Let's be loud and clear about this point: American citizens, and human beings more generally, have a right to hold wealth in a tangible form that cannot vanish from an electronic bank ledger in a moment. This would seem to be an incontrovertible truth.
It's a matter of privacy. In some cases, this simply means privacy from being targeted.
Yet some gold and silver dealers—and thus their customers—are still going to be duped into exposing themselves to privacy vulnerabilities that are masquerading as bullion "security technology."
Near Field Communication
Not unlike radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, near field communication (NFC) is a way to easily scan and track an item while conveniently maintaining a digital record containing all sorts of information about that item or product.
When applied to gold or silver bullion, NFC is truly a Trojan Horse if there ever was one.
It's a bad publicity gimmick that could cost you a lot of money and, more importantly, result in a loss of your privacy.
In past weeks, we've vehemently warned against the promotion of these (future?) products. There are so many glaring pitfalls that this technology could lead to. Even if a thief or hacker has no direct interest in your gold or the personal information associated with it, owning NFC-tagged gold might encourage them to steal your data just because of who they can sell it to: marketers, government agencies, political organizations, other scammers—the list is endless.
How could anyone believe this adds a level of protection and security? Protection for whom?
We're only a month or so removed from the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack that affected hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices in 150 different countries around the world. This is considered the single worst and most far-reaching hacking incident in the history of the internet—and in many ways it's only the beginning.
Even the most secure businesses and governments have been hacked before. It's a reality we live with in the 21st century. Why would you want to create a digital link between that network and your bullion, or any of your valuable information (financial or otherwise)?
We cannot stress enough the troubling failure of logic that enabling bullion with NFC technology entails. This literally defeats the whole purpose of keeping any amount of your wealth outside of a digital bank account!
Trojan Horse for Your Privacy
In spite of all of these warning signs about allowing the privacy of bullion buyers to be invaded, it's pretty likely that these products will begin popping up in the inventories of gold and silver dealers around the world. NFC-tagged bullion products are being pitched to dealers as an improvement in how their inventory and sales tracking is managed, while also spinning it as a security feature for consumers.
The playing field of firms trying to jump on this unsettling bullion technology remains murky. However, it seems likely there will be more than one entrant into the market. One such company called Cryptor Bullion claims it will even combine "NFC Wireless Tags" with the blockchain technology of cryptocurrencies to form a bizarre sort of encrypted "universal currency" of physical coins through its Smart Connected Bullion.
This is certainly not smart, and is a wholly unnecessary risk.
Yes, now we're even talking about merging this idea of digitally tagged bullion—a supremely bad idea, by the way—with cryptocurrencies, which come with their own set of vulnerabilities? This is truly beyond the pale for any liberty-conscious investor (or citizen, for that matter).
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.