Gold-buying app sees 718% spike in volume as coronavirus volatility drives investors to havens

‘Sales are going through the roof,’ says CEO of gold app Glint

CEO Jason Cozens is the founder of Glint Pay Services.

Supplied by the Glint

British-based startup Glint Pay Services, which operates in the U.S., the U.K. and continental Europe, said it had seen a 718% increase in clients purchasing gold over the last five weeks as volatility stemming from the coronavirus pandemic swept through markets.

“Sales are going through the roof,” Jason Cozens, founder and CEO of Glint told MarketWatch in a telephone interview. “We are breaking records everyday.”

The average gold purchase per customer has increased in the last five weeks to £2,739 from £1,373, Cozens said.

Founded in 2018, Glint allows customers to buy and sell, and spend their physical gold instantly through a debit card linked to the Mastercard US:MA network and via multicurrency app.

“Customers can buy as little as 1 cent of gold to more than $1 million and use it to buy anything from a coffee to a car,” Cozens said. “Gold is the ultimate form of money.”

The company will roll out person-to-person payments to clients within the next couple of months so that everyone can send gold in lieu of currency payment “as easily as sending a text,” Cozens said.

Gold trading volumes at Goldex are also soaring, up 125% in 2020 compared with last year, and in a month-to-month comparison to March 2019 the amount of gold buys and sells has increased by a staggering 1,600% with a week left to go in the month.

Launched in London in 2018, Goldex’s app, which is available for both iPhone and Android, links users to a global gold marketplace, including vaults in London, Zurich, New York, Toronto and Singapore.

“Overall we’re seeing a substantial increase in gold demand in the first three months of the year, with this month already surpassing our previous record which was set in January 2020,” Goldex told MarketWatch. “We’re also seeing a significant increase in customers, with user registrations up 35% since the beginning of the year as investors flock to safe-haven assets amid plummeting stock markets,” the company added.

According to Goldex, the price of gold in 2020 has risen by approximately 20%, moving from £1,144.42 an ounce on Jan. 1 to a high of £1,384.56 on Tuesday. That marks a seven-year high for the precious metal after another positive performance in 2019, where gold rose 20% against the U.S. dollar despite a strong year for the U.S. equity market. Since January 2019, Gold prices have increased by almost 38% overall against the pound, and approximately 25% against the U.S. dollar.

Glint’s investors include a number of financial heavyweights, including the Tokyo Commodity Exchange; Nicholas Silitch, chief risk officer of Prudential Financial; Hugh Sloane of the hedge fund Sloane Robinson; and veteran BlackRock fund manager Evy Hambro.

In 2019 Glint successfully defended itself from a hostile takeover attempt that placed the company into administration by out an-of-court appointment without a hearing. The hostile party had purchased a Glint loan that wasn’t due for repayment until January 2020 and sought to use its position as a lender to achieve its aims.

The interest and fees had already been paid. Glint achieved a solvent exit, having raised funds to repay the loan early, plus all creditor, and the administration costs. Glint is now back growing the company with the full support of its shareholders.

Revolut joined the gold app rush earlier in March when it launched a feature allowing customers with certain types of account to access gold through its app.

The U.K.-based digital bank said subscription users can purchase and trade gold, based on live market-performance data, which it obtains through its trusted gold-services partner, the London Bullion Market Association. Gold exposure can be transferred from one Revolut user to another via the Revolut app, or converted instantly into cryptocurrency or into e-money for purchases.

The fintech charges a 0.25% markup when gold is traded during market hours and a 1% markup outside of market hours.


Lina Saigol and Ryan Weeks Marketwatch

Coronavirus hyperinflation risk looms, buy gold: Peter Schiff

The extreme measures taken by the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve to combat the COVID-19 pandemic could push the U.S. into an episode of hyperinflation and boost gold, according to Peter Schiff.

The White House and the Senate reached a $2 trillion deal early Wednesday on the third phase of a relief package that extends cash to the individuals, small businesses and corporations that were hit hardest by economic fallout from COVID-19.

On top of that, the Fed said earlier this week it would buy unlimited amounts of assets to support market functions and the economy. The central bank has also cut rates to nearly zero to ease lending conditions.


“What the Fed is doing is extremely bearish for the U.S. economy,” Schiff, CEO of Westport, Connecticut-based Euro Pacific Capital, told FOX Business. “It ensures that this recession, depression that we’re entering is going to be extremely brutal in the inflation that is going to ravage the economy, particularly investors and retirees.”

He added that hyperinflation, or extremely high and worsening inflation, is “very much on the table,” and that a complete destruction of the U.S. currency would be accelerated if the world “dumps the dollar as a reserve.”

Schiff is not alone in suggesting that hyperinflation is a potential consequence of resorting to helicopter money.

Deutsche Bank macro strategist Oliver Harvey says that while the policy response to COVID-19 is “very similar” to the 2008 financial crisis, today’s calamity is “very different.”

