Gold can be ‘pooled’. Often gold pools take on liability, claiming to hold more gold than they physically do. A gold pool is not the same as allocated gold. Like banks with your money, a gold pool could be used to take out loans or as insurance. Many people buy gold to avoid such risk and will not seek to pool their gold, rather they will own gold so they can have an asset that has proved value retention and that is no one else’s liability.
One of the advantages of owning allocated gold is that you own it 100% and can redeem it physically at any time. This is not the same with pooled gold, or even with the cash you hold in the bank, which can be loaned out without your knowledge and, in the event of a bank run, which you might not be able to take out.