Tiberius Coin, a cryptocurrency backed by real metals which I’ve written about in the past here made a major announcement this week. The group will be adding Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) and Silent Circle founder Phillip Zimmerman as an Executive Director/CSSO and major shareholder.
Phillip Zimmerman is the creator of the first large-scale public key cryptography system. Building on the base of the revolutionary RSA encryption algorithm, PGP was the first open protocol that allowed users to send encrypted messages back and forth using a public key. The protocol was widely adopted by early internet users and continues to be in use today.
Zimmerman’s entrance into the cryptocurrency space is seen by some as a legitimizing force. While it’s clear many cryptography experts like the universally disliked Craig Wright have abused their industry prowess, Zimmerman is known as a more humble force in the industry. His most famous creation, PGP was invented as a way to bypass ISP surveillance for political organizations.
After PGP’s initial release, Zimmerman was investigated for violating the Arms Export Control Act since cryptography is considered a form of munition. Here, he became a champion for the free export of cryptography by exploiting a loophole in the definition of cryptography as “software” by printing the computer code in books which were then exported. After a 3 year investigation, the case was dropped. The liberalization of cryptography export laws resulting from the publicity around Zimmerman’s case has been credited with making Bitcoin possible.
What is Tiberius Coin?
Tiberius Coin is a coin linked to metals themselves rather than a fiat currency. The coin was created as a “stabilizing force” in an industry rife with volatility. The token itself is redeemable for physically deliverable metal meant to give it a price floor. Tiberius coin contains 3 different classes of metals
- Technology Metals: metals essential to building computers and modern technology
- Tin: 14%
- Copper: 23%
- Electric Vehicle: Metals needed to build electric cars and batteries
- Cobalt: 10%
- Aluminium: 7%
- Nickel: 11%
- Stability Metals: Precious metals proven to be stable over time to create a price floor against Tariffs and trade wars.
- Gold: 17%
- Palladium: 13%
- Platinum: 6%
While the tokenization of commodities itself is a relatively new concept, the underlying commodities are not. Diversified commodities funds have existed for hundreds of years and are the principal financial product of the Tiberius Group which is the firm behind the coin. The group also brings with it some legitimacy having been around since 2005 and managing around $300 million. This differentiates it from some other crypto commodity plays such as GoldMint and Digix which performed very well during ICOs but had little to no financial services background.
The firm hopes that by 2020 it can replace tether as an asset-backed token. This is not entirely unfeasible given the cryptocurrency ecosystems inherent distrust of fiat currencies. What is unclear is whether or not this funds vision will be dampened by the idea of Bitcoin being the new gold. One thing is for sure, I’m excited to see what else Zimmerman does in this space.