On March 27, it was reported that a Russian billionaire named Vladimir Potanin is in the process of launching a cryptocurrency based on palladium. Potanin is the CEO of a company called MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, which mines and smelts both palladium and nickel. He wants to launch a number of digital platforms, which will include one for trading a palladium-based cryptocurrency through a palladium fund based in Switzerland. The rationale behind the cryptocurrency is to create more fluidity in the palladium market. At the moment, when someone buys more palladium than what they actually end up needing, they must either renegotiate with the seller or hold on to the palladium until they can find a buyer for it. By tokenizing the metal, it could make it far easier to sell the excess. The company is further developing another digital platform for internal use. This will let the central bank of Russia use the company as a test case for regulating blockchain-based systems. The Russian government would still have to approve the use of the other digital platform. Though if this does not happen, Potanin has indicated that he will implement the platform in some other locality. A number of industries use palladium. This includes catalytics, dentistry, electronics, jewelry and photography. A week ago, palladium futures prices for June reached a record high, though they have since fallen nearly 8%. In October of 2018, Alrosa, which is another Russian mining conglomerate, joined a pilot program called Tracer. This is a blockchain-based platform for the diamond industry that was initiated by De Beers. Its goal is to enhance consumer trust and transparency throughout the diamond supply chain, from mining all the way to retail shops. Each diamond that makes its way through the system receives a digital certificate that records both its attributes and transactions. Earlier this month, a blockchain trust company called Paxos announced that this year it would issue tokens backed by gold. Chad Cascarilla, who is the CEO of the company, said that they were excited about the possibility of taking a commodity such as precious metals and tokenizing it.
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