – a great example being the $12m Expedia made from removing one form field.

The struggle for any online business is striking the balance – the added step of verification is one extra step for customers, but it is a necessary one. Traditionally, online businesses have had to sacrifice their convenience by requiring users to send in copies of utility bills and/or schedule a skype session where they must hold up their passport on screen for someone to verify. If you’ve ever had to transfer more than US $1000 using Paypal, and you’re not in a timezone close to the US, you’ll know that that process is a real nightmare. If you don’t have to do it, you’ll try your best to avoid it. Currently, Goldbloc is in stage 1 which allows users to own gold (which is physical and allocated) which is then represented. In stage 2, Goldbloc will eventually be used to pay for things and transfer gold ownership from person to person which means The Real Asset Co has to put KYC processes in place. One of these is that users will be required to verify themselves with Veridu in order to complete every transaction.

Enter Veridu: The financial platform’s Knight in Shining Armour

Veridu is helping a number of businesses to meet anti money laundering legislation requirements by letting them verify themselves with a process as simple as Single Sign On. All the user has to do is login with an existing social account. With just a few clicks, the user is identified. Social data is a great way to verify the identity of a user, as the Veridu algorithm can instantly scan through hundreds if not thousands of data points to determine whether or not a user is who they say the are – which beats having to schedule a skype session hands down. Even better, a common problem is that fraudsters may have already spoofed ID processes by using faked documents (which are really hard to spot in the online world). While it is easy to fake a social profile, it is incredibly easy for Veridu to spot that. A genuine social profile is near impossible to fake, with users putting thousands of hours into interacting with others. This makes it a far more reliable source of ID than traditional, easy to fake documents.

For the user, there’s no hassle. For the service requiring verification, hiring staff to undertake verification processes is an enormous investment. Thankfully, Veridu has the technology in place to make everyone’s lives easier and costs our customers just a few pence per user.

A case study in convenience

Currently, digital currencies that meet KYC requirements are doing it voluntarily to prove their legitimacy – they aren’t actually required to do it yet. This means that The Real Asset Co isn’t just identifying users because they have to, but because they want to. In asking all their users to verify themselves voluntarily, we’ve been able to get a great sample size in a short space of time and the result has been fantastic. Hundreds of users have verified themselves, and only 1 has complained about the extra step! We consider that a huge win, and it gives great confidence that other services needing to meet KYC requirements (crypto currency or otherwise) can integrate Veridu into their processes, without worrying about the impact of the extra step.

What has been even better, however, is the convenience that Veridu has bought in terms of user onboarding. Just like the Expedia example, onboarding new customers can be a challenge for many online businesses. Once again it is a balance – more information about customers can lead to a much better product/experience overall, with true customer insights. However, getting that information is at best a backwards step for a business trying to create a great user experience, and at worst can result in a database full of incorrect information or even put off potential customers all together. With a one-click single sign on based registration, Veridu can instantly provide a huge amount of accurate, verified customer insights. Far better than the historical alternative – exchanges and payment processors typically never get any real insight into the user apart from the standard name, address and billing data. And for those worried about privacy? Veridu can simply aggregate data to pass on trends, rather than information that is personally identifiable. Veridu has created frictionless onboarding system for The Real Asset Co that has given far more customer insight at enrolment than they have ever had before.

And what about those that don’t use social media activity? The Real Asset Co chose to use social data as it is a natural fit for those that use the digital currency – their demographic are the kind of people that don’t want the hassle, that are tech savvy and that don’t rely on the government for their banking or their ID. However, there’s always the fail safe option of traditional checks like passports (which are currently done for customers with large transactions). However, even if the odd person needs a passport check the overall cost verifying users is reduced by an astonishing amount – all contributing to the goal of cryto currencies to reduce transaction costs.

The withdrawal process is the most risky part of The Real Asset Co’s business. We’re thrilled to help – when Goldbloc is truly open-source they plan to operate an exchange protocol where all exchange/market partners that offer Goldbloc will be required to verify themselves with Veridu to minimise account or identity fraud. Where this process is a real game changer, is that on every withdrawal the account is protected in case it has been taken over, authenticating that the user is the same one that enrolled with the account.

This is a huge step for a crypto currency, and one we’re really looking forward to being part of! If you’ve got any questions about Veridu or The Real Asset Co, don’t hesitate to get in contact.

About the Author

Jan SkoylesJan Skoyles is Head of Research at The Real Asset Company, a platform for secure and efficient gold investment. Jan first became interested in precious metals and sound money when she met Ned Naylor-Leyland whilst working alongside him in the summer of 2010. Jan then went on to write her undergraduate dissertation on the use of precious metals in the monetary system. After graduating from Aston University in 2011 Jan joined The Real Asset Co research desk. Her work and views are now featured on a range of media including BBC, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Mail on Sunday, Forbes and The Telegraph. She has appeared on news channels including Russia Today to discuss the gold price and gold investing. You can keep up with Jan's commentary by subscribing to our RSS feed Gold Investment News.View all posts by Jan Skoyles