Thursday, January 3, 2008


e-gold is a digital gold currency operated by Gold & Silver Reserve Inc. under e-gold Ltd., and is a system which allows the instant transfer of gold ownership between users. e-gold Ltd. is incorporated in Nevis, Lesser Antilles.
According to the company's website, as of April 2007, e-gold had 112,188 oz (3,492.0 kilograms) of gold and 138,567 oz (4,313.1 kg) of silver in storage, which is worth approximately US$86 million. There are typically 66,000 e-gold spends each day totalling 15,000 oz (470 kg), which is about US$10.5 million. There are over three million e-gold accounts of which about one quarter are active.

e-gold was founded in 1996 by Dr. Douglas Jackson and Barry K. Downey. Transactions using e-gold have grown dramatically since 2005. The total amount of gold bars (over three tonnes) in the e-gold system is approaching the size of the national reserves of smaller countries. e-gold now generates a substantial income from spend and storage fees — there is a charge of a few cents to make each e-gold "spend" and e-gold itself now earns well over a million USD per year from fees.
The number of e-gold accounts (as claimed by e-gold) grew from 1 million in November 2003 to 3 million on 22 April 2006.

Role in global commerce
Many small businesses in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, each with full-time staff, now operate as "digital currency exchangers", doing nothing other than buying and selling digital gold currency for national currencies which are not backed by hard assets.
e-gold transactions — a "spend" — are completed electronically, usually using the web interface, and they always settle by weight of the metal even if denominated in some other way. A user may send (or "spend") a tiny amount of gold (a fraction of a gram, ounce or kilogram) to another user account instantly, anywhere in the world.
Even though e-gold is careful to not advocate any particular political agenda, as the Liberty Dollar does for example, e-gold could be viewed[who?] as a libertarian form of private currency.

Asset protection
e-gold is, according to its website, "100% backed by gold"
Unlike fractional-reserve banking, e-gold holds 100% of clients' funds in reserves with a store of value. Proponents of the e-gold system contend that e-gold deposits are protected against inflation, devaluation and other possible economic risks inherent in fiat currencies. These risks include the monetary policy of countries or territories, which are perceived by proponents to be harmful to the value of paper currency.
The repository of the actual bullion bars with serial numbers and other data can be seen using the live "Examiner" function on the e-gold web site. Bullion is held in allocated storage with Brink's Global Services (part of The Brink's Company), Transguard Security Services (part of The Emirates Group) or MAT Securitas Express AG (part of the VIA MAT Group). Clients hold an unallocated share of this allocated bullion.
The user may take physical delivery of the precious metal upon payment of an additional fee, and provided the user has an available balance of at least the weight of the smallest individual item displayed in the Examiner. This is currently a 32 troy ounce (996 g) gold bar, which is worth approximately $29,500. However in practice, most users permit the company to store the metal for them.


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