Tradewind expands VaultChain metals-trading blockchain platform to silver

Financial technology company Tradewind Markets has made its VaultChain metals-trading blockchain platform available for silver producers, building on the company's work with gold mining companies that began earlier this year.

One of the first clients of the new service, Tradewind says, is Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation Global (SCMI US Inc), but the company is confident there will be more miners using it in the near future.

“Our customer base has expressed strong interest in a digital silver solution to complement our gold products, making it a logical next step in our development,” Steve Lowe, head of business development at Tradewind says. “Users can now digitally trade and custody silver alongside their gold positions, and importantly, offer another compelling investment solution to their end clients.”

There are already examples of the use of blockchain in the mining industry, particularly in the diamond sector, which uses the technology to track the precious stones.

There are already examples of the use of blockchain in the mining industry, particularly in the diamond sector, which uses the technology to track the precious stones. But the application of the revolutionary technology behind cryptocurrency Bitcoin among gold and silver producers is not that clear.

“Blockchain technology is perfectly suited to the precious metals market,” Fraser Buchan, Tradewind co-founder tells MINING.com. “It is a secure and durable solution for maintaining title to hard assets — no one party can control access to, or tamper with, the records of ownership — and it allows the market to tap into all of the efficiencies that come along with digital trade execution and settlement,” he says.

According to Buchan, the fact that VaultChain supports different use cases and business models provides miners with an opportunity to execute sales with a diverse set of market participants.

“Using a blockchain allows parties to settle these transactions more securely and efficiently,” Buchan says. The platform allows users to run “smart contracts,” which are computer programs stored in a blockchain that automatically move digital assets between accounts when conditions encoded in it are met.

Tradewind was a finalist in Goldcorp’s Disrupt Mining competition in 2017. The gold producer later became a shareholder in the company.

VaultChain Silver is backed by the Royal Canadian Mint, and Tradewind plans to bring it to large banks that perform physical metal trading.