The Tiberius Group, a commodities fund as well as a miner and trader of metals, has just announced plans to issue its own currency.
CEO Christoph Eibl told Reuters that “we want to propose the idea of a cryptocurrency with real tangible net worth.” The coins will be redeemable against metals, a move designed to avoid at least some price volatility by having a fixed minimum value.
The Tiberius coin, or tcoin, will have three variations, each backed by metals stored in warehouses and refineries. One will be an inflation hedge and be backed by gold, platinum and palladium.
A second will be based around metals used in robotics, copper, tin and zinc. The third will be backed by nickel, cobalt and aluminium, metals used in the manufacture of electric vehicles.
Future coins based on different combinations, or single metals, have not been ruled out.
This is not the first example of a cryptocurrency backed by “real” assets. Singapore’s DigixGlobal and Russia’s Goldmint are both built on gold, while the Venezuelan Petro, if it ever appears, will be backed by oil reserves. However, no one has yet based a coin on industrial metals.
According to Eibl the company will start marketing tcoin to investors in February, for a proposed July launch. It is not yet clear whether the coin will be released via ICO, though the company’s headquarters are in Zug, Switzerland, often referred to as ICO-valley due to its high concentration of ICOs.
Risk and the “Stable coin”
Eibl believes that increased concern over the risks of cryptocurrency trading could actually help the tcoin. He sees the recent “sell-off as helping the tcoin as it raises awareness of the risks within the cryptocurrency market.” The more concerned the market is about risk, the more attractive tcoin will be.
There is mounting interest in the cryptocurrency markets in the concept of a “stable coin”, a digital asset which can avoid the wild price volatility which so characterises the space. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin outlined his own thoughts on the issue in a widely circulated blog dating from 2014, “The Search for a Stable Cryptocurrency.”