First blockchain-based precious metals refinery opens in Dubai

The world’s largest free zone and Dubai government’s commodity trading and business authority, DMCC, announced the signing of a sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with REIT Development to establish the largest precious metals refinery and storage facility in the GCC and the first to be fully blockchain enabled in the GCC.

As part of the agreement, REIT Development has acquired strategically located industrial land in the DMCC’s vibrant Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) business district, a statement issued Wednesday said.

DMCC has prime land for sale throughout JLT, which is attracting interest from a wide range of investors and developers, all looking for a dynamic destination to do business.

The facility will refine and store precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium, which will be tokenized on

Gold Exchange DMCC, a secure trading platform, will provide access to financial assets in the form of stablecoins, namely GoldCoin, SilverCoin, PlatinumCoin, PalladiumCoin and RhodiumCoin.

Each Ethereum-based token will represent the current value of one gram of each metal and can be traded on the exchange. The tokens will be physically backed by the precious metals in DMCC’s secure storage facility, meaning they can be traded with confidence.

DMCC Executive Chairman and CEO Ahmed ben Sulayem said, “The gold and precious metals industry is at a tipping point, but without a doubt, there are unlimited opportunities lurking beneath the uncertainty of a post-pandemic world. The signing of this agreement with REIT Development underscores the crucial role DMCC plays in putting the UAE and the emirate on the world map as a leader in the precious metals industry through the deployment of cutting-edge technologies such as blockchain.”

REIT Development COO Mike De Vries said, “Blockchain technology can enable more transparent and accurate tracking of precious metals, ensuring that there is no ‘dirty gold’ in circulation and no illicit trade. Our 100,000 square foot precious metals refinery and storage will create a decentralized immutable record of all transactions, tracking all precious metals that are refined in our refinery and ultimately sold internationally to over 150 countries.

“Customers who buy our products or use our storage can verify all the information in the blockchain. We believe that by 2025, every precious metals refinery and storage facility will be in the blockchain, let us lead the way.”

In February 2021, ben Sulayem joined the advisory board of Swiss government-backed blockchain investment firm CV VC, following an earlier agreement between DMCC and CV VC and CV Labs. This partnership will bring a leading blockchain and crypto technology ecosystem to Dubai.

In 2020, DMCC also signed an agreement with Innoway, a Chinese government-backed incubator pioneering science, technology and education ecosystems, to bring a new wave of innovation to the UAE.