Can you please tell us your full name and position with gBullion? Is gBullion 100% operational today or are you still in a sort of start up mode with changes being made and more features coming online?
My name is Christine Thompson and I am a PR and Marketing Communications Manager at GBULLION DMCC.
On the 10th of March 2010 gBullion was launched in a beta-testing regime. In the next 6-7 months of it being live, we are planning to identify major mistakes, eliminate them and carry out a security audit. This way, we are planning to launch the service in a full-functioning mode by September. But for now, website visitors can familiarize themselves with services available, register an account and receive general information about gBullion and the possibilities of building business together with gBullion.
In testing regime we intentionally disabled certain functions of an online client but once gBullion is fully launched, these functions will be accessible to everyone. Also, I would like to apologize in advance for any possible disruptions in website operations and some functions- this is unavoidable during testing.
The Big Question…where is the gBullion precious metal stored? Where is the Depository…what jurisdiction?
As middlemen, in vague understanding of the word, we do not own depositories, but rather use ones provided by Brinks and Transguard. The two companies are recognized leaders in this sphere and deal specifically in storage and distribution of precious metals and valuables. At this point in time, as a “head” vault, we have chosen the Transguard depository in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), which is located on the territory of the Dubai International Airport. In the future we plan to expand the list of vaults used.
Does gBullion permit HYIP type “investment” programs?
Mark, this is a sizeable question and I will try to outline gBullion’s position as elaborately as possible, below.
From the legal point of view, GBULLION DMCC operates by a “Know Your Client” principle and, therefore, follows the rules, established by the financial superiors of the UAE and DMCC of identification and review of registration data and sources of funding clients’ resources. These measures are directed at eliminating misuse of gBullion in illegal operations.
Here, we have a number of key positions:
1. If you are planning on accepting or making payments with gold for a sum higher, than a present limit, you must complete an account verification process, whereby you will be identified as a person, or a company, who or which complies to national and international legislations in place.
2. We are against fraud, as well as any other illegal activities, which may detriment rights and/or interests of any party.
3. There is fraud and there is HYIP and it is not always appropriate to equate the two, for as long as the debtor is carrying out their duties (paying interest, as agreed) they are not considered a fraud.
4. If a man approaches you on the street and offers to borrow $200 at 1%+ interest per each day the money is owed, you, most likely, will refuse. However, thousands of people around the world daily “invest” in new high earning “investment programs”, even after having lost money in similar projects in the past. It is either a paradox, or people, who invest in HYIP – knowingly get involved in a certain risk of losing money and agree to do so (which eliminates intention of fraud from the HYIP organisers).
5. Every person has a right to do as they please with their own money and, especially, their own gold. Duty of gBullion, as a mediator between people, who make payments with gold, is to identify each and every participant of such transactions and ensure that, in cases where one party causes damage and/or loss, the other, can turn to legislation or court in order to protect rights and interests.
In other words – at this point in time our stance with regards to HYIP is as follows: we do not encourage HYIP, but do not have direct prohibitions against it either.
Can you tell us more about your prepaid digital gold cards? (I’m a big fan of the cards) Is that program up and running yet or still being implemented? Are the prepaid cards available today?
Yes, it is true – if we consider users, who do not aim at investing significant monetary funds into gold, prepaid cards are the easiest way to top up a gBullion account. Prepaid cards are available in $25, $50, $100, $500 and $1000. Currently, card design has been approved, however, distribution is not yet convenient. We are looking for partners and are drawing up a list of authorized exchangers and dealers and, as soon as it is complete, we will distribute the cards to the dealers and will publish all the relevant information on the website. By the way, I would like to take this opportunity to invite all those, who are interested, to cooperation!
Can prepaid cards be used to fund an unverified account for small amounts like $50?
If you can top up your account with a small amount anonymously (by using the prepaid card), then, by using a number of accounts and cards, you can, in time, accumulate a large sum of money. On gBullion, it is only the owner of the verified account, who can top it up, using prepaid cards. These limitations are directed at prevention of misuse of services, provided by gBullion.
These are two rather basic questions but I have to ask them this is what people ask me. (1) How do I know my funds are safe with your company? (2) Why should I trust your company over an existing business such as GoldMoney? What’s the advantage of me using your service?
