LBMA implements optical AI technology to trace gold bars’ provenance

Gold bar. (Image by Bullion Vault, Flickr.)

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) announced that it has added optical AI developer Alitheon to the pool of five companies that support the Gold Bar Integrity (GBI) initiative.

The GBI was launched in March 2022 by the LBMA and the World Gold Council with the goal of digitally monitoring gold moving through the global supply chain by confirming provenance and providing transparency over the chain of custody. This, in turn, with the expectation of mitigating illicit trade risks and reducing the chance of fraudulent bars entering the formal supply chain.

Alitheon is the only US-based company to be selected and its work will consist of identifying, authenticating, and tracing each individual bar, be it a small minted bar or a large investment-grade cast bar. 

The American firm’s FeaturePrint technology will be put to use to ensure provenance by irrefutably identifying counterfeited and illegally-sourced precious metals throughout the supply chain. 

In a press release, Alitheon explained that FeaturePrint uses a standard off-the-shelf camera or mobile phone to take an image of any object such as a gold bar. Its machine vision algorithms are then applied to identify and convert various details of the object into a unique digital fingerprint. This digital fingerprint enables irrefutable identification, authentication, and traceability, and mitigates the need to add any sort of visible or invisible markers, tags, or stickers to the bars. 

In addition to gold and precious metals, the solution also works for identifying, authenticating, tracking and tracing a range of applications including luxury goods, art and collectibles, computer boards, automotive parts, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. 

“We applaud LBMA and its members as together we work to secure the world’s gold and precious metals reserves and supply chains,” Alitheon CEO Roei Ganzarski said in the media brief.

“Companies and consumers are used to having data at their fingertips. Now they can be sure the gold bar or gold product they are buying is authentic, ethically sourced, and legal, from a simple photo taken on their phone.”