phone icon (877) 258-0181

Posts by: Sean Cope

Press Room: Glint in the news August 2021

   |   By  |  0 Comments

We all want to get onto the property ladder, but how can first-time buyers save for a deposit when fiat currencies are losing value and house prices are soaring? House prices are up by around 13% in the UK and 19% in the US over the last 12 months alone! Our research shows that UK buyers can reach the amount needed for a deposit 33% more quickly by saving in gold rather than cash. For US buyers, a deposit could take a whole year less to save for by trusting in gold. Our UK research was covered by the Daily Express, MSN and The Fintech Times.

Another month, another example of central banks burying their heads in the sand over inflation! Last month, US inflation rose quicker than the Fed anticipated, can or will anyone get a grip on the inflation problem? Read our founder & CEO Jason’s concerns about spiralling inflation in Daily Express, Disruption Banking, Fintech Herald and Just Entrepreneurs.

How could QR codes be used in electronic payments? Our Head of Engineering, Emmanuel Idé, spoke to Tech Monitor.

Glint’s gold payments revolution continues to gather pace! We’ve just passed another milestone, successfully processing over £200m in transactions since launch demonstrating the appetite for alternative currencies and especially the chance to save and spend gold. Our announcement was covered in the Fintech press including The Fintech Times and Fintech Herald.

And finally, some more coverage of our recent successful crowdfunding campaign in Business Express, Technology Dispatch and Blockchain Tribune.

Glint Special Report: Saving in Gold gets new buyers into their homes faster

   |   By  |  0 Comments

The struggle to buy your first home is almost a universal experience; as with many things, the first step is usually the hardest. Once you’re on the housing ladder then you can enjoy the benefits of home ownership for the rest of your life, however, securing the deposit needed to get on the first rung is notoriously difficult and, for some, almost unattainable.

Some experts believe that we’re in the midst of a housing bubble. In the UK, the average house price jumped 13.2% over the last year to over £260,000, despite the freeze on Stamp Duty (the government tax on house sales) ending. Currently, UK house prices are around 30% higher than the peak before the 2008 financial crisis.

In the US, house prices are rising at the fastest rate in 30 years – up 18.6% in a year according to the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller national home price index – driven by ultra-low mortgage rates and record levels of borrowing which has hit $4.6tn over the last 12 months.

With prices rocketing, first-time buyers could be forgiven for thinking the situation is hopeless and that home ownership will forever remain out of reach. ‘Generation Rent’ (young adults between 18 and 40) faces an uncertain future of unstable tenancies, spiralling rents and a lack of security which all collude to make it increasingly difficult, sometimes even impossible, to save enough to reach that crucial amount required for a deposit.

Research from the British bank Halifax recently revealed that the average UK deposit sits at £59,000 or around a quarter of the average house price. A staggering amount considering the average annual salary is around £31,000!

In the US, Federal Reserve Economic Data indicates that the average house price is $434,200 – if prospective homebuyers need an average deposit of 12% of the house price (as indicated by the National Association of Realtors) then they’d have to save over $52,000. This equates to 118% of the average income for men in the US, and 177% of the average annual income for women (according to U.S. Census Bureau).

12 years to save for a UK deposit but gold can provide first-time buyers with the tantalising prospect of home ownership 4 years sooner

Our research shows that if UK first-time buyers saved 20% of their salary it would take 12 years to save up the average house deposit. Of course, the issue is that as house prices soar by the time you’ve reached your target for a deposit, that amount is no longer enough to purchase the home you were saving toward.

Rather than accepting this as a depressing fact of life, there are alternative ways to save towards a deposit. Cryptocurrencies have enjoyed a surge in popularity since the Covid-19 pandemic began, particularly amongst Millennials. However, the volatility of cryptos ensures that these assets are not viable long-term stores of value. For example, double-digit overnight drops in value are far from unheard of; savers could see the value of their deposit plummet in the hours before finalising a property purchase. Of increasing concern are the reports of the reluctance of some lenders to approve mortgage applications of borrowers whose deposit has originated from crypto returns – some applications have apparently even been rejected outright.

Gold can unlock access to home ownership for first-time buyers. Rather than having to struggle for 12 years to gather a deposit, saving in gold would have allowed savers to reach their goal for a deposit in just 8 years, a third quicker than through cash savings.