1. Without a doubt, the key element in work of any Internet service and, especially, that of a payment system, is trust, which, as known, is built on time and facts. gBullion is a newcomer to the market of payment systems and therefore, in order to gain trust, we must do more than those, who have it already. And we understand and appreciate that. On the main page of the website, you can find a special “Guarantees” link, which will thoroughly address what steps have already been taken in this direction.
2. GoldMoney is a service of an exceptional excellence, with a great reputation of online precious metals (and especially gold) dealer, which throughout a long time, has been developing its client database and building trust among a wide audience towards ‘digital gold’ in general. Them and some other players are ‘flagmen’ in the world of electronic commerce, who set high standards. However, any market needs a healthy competition, which offers its users choice as to which system to use; or as to which offers best conditions and who offers most attractive tailored features. I am positive that, soon, gBullion will bring its positive contribution into development of the market and will earn its own audience.
3. Benefits and disadvantages of any payment system can be appreciated once you start using it first-hand. It is possible to recognize what you personally do not like as well as things you find extremely useful. I believe that one of the most important advantages, which must be recognized by our users, is free transfer of gold. And this is not a marketing offer, it is the basis of our politics – ‘create your own gold reserve and make payments all over the world! Safe. Instant. Free.’
If I needed to make multiple small payments, micro payments to 100 or 200 accounts at one time, is this possible from your system?
At present we do not offer a service of ‘mass payments’
Can you tell us about your online interface or api that is currently available for businesses?
Unfortunately, it is currently at a development stage. I can only say that our developers pay most attention to this matter, as it is the instrument of sale to our partners.
Can you explain more about your “joint business solutions” and what possible options & partnerships are available with gBullion?
We offer three possibilities of cooperation:
– Authorized Exchanger
– Dealer of Prepaid Cards
– Independent Consultant (in terms of a Referral Program)
While the first two options are rather standard types of cooperation, where a partner earns a certain commission from sales only, Independent Consultant is practically a member of a large team of people, who promotes gBullion, attracts new clients and can earn up to 45% (!) from gBullion earnings on each attracted user sells or buys gold. You have to agree that this is a very interesting offer for partners, as if you invite a new member and they registered via your link today, then tomorrow and in the future you will earn almost half of our income.
Besides, all our partners and clients, who they have invited to the service, pay half as much fees when buying and selling gold, as other users. This way, it is even more favourable to register through Independent Consultants than to do so directly.
There is a special ‘Partner With Us’ section on our website, where anyone can explore our offers in further detail. We are also open to discussion of other forms of advantageous cooperation.
Who would you consider to be your target consumer?
It is actually a number of categories of completely different people, yet they would all have one thing in common – interest in gold. It would also be private investors, who want to acquire gold with a possibility of storing it in independent vaults of trustworthy jurisdictions, as well as internet-businessmen, who use Digital Gold Currency for paying and purchasing online. Already we have a number of client-investors, who simply want to buy gold through the Internet and with the option of delivery of actual bullions to an address specified.
Do the operators of gBullion have any partnerships with existing DGCs or digital currency businesses like Liberty Reserve?
Currently, we do not have any specific partnerships with LibertyReserve, however, this does not mean that they are not possible in the future. For example, as far as I know, already a number of exchangers that cooperate with LibertyReserve have contacted us requesting information about possible future partnerships. I believe that in the end, players within the market will win when there are less direct forbiddances, which then leads to the increase of partnership possibilities on a basis of reasonable rules. Any forced limitation on exchanges will immediately give rise to ‘unofficial’ exchanges.
Do you permit the exchange or swap of gBullion currency with other digital currencies?
If you purchased gold though gBullion, you are fully free to do as you please with it. You may exchange gB into any other electronic currency, national currency, goods or services. This is crucial – you and you only – can decide what to do with your possessions.
Has your company budgeted for any future advertising and promotion? Are you considering ad beyond the Internet like print, radio or television?
As a rule, internet-project can have two options of advancement – a large marketing advertisement budget, but no ‘affiliate programs’, or affiliate programs and a small advertising budget. If you encounter a project with massive advertisement budget and also partnership programs, you can bet – it is either a miracle, or this project will soon seize to exist due to lack of profits. We offer vast possibilities for building joint ventures with gBullion, where our commission is one of the lowest on the market. And yes, Mark, we are not planning for a large-scale, noticeable ad campaign on the radio, in the newspapers and on TV. Only online :)
Are all transactions conducted through third party agents or can I send funds directly to your offices or corporate bank account?
