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Russian Mining Giant to Tokenize Palladium

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Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin is planning to create cryptocurrency tokens backed by palladium.

Potanin — who is CEO of the Russian nickel and palladium mining and smelting company MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC (Nornickel) — plans to deploy cryptocurrency tokens for trading palladium through a Switzerland-based palladium fund, and wants to launch several digital platforms.

The platform will enable more fluid transactions. Currently, should a buyer discover that they do not need all the contracted volume in a purchase, they must either renegotiate with the supplier or sit on the excess supply until they find a buyer. However, with a tokenized asset, they could ostensibly sell the excess volume to a third party more easily.

Nornickel is also developing a digital platform for internal transactions, that will purportedly enable Russia’s central bank to test regulating blockchain-type systems in one company, without affecting the broader economy. However, the launch of the aforementioned digital platform has to pass approval on the legislative level, and if Russia fails to adopt an appropriate law Potanin will purportedly proceed in other jurisdictions.

Palladium has a variety of uses in various industries including dentistry, electronics, jewelry, catalytics and photography. The June palladium futures price decreased nearly $112 dollars (7.9 percent) per ounce today after hitting a record high one week ago.

Last October, another Russian mining giant, Alrosa joined the pilot of “Tracr” — a diamond supply chain blockchain platform created by industry giant De Beers. Tracr aims to improve transparency and consumer trust across the diamond value chain from mine to retail. The solution works by creating a digital certificate for each diamond that records key attributes and transactions.

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Earlier in March, blockchain trust company Paxos announced that it is going to issue its digital token backed by gold “definitely this year.” Paxos CEO, Chad Cascarilla then said that the company was “excited about the concept of being able to take a commodity, and I think precious metals are really obvious ones, and gold is probably the most obvious and being able to tokenize it.”