We live in extraordinary times.

A fragile financial system – Yesterday we saw the ECB cut rates to -0.3%. The world’s major central banks are keeping interest rates at close to zero because there is too much debt in the system and they are worried about the consequences of an increase in interest rates. Conversely many of us are worried about the sustainability of a monetary system that has kept interest rates at close to zero for over half a decade

Geopolitical instability – The United Kingdom has just gone to war in Syria. The Russian Bear is growling. The prospect of a long term collapse in the oil price will cause problems for Saudi Arabia in particular. Europe has enormous migration issues that are clearly upsetting the electorates in many countries, which could result in unfortunate results at the ballot box. The betfair political odds have Marine La Pen currently in the lead to become the next French President! Whilst I am not a huge fan of the current career politicians/bureaucrats that we are seeing in western democracies, the prospect of Marine LaPen becoming the president of France is very worrying.

A technological singularity – Something like 75% of jobs created in the UK in the last few years did not exist 10 years ago. We are going through a rapidly changing economy where traditional business models are being turned on their head with the likes of Uber and Airbnb, and the exponential rate of change is not slowing down. It is expected that self-driving cars will be commonplace in 5-10 years. The first iPhone was only released in 2007. We are still in the early stages of seeing how the combination of smart phones, connected devices (IOT) and digitisation of everything is going to play out.

Blockchain and crypto currencies – The banking sector has been relatively untouched by digital innovation until quite recently, but things are hotting up. The prospects of the blockchain technology and truly distributed ledgers to negate the need for traditional financial intermediaries is an exciting prospect for consumers and entrepreneurs alike.

Goldbloc is a gold-backed crypto-currency that we started working on last year. Its going to take a while for Golbloc to be rolled out as a fully fledge crypto-currency – an uncertain regulatory environment being one of the main factors in the slow rollout, but we are still working on it behind the scenes.

Our rapidly changing world needs innovations like Goldbloc as a compliment and alternative to government backed currencies.

About the Author

Ralph HazellRalph is CEO of The Real Asset Company, and was previously a trader and market maker in the fixed income and commodity markets for over 10 years. He was a founding partner of Trafalgar Financial Futures in Gibraltar, and of Jebel Tariq Trading in Dubai, which was the first company to automate market making in gold futures on the DGCX Dubai Gold and Commodities exchange. He is passionate about gold’s vital role within the financial system, and has been investing in gold since 2000. He set up The Real Asset Company as a service he would choose himself.View all posts by Ralph Hazell