Frequently asked questions

What is the Tradewind platform?

The Tradewind Platform is an electronic market (ECN) and private blockchain technology solution that aims to connect market participants and enable them to trade, settle and manage ownership of precious metals, beginning with VaultChain™ Gold accounts.

What are the benefits of blockchain technology?

The VaultChain™ blockchain creates an immutable record of transactions and account balances using cryptography, meaning the records are tamper-proof through time. Transactions must be cryptographically signed by platform participants to prove their authenticity, including registration of investment grade physical gold that underlies the platform, which must be cryptographically signed by the Royal Canadian Mint.

What are the benefits of the ECN?

The Tradewind electronic market (ECN) is powered by world-class exchange technology. The ECN accepts orders and matches trades for gold vs. fiat currencies, and disseminates market data for executable bids and offers. The VaultChain™ Gold leg of trades must be settled on the blockchain backed by physical gold at RCM. Buyers and sellers trade and settle with each other directly on a bi-lateral credit basis managed by the ECN’s integrated credit engine; Tradewind is strictly a technology provider and does not act as agent or principal in market transactions.

How is a VaultChain™ Gold account different from a gold ETF?

Each unit of an ETF is a security that represents equity ownership in a fund or trust that in turn holds physical gold with a bank or other depository. The fund or trust charges owners an annual fee to cover management, storage, marketing and administrative costs. Final beneficial owners do not directly own the underlying physical assets held by the fund/trust and in most circumstances cannot take physical delivery of those assets. With a VaultChain™ Gold account physical gold is owned directly by the final beneficiary, whose holdings are stored on a bailor-bailee basis with RCM and recorded in Tradewind’s VaultChain™ blockchain database; there is no trust or fund wrapper, which eliminates the associated management and administrative fees. The underlying assets are deliverable at the request of the final beneficiary(ies) through participating dealers.***

***According to available product lists that may include fabrication, shipping and handling fees.

Is VaultChain™ Gold a cryptocurrency?

No. VaultChain™ Gold accounts are enabled by similar elements of cryptography and blockchain technology that underpins Bitcoin and other decentralized cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether are purely digital assets that exist solely in their respective blockchain protocols and may become worthless if their underpinning protocol loses favor or fails to live up to expectations, analogous to owning a collection of Betamax format videos when that standard lost to VHS. Gold in Vaultchain™ Gold accounts is backed by real-world hard assets that are stored in a world-class vault, and exists completely independent of the protocol. The ultimate recourse for holders of Vaultchain™ Gold accounts is metal in a vault that can be delivered, sold, or stored.

How can investors access VaultChain™ Gold Accounts?

VaultChain™ Gold is available through participating gold bullion dealers, bullion banks and other investment dealing platforms.

Can VaultChain™ Gold Accounts be linked to existing accounts****?

Yes. The Tradewind Platform is designed to integrate with the existing accounting and reporting systems of brokers, dealers, and banks. Vaultchain™ Gold accounts enable gold traded in fungible fine ounces, and is registered with a CUSIP. Brokers, dealers, and banks that wish to offer VaultChain™ Gold accounts to their customers can integrate with Tradewind via standard APIs.

****Not eligible for certain kinds of investment accounts.

How does physical delivery work?

Together with the authorized liquidity providers and dealers, the Royal Canadian Mint will recognize the Tradewind blockchain as the authoritative record of title for ownership. The Royal Canadian Mint will contractually guarantee the option for physical delivery of the gold underlying the program to the network of authorized liquidity providers and dealers.*****

*****According to available product lists that may include fabrication, shipping and handling fees.

How does Tradewind maintain security?

The Tradewind platform is private and permissioned. Secure access is technically restricted through entitlements, governed by legal and operating agreements, and limited to known institutional customers such as brokers, dealers, and banks. The Royal Canadian Mint is the single point of deposit and withdrawal of gold, and VaultChain Gold balances are reconciled with physical gold inventories on a daily basis.

Are the identities of end customers protected?

Yes. End customers must undergo a standard KYC/AML process with their chosen dealer. However, the identities of customers are available to Tradewind or the Royal Canadian Mint on a “need- to-know” basis only. Under normal circumstances, only the dealer through which a customer accesses the Tradewind platform knows the identity of the customer. Account records on the blockchain do not contain personally identifiable information.

How does tradewind make money?

Tradewind charges transparent transaction fees to dealers.

How does tradewind promote liquidity on the electronic market?

Market participants have the ability to deposit and withdraw physical gold to/from the blockchain on any business day. The open architecture platform enables a variety of participants including market makers and wholesalers.