Over the last 20 years, UK house prices have increased by 175% from £96,500 in 2001 to £266,000 today. Over the same period gold prices have risen much more quickly, up 559% from $275 to $1,812 per troy ounce, indicating that savers could have secured a house deposit much sooner by investing and saving in gold.

In the US, house prices have also seen a huge spike over the last 20 years – jumping 109% from $207,800 in 2001 to $434,200 today (according to Federal Reserve Economic Data). Again, while a huge jump, the growth in house prices is outperformed by the rise in the gold price.

Gold offers a solution in the US too. Our research indicates that to afford the average US house deposit of $52,100, male first-time buyers need to save for an average of six years, whilst female first-time buyers are forced to save for up to nine years. Analysis of historic gold prices shows that this deposit could be reached a year earlier, if prospective buyers saved in gold instead of cash.

How does gold compare to investments? Pretty well. In fact, gold has outperformed many other traditional investments, including the FTSE 100. These are the UK’s most profitable companies, yet shares have only increased by 29% in the last 20 years, from 5,537 to 7,151. Although the FTSE 250 has seen huge growth since 2001, up 296%, again gold has fared better over that period. By way of comparison, the performance of the FTSE 350 over the last 20 years is much closer to the FTSE 100 rather than the 250 – jumping 65% during that time.

US stock exchanges have seen much more substantial growth over the last 20 years. However, performance still lags significantly behind the rise in gold prices. Here’s a look at how the largest exchanges have performed since 2001:
• NYSE has jumped 137% from 7,094 to 16,846
• Dow Jones Industrial Average up 220% from 11,048 to 35,312
• Nasdaq soared 304% from 3,787 to 15,309

Clearly, gold has outperformed other assets over the last 20 years. While the value of gold can decline, meaning that its purchasing power can also decline, it has proven its reliability as a long-term store of value and prices are steadily climbing back to the highs of last year. Previously, access to gold was extremely limited but the digitalisation of gold through Glint has unlocked its access, offering all consumers a viable means of saving for the future.

The same trend is clear since the financial crisis too. Although house prices in both the UK and US have increased by more than 50% since 2008, gold prices have soared 147% over the same period. Gold has also dramatically outperformed many other investments over the long-term, including the FTSE 100, which has risen by around 75% since the crisis. In the US, exchanges such as Nasdaq have enjoyed huge growth since the lows of the financial crisis, driven by the meteoric rise of the tech powerhouses including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla. This growth may have skewed the figures in favour of the US exchanges but the simple fact remains – gold has risen much more quickly than house prices.

Gold could be the answer for those looking for an alternative to the seemingly fruitless task of saving for a deposit. Rather than swimming against the tide, investing in and holding gold could be the answer to make your dream home a reality much sooner than expected.

 

Glint Surveys: The results from our Lifestyle Survey are in

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Once again, thank you to all of you who responded to our recent lifestyle survey – this helps us to better understand our clients, what you want from Glint and how we can further improve our products and transform the future of money.

Here are some of the most interesting findings around how you spend and save in gold.

A huge 91% of you told us that you saved real gold through Glint – the majority of you saving up to $500 per month.

Over half of you combine your gold holding with cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Ethereum being the most popular assets). In addition, 71% have invested in stocks and shares alongside gold.

Interestingly, 22% of respondents used glint to spend in their local currency – is this more proof that many of us are increasingly turning our backs on the banking system?

What do you spend your gold on? 54% of you paid in gold whilst eating or drinking out whilst 23% of those who responded to our survey had used gold to pay for fuel and groceries.

Finally, it’s interesting to see that just 18% of respondents spend cash whilst abroad. A quarter of you instead opt to spend on your credit card – this is where one of the key benefits of Glint comes into its own. Our FX fees are up to six times cheaper than banks so you can save a huge amount on currency conversion fees whilst abroad by spending in gold or other currencies on your Glint card this summer.

Press Room: Glint in the news July 2021

   |   By  |  0 Comments

It’s been another tough month in terms of inflation. Global inflation appears to be getting out of control, hitting 13-year highs in the US and rapidly exceeding forecasts in the UK. Jason’s commentary on these increasingly concerning figures appeared in Daily Mail, Daily Express, This is Money (scroll down to 10.09 on the live blog), MoneyWeek, MSN and Disruption Banking.

If rising inflation wasn’t bad enough, the UK is still struggling with record low interest rates. What does this mean for consumers & savers? Read our thoughts in Daily Express, FT Adviser, MSN, European Business Magazine and Disruption Banking.

