Peer-to-Peer Financial Networks
I don’t remember if I already blogged about this, but anyway – recently I was looking into peer-to-peer lending. My friend moved to the States and now enjoys numerous options for this. Unfortunately in Canada it’s no longer possible, not the same way as in the US anyway. Here you can do a private loan (via the bank, with lawyers and all that jazz), or simply donate the money on sites like Kiva.
Neither of those ideas appealed to me, so I looked for other peer-to-peer financial services, and accidentally came across Bullion Vault (again). It’s not related to lending, but an interesting concept nonetheless. It’s a peer-to-peer bullion exchange network. They bill themselves as “Ultra secure silver and gold bullion for private investors, with international storage, and always at wholesale gold and silver prices.”
I registered there 3.5 years ago because they were giving away a gram of gold with an initial deposit made within a certain period. I know, the incentive is tiny but c’mon, free gold? Then my brokerage (Questrade, aff. link, Canada only) added precious metals trading option and I lost interest in all other sources, especially since the terms were about the same – you would bid on other people’s gold, like you would on Ebay.
But, this year BullionVault added an option where you can buy your metals at the daily London gold fix prices. So what, right? I wouldn’t look twice at it, but there are 2 things that I find interesting here:
- Purchased gold and silver is held in either Zurich, London, New York, Toronto or Singapore depending on the client’s preference (Zurich, yes? Or Toronto, for easy access?)
- BV is backed primarily by the Rothschild family. I said “interesting”, not “awesome” 🙂 Who knows the implications, really
On another note, they have a cool little Flickr set called “Just Gold”, where I picked up this dreamy picture.