CombiBars and Micropayments in Gold and Silver

The first I had heard of micropayments in silver and gold was from Shire Silver. These cards are the size of a credit card and they have strands of silver or gold that make them fantastic for alternative payments.

Well, maybe it seems like this is a crazy libertarian thing, useful for showing off at conventions but otherwise not really marketable. Not so. It seems (according to Reuters) that a Swiss division of Newmont Mining (Valcambi) is getting into the act with small gold bars the size of a credit card. They permit people to buy gold and use it for payments and not have to deal with the high premiums and price of coins.

As usual, it is “crazy” people who do the innovating.

Valcambi is building a sales network in India and plans to launch the CombiBar on the U.S. market next year. In Japan, it wants to focus on CombiBars made of platinum and palladium.

Elsewhere, demand is particularly strong among Germans, still scarred by post-World War One hyperinflation, when money became all but worthless and it took a wheelbarrow full of notes to buy a loaf of bread.

These could become particularly popular given the uncertainty concerning Bernanke’s latest actions to buy unlimited amounts of just about anything to keep the banking system alive and functioning and to sustain the U.S. Government’s credit rating.