Central Bank Digital Currencies are coming, but how concerned should we be about the imminent launch of a new government-controlled currency? Read Jason’s opinion on CBDCs in The Week.

Wondering why Jason launched Glint and what our plans for the future are? Jason sat down with TechRound to discuss Glint, crowdfunding & alternative currencies.

Our big news was the successful closure of our crowdfunding round through Seedrs. US investors can still invest via Republic and join the 1,200 investors who have already joined the Glint community and smashed our fundraising target. Our funding announcement was covered by Greensheet, Fintech Futures, Finextra, The Fintech Times, Fintech Herald, Disruption Banking and The Armchair Trader.

This month also marked another Glint milestone as we processed over $250m in total transactions- yet another indication of the appetite for alternative currencies. Greensheet, Blockchain Tribune and Disruption Banking looked at the announcement in more detail.

Press Room: Glint in the News June 2021

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Global rising inflation has been one of the biggest stories recently with the US, UK and China all experiencing rapid and worrying growth. In the UK, inflation passed the 2% target set by the Bank of England and we’re expecting it to hit 2.5% this year. Jason highlights the dangers of high inflation and what consumers can do to mitigate against it in his commentary in The Sun, Daily Express, MSN,Wealth Briefing, and Disruption Banking

This month, Jason was also interviewed by Forbes for a CEO profile and spoke to Investors’ Chronicle for a feature on the future of money and the role of alternative currencies.

Our crowdfunding round with Republic & Seedrs has continued to generate interest from the tech press. Earlier this month, the fundraising was covered in a round-up of key fintech news by The Fintech Times, whilst Crowdfund Insider provided an update on our successful fundraising after surpassing our £2m target on Seedrs.

Many of us are aware of some of the issues of fiat currencies, especially in periods of high inflation. Jason’s commentary for the Paytech special in The Fintech Times discussed the future of money and the alternative currency he expects to flourish (clue: it’s gold).

Previously, we asked you for your help and invited you to complete a survey so we could understand our clients’ motivations for saving and spending in gold. One of the most striking outcomes was the distrust of banks to protect our money – 68% of you said this. This was particularly interesting to the tech press with Crowdfund Insider and Disruption Banking covering the survey results.

Glint Surveys: The Results Are In!

   |   By  |  0 Comments

68% OF GLINT CLIENTS DON’T TRUST BANKS

In our first client survey, we recently asked all Glint clients how safe they thought banks are today, 13 years after the Great Crash of 2008.

Hundreds of you responded. You are still suspicious of banks. 68% of you don’t trust banks to protect your wealth.

Unsurprisingly, you want a way to safeguard the money you have.

According to the survey, 55% of you buy gold via Glint because you distrust the banking system. 14% of you save in gold for your retirement and 8% to fund future investments, such as buying a home.

GOLD PRICE IS UP 11% on MARCH 2021

The gold price has gone up 11% since March 2021 and 9% over the last 12 months – although it remains lower than its August 2020 peak.

Some cryptocurrencies have seen huge growth over 12 months, including Bitcoin (up by 200%) and Ethereum (which is up by 750%). But there has recently been a market crash, showing the extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin’s value has halved since its April peak.

Glint meanwhile continues to grow, as people continue to understand the usefulness of buying, spending and sharing in gold – instantly. Glint has added 30% of new clients in the last six months and had 81,560 clients in May, against 62,900 in December 2020.

For Jason Cozens, Glint’s founder and CEO, “this research demonstrates the scale of the monetary system’s failure to appeal to large swathes of consumers. Traditional financial institutions have not catered for the changing demand and, for many of us, our trust hasn’t been rebuilt since the catastrophe of 2008. Consumers and savers alike are increasingly turning their backs on the current monetary system and searching for alternative ways to spend and save their money that won’t put their wealth or purchasing power at long-term risk”.

Whilst we strongly believe that gold is the fairest and most reliable currency on the planet, we obviously need to point out that it isn’t 100% risk free. Whilst we have seen a steady increase over time, the value of gold can fall, which means the purchasing power of the customer can also fall.

NEW LIFESTYLE SURVEY NEXT WEEK

Look out for another survey next week. This one will be about your lifestyle. Please do take the time to complete and submit it – you’ll be doing not just us a favour, but all Glint clients. We will use this survey (anonymous of course) to guide us in continuously improving our product and services.

