The amount of money in a person’s wallet should not be a barrier to his ability to access financial products that the rich enjoy. HelloGold wants to remove affordability and accessibility from the equation through the democratisation and digitisation of gold-based savings and financing.
HelloGold is a gold-backed platform that aims to help the unbanked around the world. Robin Lee, CEO, reflects on the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis when people’s salaries issued in local currency were halved overnight. Stable assets such as gold are a potential answer, but then there are issues of logistics and fungibility of a weight physical asset. This is where the Gold-Backed Token (GBT) backed on an immutable ledger comes in. Lee summarizes the utility of tokenizing their gold saving platform, “In short, everyone can save, and everyone can have access to affordable financing. Democratization through digitization.”
We’re going to take a quick look at the HelloGold platform, their ICO and how they’re handling the currently tense global ICO climate.
Regulatory measures taken
The most hotly discussed topic around ICOs currently is the current regulatory climate.
I’ll preface this by saying I am not a lawyer, but HelloGold appears to have everything under check through both their registration process and the fact that they have already displayed a functioning platform. And, most important of all, their approach to a fluid regulatory environment through the full refund of the public sale in China:
Following the Chinese government’s announcement regarding ICOs in China in September, HelloGold, through their token sale partner ICOage successfully returned all ETH raised in China. And after the public sale concluded, it has now launched the “ICOage token resale”.
Additionally, learning from earlier exercises, the token sale registration process adopted strict KYC/AML elements that reduced the opportunity for phishing attempts which had plagued some token sale. While KYC processes for cryptocurrencies may seem antithetical, it certainly makes the HelloGold platform more consistent with existing regulatory best practices. And you might even argue that when it comes to asset-backed crypto, this is an inevitable necessity. There may come a time when an investor will want to retrieve their real asset, and this would require KYC/AML.
As a second measure of regulatory compliance, HelloGold already have a live product in the market which can be downloaded on the App/Play stores. The Colony Token Sale recently halted its sale out of fears that it would be deemed a security by the SEC. They summarized that a functioning platform was necessary prior to re-launching. HelloGold already has its launch product in the market and has taken legal advice on the regulatory framework for its existing product.
Transparency, community engagement and realistic views
One of the more refreshing things to see in a blockchain startup is their attitude towards competition and the ICO market in general. Dave Appleton, lead blockchain developer of the HelloGold platform comes right out and acknowledges competitors like Digix and other gold-backed token platforms and states:
There are a number of people in the Digital Gold space each with their own take on what a gold backed token requires. How will we counter them? The answer to this “elephant question” is simple. We won’t… We believe that the space is growing and there is enough room for a number of offerings as long as they are honest and not copycats. We have great respect for the guys at Digix and many of the other gold products out there.
Appleton has also said, “We do not hold glitzy events… [or] have affiliate networks and marketing networks (commonly known as MLM or pyramid schemes)”. These can be seen commonly in other ICOs, and I’m quick to agree with Appleton when he rightly points out that these are bright red flags.
Further community engagement and nuggets of wisdom on the global gold market, cryptocurrencies, and life in general can be seen through individual team members’ series of Medium posts here. On a more technical level, anyone wishing to review the HelloGold platform, from their currently functioning products to the smart contracts used to execute the crowdsale can go here.
The token sale & functionality
HelloGold’s platform is going to operate with two separate tokens that serve different purposes. These are the HelloGold Token (HGT) and the Gold-Backed Token (GBT).
The GBT (fully backed by 99.9% investment grade gold) will enable investors to hedge their funds into a “stablecoin” which reaps the benefits of blockchain technology whilst simultaneously utilizing the stability of gold. The GBT will also be redeemable into physical gold for users who are registered on the HelloGold mobile app. The HGT, on the other hand, supports the development of the HelloGold platform itself through the HelloGold Foundation.
The HGF ICOage Token Resale is currently live and set to end in approximately two days with a hardcap of $9.6M USD. With a successful crowdsale, the HelloGold Foundation aims to accelerate financial inclusion to the underbanked and unbanked around the world.
Featured image from Pexels
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