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A coffee? We only accept gold bars


The Times reports on the rise in gold purchases in the UK, speaking to Glint founder Jason Cozens

With the pound weak and cryptocurrencies volatile, what type of investment guarantees you stability? The answer, according to a growing number of Britons, is a currency used by the ancient Egyptians in 3000BC — gold.

Britain has overtaken Germany to become Europe’s biggest buyer of gold, according to Coininvest, a precious-metals trader. And now, a tech duo claims to have found a way to use it to buy a cup of coffee.

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Glint, a new banking app, allows you to load up sterling and convert it into gold and back to pounds again. When buying something, you can choose on your app to pay in gold or pounds, and then use your Glint Mastercard. The price you pay to convert your money will be based on the interbank exchange rate.

“Gold protects you from the risks associated with conventional currency, which include volatility, and the poor levels of interest you receive compared with the 4% rate of RPI inflation,” says Jason Cozens, a co-founder of Glint who trained as an architect and worked for 20 years in ecommerce. “Gold has been stable for thousands of years. If you were a Roman, 1oz of gold would have bought you a magnificent toga. Now it would get you a top-quality designer suit.” An ounce is worth about £1,300. “Unlike normal currencies, it can’t be massively devalued,” he says.

The Glint app’s founders have teamed up with Lloyds Banking Group, which will hold currency deposits that customers can exchange for part of a gold bar in a vault in Switzerland. Most Britons who shop with Coininvest buy 1oz Gold Britannia coins (worth £987 at present) or Gold Sovereign coins (£230). Both are exempt from capital gains tax.

This article originally appeared in The Times

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