Press Room: Glint in the news!

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Our big news this month is obviously the launch of a simultaneous crowdfunding round in the US and UK – through Republic and Seedrs respectively (the first time the platforms have offered a dual crowdfunding). So far we’ve raised over £1.25m with almost a month to go. The announcement of this crowdfunding was covered by Crowdfund Insider, Altfi, Finextra, Yahoo Finance, Benzinga, Disruption Banking, Fintech Alliance, Fintech Insight and industry thought leader Fintech without Borders. Jason also sat down with Innovate Finance to discuss crowdfunding and the future of money.

In other Glint news, we were delighted to be shortlisted for the Best Real-Time Payments Solution at the upcoming Fintech Futures PayTech Awards – it’s great to get more recognition of the work the team have put in to continuing to develop our payments system.

In welcome news for the industry and, of course, our clients, gold has rebounded over the last month. It’s up 6% since the beginning of May and around 11% since its trough in early March. This is even more impressive considering the recent performance of the markets and other assets such as cryptos. Some commentators have been claiming that this is an ideal time to buy and store gold, our thoughts were covered in Abu Dhabi’s The National.

In the UK, we had the Bank of England’s monthly interest rate announcement that the rate would remain unchanged at 0.1%. This is another blow to consumers as they are punished by a perfect storm of historically low-interest rates, rising inflation, record borrowing and continued quantitative easing. Jason’s comments appeared in This is Money, Daily Express & MSN.

It’s been another crazy month for cryptos with price hikes, huge collapses, Chinese crackdowns and some Twitter meddling from Musk. Jason discussed President Biden’s Capital Gains Tax bill and the impact on alternative currencies with MoneyWeek whilst our market commentary on Bitcoin, Ethereum & Dogecoin appeared in Yahoo Finance, Independent and TechRound. Just yesterday, Jason also spoke to Yahoo Finance to discuss the news that the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority banned an advert from crypto platform Luno encouraging Bitcoin purchases – including what this means for investors, future regulation and the factors driving the increased popularity of alternative currencies.

Glint Special Report: Jobs are up but so is inflation – how should central banks react?

   |   By  |  0 Comments

It’s been a busy week in the UK so far with several government announcements indicating exactly where we are in terms of our recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Firstly, some positive news – the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.8% but there were green shoots in terms of the jobs market with 657,000 vacancies, up by almost 50,000 on the previous quarter. Positive signs of recovery, at least in the jobs market. But that’s about it for good news, I’m afraid.

A closer look suggests that there is still a long way to go. We’re still far behind pre-pandemic levels with around 750,000 fewer people in employment than this time 12 months ago. In the US, the employment level is 10 million jobs below its pre-pandemic level.

Once again, the younger generation has been hit hardest with 289,000 fewer employees under the age of 25 on the payroll than 12 months ago – largely due to the higher proportions of workers from this demographic in the catastrophically hit sectors of hospitality, leisure and retail. This generation is at serious risk of being further left behind and the financial inequality that is already prevalent will only worsen.

We all knew the Covid recovery would take time so these figures, whilst still concerning, unfortunately aren’t that surprising. The biggest worry is the latest round of inflation figures as well as central banks’ acceptance of what appears to be rapidly rising inflation and their seeming reluctance to do anything about it.

In the UK, inflation more than doubled to 1.5% last month and there are signs that not only will we surpass the Bank of England’s 2% target this year, we’ll even hit 2.5%. In the US, expectations for consumer price inflation now range between 3% and 6%.

Last week, we also saw inflation figures from the world’s two largest economies. Unfortunately, these also made concerning reading – inflation rises in both the US (4.2% – discussed in more detail in last week’s newsletter) and China (0.9% although they have a target of 3% this year) meant that consumers are facing price hikes at the precise moment that they are beginning to rebuild after the pandemic. In China, there is potential for far worse to come as producer prices increased 6.8% over a year, the fastest rise since October 2017 – as the largest producer globally, there should be real concern if these increased costs are passed on to consumers.

As long as inflation continues to rise without intervention from central banks, consumers and savers will be hit. In the UK at least, the conversation around the introduction of negative interest rates won’t die down; add the £300bn borrowed to struggle through the Covid-19 pandemic and continuing quantitative easing to this climate of historically low interest rates and we have a perfect storm which devalues our cash and our savings by the day. According to the National Audit Office the UK has spent £372 billion so far on measures designed to combat the impact of Covid-19.