What a great question! An operator of the payment system, in our opinion, must give a choice of as many as possible options of entering to and withdrawing money from the system (choice is always good). Meanwhile, direct deposit and withdrawal must be guaranteed as well, bypassing any middlemen. This is why you can also withdraw money or top up your account in gBullion by using bank transfers to our corporate account in UAE.
This is a quote from your web site: “All gBullion transactions are irrevocable, instant and free.” Which transactions are free and which ones have the transaction fee?
We only charge commission when you purchase and sell gold. Amount of commission is varied and can be anything from 0.2% to 1.2%. If you purchased gold and decided to make a transfer of gold (gB) to another user, this is completely free to both of you, as the recipient of gold does not get charged either. There is a small commission for withdrawal of funds (around 1%), besides, there is also a commission in case, where you would like to receive your gold in form of actual bullion.
Is there a limit on the amount of transactions I may complete with an unverified account?
If your account has an unverified status, you can buy and sell gold with no limitations, meanwhile depositing and withdrawing funds into and from a bank account opened in your name. You can not top up using prepaid gBullion cards, but can carry out transfers to other users of gBullion (in monetary equivalent of no more than $1000 a month).
If your account has a verified status, all of the above-mentioned limitations are lifted.
Today, what is the minimum amount that a customer can redeem and have delivered? 1kilo?
Absolutely correct, you can buy digital gold (gB) at amounts as small as 0.0001 grams, however, can only acquire actual bullions or arrange a delivery in volume no less than 1kg. At least at present this is the case.
On a verified account, is there any further reporting requirements for sizable transactions? In other words if I am transferring 1 million euro a week through my gBullion account, month after month, do you ever ask the account holder for a source of funds on where that money came from and is that information reported to any government organization or tax authority?
We pay attention and carefully monitor all actions of users. If a user tops up their unverified account in gBullion by means of a personal bank account, at some point sells some (or all) gold and withdraws the money back – to the same bank account, we will most likely not even ask them to verify their account (as source of funds is obvious and the owner is also identified – it is the owner of the bank account).
On the other hand, if a user has a verified account and carries out large-scale operations, as in your example, we reserve a right to request copies of documentation, proving their identification. We also reserve a right to check authenticity of documents presented, by involving a third party. These measures are outlined on our website in a corresponding ‘Verification’ section and are directed at preventing misuse of gBullion in illegal dealings. If identification is confirmed and we ‘know our client’ (all documents have been provided, as requested and all information has been verified), they can buy or sell gold daily up to amounts of €1.000 000, €2.000 000 or even €10.000 000 per day. This is their right and our business.
Where are your servers located? I’m going to ask a curious question, if you are hosting in the U.S, are you aware of the past problems e-gold has had with the U.S. authorities requiring that company to register and operate their business as a money transmitter?
The server, responsible for website activities of www.gBullion.com is at present registered in the USA (this is also where web projects software developers are). There are currently plans for the website to be transferred to the UK and in the near future this transfer will happen. In accordance with safety precautions developed, the server responsible for website operation and the server that contains the database are territorially separated and are interconnected by a ciphered fast speed connection channel. We are planning to transfer all the main servers to the UAE prior to the launch of the service in a fully functioning regime, the server, responsible for website functioning is going to remain in the UK.
With regards to the legislative regulations in the USA and e-Gold in particular, I can assure you, the most important thing is not which country the server with payment system website is located in, but rather what position is taken by those who run this system in questions of cooperation with legal bodies and how much their activities correspond with the norms of the international law. Because, if your business-project abuses users’ legal rights, ignores basic rules of identification, then not only legal bodies of the USA, but also of other countries might and must reject such systems, wherever they are located.
From your TOS:
To provide secure storage of gold bars of 999.5 purity that back digital gold units (gB) Company makes use of the independent Depositary. A depositary agent is responsible for secure storage of physical bullions at the specialized Depository and for providing reports about the gold stored, which must be verified by an independent Auditor and made publicly available on the gBullion website.“
I didn’t see this Transparency information posted on your web site yet, but obviously you are band new, so that is not unusual. Do you have a future date in mind when you will be openly displaying this information such as the independent audits?
