Local Business

GCC’s first blockchain-enabled precious metals refinery to open in Dubai in 2022

Issac John /Dubai
issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com Filed on April 21, 2021
The free zone said it has signed a sale and purchase agreement with Reit Development to establish the facility. — Supplied photo

The first-of-its-kind facility will refine and store gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium; The innovative refinery to be completed in the last quarter of 2022

The largest precious metals refinery and storage facility in the GCC, which will be the first in the region totally enabled by blockchain, will open in Dubai by the last quarter of 2022.

The first-of-its-kind facility by Reit Development – a leading organisation specialised in precious metals and blockchain technologies – will refine and store precious metals including gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium, which will be tokenised on goldexchange.com, DMCC, a leading global free zone for commodities trade and enterprise, said in statement.

The free zone said it has signed a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Reit Development to establish the facility.

As part of the agreement, Reit Development acquired industrial land strategically located in DMCC’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers business district. DMCC has premium plots for sale across JLT, which are attracting significant interest from a diverse range of investors and developers, all in search of a dynamic destination to do business.

“As part of the ongoing commitment to provide robust infrastructure and innovative platforms to individual traders and stakeholders operating in the gold and precious metals industry, this new facility will strengthen DMCC’s position as a global hub for precious metals and a leader in technological advancements,” the DMCC statement said.

Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman and chief executive officer, DMCC, said the signing of the agreement with Reit Development underscores the crucial role that DMCC plays in positioning the UAE and Dubai on the world map as a leader in the precious metals industry through the deployment of cutting-edge technology such as blockchain.

“The gold and precious metals industry is at a tipping point, but without a doubt there are boundless opportunities that lie beneath the uncertainty of a post pandemic world. The gold and precious metals industry is expected to witness significant growth in the coming period and through similar agreements, we can advance the industry as a whole,” said Sulayem.

Mike De Vries, chief operation officer, Reit Development, said blockchain technology can enable more transparent and accurate tracking of precious metals, ensuring there is no ‘dirty gold’ in circulation and illicit trades.

“Our 100,000sqft precious metals refinery and storage will create a decentralised immutable record of all transactions, making it possible to track all precious metals that are refined in our refinery and eventually sold internationally to over 150 countries. Customers who buy our products or use our storage can verify all the information in the blockchain. We believe that by 2025 every precious metals refinery and storage facility will be in the blockchain, let us lead the way,” said De Vries.

Paul Ashton, executive director – Property, DMCC, said DMCC’s dynamic business district at Jumeirah Lakes Towers has redefined the ease of doing business.

“The appeal of Dubai as a prime destination, combined with our world-class market infrastructure, state-of-the-art facilities, business-friendly environment and unparalleled investments in digital solutions, provide the ideal proposition for any business looking to grow and set operations in the region. This land sale with REIT Development is testament to the great market confidence in Dubai and DMCC,” said Ashton.

Gold Exchange DMCC, a secured trading platform, will provide access to financial assets in the form of stablecoins namely GoldCoin, SilverCoin, PlatinumCoin, PalladiumCoin and RhodiumCoin. Each Ethereum-based token will represent the current value of one gram of each metal and can be traded on the exchange. The tokens will be physically backed by the precious metals at DMCC’s secure storage facility, meaning they can be traded with confidence.

In February 2021, Sulayem joined the advisory board of the Swiss government-supported blockchain investment company CV VC following an earlier agreement between DMCC and CV VC and CV Labs. “This partnership will bring a leading blockchain and cryptographic technologies ecosystem to Dubai,” the statement said.

In 2020, DMCC also signed an agreement with Innoway, a China government-backed incubator pioneering science, tech and education ecosystems to usher in a new wave of innovation to the UAE.

— issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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