BIZ: Digital Gold Offers Liquidity to Dollar-Spooked Investors

From: Chris Rasch (
Date: Sun Feb 18 2001 - 04:22:57 MST

The remarkable thing is the growth rate in e-gold accounts--3,000 to 130,000
in six months. They also charge much lower transaction fees than credit card
companies. And via OmniPay, you can pay bills from your e-gold account. It
will be interesting to see what happens when more and more transactions occur
via these currencies.

By John Rubino
Special to
1/19/01 11:59 AM ET

"...Converted into bits in this way, gold once again becomes a viable --
some would say vastly superior -- kind of money. Conceptually, it
works like this: You transfer some dollars or euros or whatever to a
firm that buys gold for you and deposits it in a super-safe vault. You
then make payments from this account via credit card or PC, and the
gold -- without ever leaving the vault -- is credited to the
recipient's account. If the recipient prefers dollars, the gold is
electronically converted by exchanges, which now do the same with the
world's other currencies.

The first attempt to turn this theory into reality is called e-gold,
and so far, so good. The number of e-gold accounts rose from 3,000 in
mid-1999 to 130,000 by the end of 2000. The amount of e-gold in
circulation (which by definition is identical to the amount of gold
locked away in its vaults), has grown from 5,000 ounces in 1999 to
43,000 ounces. "We finally hit our millionth transaction in November,"
says e-gold founder Douglas Jackson, "and we hit a million and a half
in December." All, notes Jackson, with a marketing budget of zero...."

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