In accordance with established rules of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), our company must pass an obligatory internal audit and present annual reports. In addition to that we plan to carry out audits of gold stored and publish the results in open access on our website. The first audit of the gold will be carried out and results published as soon as we reach a volume of 10kg of gold or it is November 2010 (depending on which comes first).
IMHO, the ideal offshore business means the corporate entity is domiciled in one favorable country, the bank accounts are in another and the servers are in another. Lots of businesses online, especially digital currency businesses, headquarter their companies in favorable jurisdictions, while actually operating from another location for convenience. Are the company operators of gBullion in Dubai and is that where your business is operating from?
Imagine you came to McDonalds and you are met by an employee, wearing a BMW Uniform and greeted with ‘welcome to Apple!’. Of course this is just a joke, but imagine that this becomes beneficial to McDonalds and they actually do this. Without a doubt, company jurisdiction is a crucial element, as it isn’t simply ‘registration documents’ or ‘tax free company’, but also a certain combination of rights and duties. GBULLION DMCC is registered by the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre in Dubai and must have an actual office in Dubai. We currently have an administration office, postal address, telephone and a company secretary. In August-September we will open an office in Dubai, which will be open for clients to visit (in the Jumeirah Lake Towers area).
Can I integrate my online gambling business with gBullion’s api/interface? If I permit my favorite forex trading biz to accept gBullion is forex permitted?
Of course, as long as your business does not break local (national) legislation and has all necessary licenses (if they are required for your business in your region), you can accept gBullion payments.
Can anyone be an unauthorized exchange agent, without your partnership/advertising/promotion? In other words if as a sideline business I want to exchange gBullion for PayPal or epassporte, would that activity cause my gBullion account to be frozen?
Authorized exchangers are exchangers, that are recommended to our users by us, however, should a user decide to transfer or exchange their gold through another exchanger, we will not stand in their way.
On your web site you have the logos and links to the following companies.
DMCC, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre http://www.dmcc.ae/
Standard Chartered Bank http://www.standardchartered.com/home/en/index.html
Emirates NBD http://www.emiratesnbd.com/personalBanking/index.cfm
(Emirates NBD, the biggest banking group in the Middle East in terms of assets)
Have you partnered with these companies and does gBullion use their services at this time?
Emirates NBD is a leading partner of GBULION DMCC and it is through them that we cooperate with Transguard and Brinks. DMCC is the body that registered our company and has issued a license for selling gold. SCB is an operational bank in the UAE, where we also have an account.
If I open an account, deposit a half kilo and then don’t access it for two years, will the account remain active and will the gold be there when I return 24 months later?
20.1. “The Company will not escheat inactive gBullion accounts. An inactive account with a positive balance shall remain dormant, unless and until an heir presents valid documentation entitling the heir to inherit given account.“
This way, even after 48 months you can log into your account and find that, perhaps, you have made one of the best investments in your life ϑ. Your balance remains the same at 500gB (0.5kg of gold), but monetary equivalent of half a kilo of gold will more than likely be much higher than four years ago. To make sure you don’t ‘forget’ about your investments, we will e-mail you a statement of your account monthly.
If I would like one of my gBullion accounts to act as a personal savings and a second to work just for my business transactions, can I have multiple gBullion accounts? May I have in my name, 2-3 or even 10 separate accounts?
If I decide I don’t like gBullion and my wife makes me close the account, is if possible to terminate and permanently close a gBullion account?
Of course it is completely plausible, however, we insistently request that you withdraw all the money from your account and sell all digital gold, prior to deleting the account.
Where do you see the price of gold as stated in U.S. Dollars 12 months from now?
It’s a rather rhetorical question. Why would you want to know how much in US Dollars your gold is worth, if we don’t know how much the Dollar will be worth? For this reason, if you can tell me how much the Dollar will fall by, I will answer your question.
For a majority of people it is important to know that purchasing power of gold practically remains the same throughout years, while purchasing power of the Dollar (as well as other FIAT currencies), is persistently falling. It is the strongest argument in defence of converting all savings into gold (in particular – digital gold currency) and, if necessary, use it to pay, via gBullion, of course! :)
PR & Communication Manager