| NEW YORK, July 16
NEW YORK, July 16 U.S. precious metals dealer
Anthem Vault Inc said on Wednesday it has launched the first
digital currency backed by physical gold, with an aim to
increase the use of bullion as an accepted form of electronic
Las Vegas-based Anthem said it will launch 10 million
"INNCoins" backed by 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of gold, with all
coins expected to be in circulation by July 2015.
"It should make gold more acceptable as a form of currency
by combining its appeal as a store of value and a much more
efficient medium of exchange," said Anthem Blanchard, chief
executive of Anthem Vault, who previously worked at online
precious metals market GoldMoney.
Blanchard said Wednesday's launch was a promotional
offering, and the company has plans to offer a full suite of
virtual currencies backed by a larger amount of gold as well as
other precious metals at the end of September.
INNCoin is a form of cryptocurrency - with the most notable
one being bitcoin, which operates on a decentralized,
peer-to-peer network, meaning no government, bank or
administrator regulates the currency.
The system reward computers that solve complex mathematical
problems by the occasional payoff of new bitcoins in a process
known as bitcoin mining.
The launch comes at a critical time for online currency
markets after the failure of Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest
bitcoin exchange, and increased regulatory scrutiny shook
investor confidence in digital currency.
The market is also crowded, with Anthem competing against
established players, including Namecoin (NMC), Litecoin (LTC),
Dogecoin (Doge), Peercoin (PPC) and Mastercoin (MSC).
(Reporting by Frank Tang; Editing by Marguerita Choy)