It’s difficult to see how central banks will rescue the situation, especially as there appears to be little to no inclination to increase interest rates. This reluctance isn’t surprising; there is fear of the markets sliding even further and interest rate rises could snuff out the embryonic economic recovery. However, the time to act is now before another generation is financially crippled for life.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen might still think that there isn’t an inflationary problem, but she may soon be the only one.

With all the above factors in place, and central banks’ apparent disregard for the financial welfare of consumers, it’s no wonder that alternative currencies have flourished in recent months as consumers and savers search for value. Markets are down, ISAs offer minuscule interest; where else can we turn? Cryptocurrencies may have grabbed the headlines but, ever since Elon Musk’s hint that Tesla may sell its Bitcoin holding sent prices crashing across the crypto market, the average consumer will be understandably cautious about investing in such volatile assets. By comparison, although the value of gold can decline, it is up 11% in just six weeks and whilst still below last summer’s peak this appears to be the perfect opportunity for it to remind us all why it has been the ultimate long-term store of value for centuries.

 

Press Room: Glint in the news!

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Alternative currencies dominated much of the news this month. This week, Ethereum hit a new record high and broke the £2,000 barrier for the very first time. Alternatives are now firmly established amongst consumers as a viable store of value and means of exchange as we all look to take greater control over how we save and spend our money. Our commentary on the latest crypto milestone appeared in two articles in The Sun (here and here), Daily Express and Yahoo Finance.

Has the crackdown on crypto begun? One of the biggest stories this month was the creation of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) taskforce by the Bank of England and HM Treasury. This is the strongest sign yet that the UK is looking to launch a CBDC and has potentially huge implications for our savings, purchasing power and privacy. Jason’s commentary appeared in some of the UK’s most influential newspapers including The TimesDaily Mail and Evening Standard as well as key financial websites including MSN, This is Money, MoneyWeek, Yahoo Finance, CryptoNews and UK Investor Magazine.

Earlier this month, the UK announced inflation continued to rise and is on track to meet the 2% target set by the Bank of England. The cash in our accounts already loses value by the day due to inflation outstripping the current miniscule interest rates – the potential introduction of negative interest rates would be catastrophic. Read our full commentary in the Daily Express.

Ever wondered how your savings have performed vs gold? We crunched the numbers and the value of gold holdings increased 41% over the last decade, whilst Cash ISAs have lost 2% in value over the same period. Our research and explanation behind cash’s fall in value appeared in Yahoo Finance and Fintech Zoom.

In last month’s Press Room we welcomed Emmanuel Ide to the leadership team, this key new hire appeared in Mondo VisioneFintech Insight and Fintech Inshorts over the last couple of weeks.

Press Room: Glint in the news!

   |   By  |  0 Comments

Alternative currencies dominated much of the news this month. This week, Ethereum hit a new record high and broke the £2,000 barrier for the very first time. Alternatives are now firmly established amongst consumers as a viable store of value and means of exchange as we all look to take greater control over how we save and spend our money. Our commentary on the latest crypto milestone appeared in The Sun and Yahoo Finance.

Has the crackdown on crypto begun? One of the biggest stories this month was the creation of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) taskforce by the Bank of England and HM Treasury. This is the strongest sign yet that the UK is looking to launch a CBDC and has potentially huge implications for our savings, purchasing power and privacy. Jason’s commentary appeared in some of the UK’s most influential newspapers including The TimesDaily Mail and Evening Standard as well as key financial websites including MSN, This is Money, MoneyWeek, Yahoo Finance, CryptoNews and UK Investor Magazine.

Earlier this month, the UK announced inflation continued to rise and is on track to meet the 2% target set by the Bank of England. The cash in our accounts already loses value by the day due to inflation outstripping the current miniscule interest rates – the potential introduction of negative interest rates would be catastrophic. Read our full commentary in the Daily Express.

Ever wondered how your savings have performed vs gold? We crunched the numbers and the value of gold holdings increased 41% over the last decade, whilst Cash ISAs have lost 2% in value over the same period. Our research and explanation behind cash’s fall in value appeared in Yahoo Finance and Fintech Zoom.

In last month’s Press Room we welcomed Emmanuel Ide to the leadership team, this key new hire appeared in Mondo VisioneFintech Insight and Fintech Inshorts over the last couple of weeks.