The 2008 crisis was a “classic demand shock,” whereas this time around is “first and foremost a supply shock which is now spilling over to demand,” he said.

Consumers are staying away from restaurants and stores because governments told them to do so and wage earners aren’t going to work because they are being told to stay home to avoid spreading and/or contracting the virus.


What has happened is a “second-order response to a first-order shock to aggregate supply,” he said, and trying to keep spending at pre-lockdown levels while keeping lockdowns in place will lead to more money chasing much less goods and services, resulting in “inflation, and a lot of it.”

He notes that supply is inelastic, or fixed, this time around, resulting in higher prices.

While helping business through the pandemic’s credit crunch and assisting people out of work because of government mandates is appropriate, Harvey argued, embarking on a “New Deal-style spending program via monetary financing” while imposing tough supply constraints on the economy could result in hyperinflation, worsening people’s living standards more than doing nothing.

For Schiff, the winner is clear: gold. The precious metal’s price, he says, should be up “a lot more” than just the 9.5 percent it has gained since the Fed launched its massive asset purchase program on Monday.

For now, gold is still trading below the $1,700 an ounce it reached a few weeks ago.

“What the Federal Reserve has basically told the world is if you’re an owner of U.S. Treasury bonds, you need to sell them to us because we’re going to buy the entire bond market,” Schiff said, adding that the Fed will also be buying corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities and more.


He believes that will force central banks, particularly China’s and Japan’s, which are the biggest holders of U.S. Treasurys, to buy gold.

Schiff’s minimum projection for the price of gold is $5,000 to $10,000 an ounce, and he says the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is now valued at about 12 times the price of gold, will trade at just 7.5 times instead. Eventually, he sees gold and the Dow trading at even money.

Goldman Sachs is bullish, too, but not nearly as much.

In a note sent to clients on Tuesday, Jeffrey Currie, global head of commodities, said it’s “time to buy the currency of last resort,” arguing that the world’s shortage of dollars — which has buoyed the greenback’s value — will come to an end under the Fed’s “open-ended” asset purchases.

The situation resembles 2008, he said, when gold — a perceived safe-haven — fell 20 percent due to “dollar strength and a run on cash” before the Fed’s $600 billion quantitative easing program curbed the greenback’s value and made gold more attractive. Currie has a 12-month price target of $1,800 an ounce.

“Gold gives you a good perspective on things because in reality, long term, it’s not the price of gold that goes up,” Schiff said. “The price of gold remains constant. It’s the price of everything else that goes up.


“People like to say 200 years ago, 250 years ago, a man could buy a nice suit for an ounce of gold,” he said. “And that’s the case today.”


Goldman Sachs says it is time to buy gold — the ‘currency of last resort’

The current coronavirus-induced economic and financial market turmoil is seemingly the perfect environment for gold.

“We have long argued that gold is the currency of last resort, acting as a hedge against currency debasement when policy makers act to accommodate shocks such as the one being experienced now,” said analysts at Goldman Sachs led by Jeffrey Currie.

Yet while the yellow metal GC00, 6.315% has done far better than other assets, it has slipped 2% over the last month.

The Goldman analysts, with a 12-month price target of $1800 an ounce, said that is about to change, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive bond purchase plan unveiled on Monday, in which the U.S. central bank said it would buy as many Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities as needed to keep financial markets running smoothly.

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The #1 Account All Wealthy People Have (That You Probably Don’t)

Can you imagine your little old traditional or Roth IRA is worth millions of dollars?

It happens for some people.

According to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), 791 individuals have IRA balances between $10 million and $25 million, while 314 are worth over $25 million.

That was in 2011. There are probably many more today.

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney reportedly had an IRA worth in excess of $100 million.

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Gold Surges Due To Troubled Fed Repo And U.S. Treasury Market

Gold continues to move higher due to trouble in the Fed repo and U.S. Treasury market. In the first hour of business today, the Fed has already injected $57 billion in the repo market. While the Fed’s repo market injections didn’t spike during the last few days of 2019, as many analysts forecasted, there’s still BIG TROUBLE ahead.

Many reasons have been attributed to the break-down in the U.S. repo market that started on September 17th when the daily repo rate spiked to 10%. Several readers have sent me very interesting information and YouTube videos on the subject matter. I thought it was a good time to sift through all the information and present my analysis on what the hell I believe is going on.

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Repo Panic Returns As Fed Injects $99BN In Liquidity, Including First Oversubscribed Term Repo In Three Weeks

And just like that, the repo market is on the fritz once again.

More than two weeks after the last oversubscribed term repo operation on December 16, moments ago the Fed announced that Dealers are once again scrambling for liquidity, submitting $41.12BN in securities ($30.7BN in TSYs, $10.42BN in MBS) into today’s 2-week repo operation, which was oversubscribed hitting the maximum operation limit of $35BN.

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