Russian mining and smelting giant Nornickel is planning to roll out a digital platform for metals trading by the end of 2019, local news outlet TASS reported on July 9.
The vice-president of Nornickel, Andrey Bugrov told TASS that “the preparation process was quite lengthy, but nevertheless, we plan to bring this product [digitization of metal trading] to the market by the end of 2019 and begin trading our tokens.”
Bugrov also said that the token trading program could be worth nearly $1 billion, but that is rather a target figure. He pointed out the necessity to analyze market demand for the product as a number of factors are not specifically regulated, but depend on market conditions.
In March, Russian billionaire and CEO of Nornikel Vladimir Potanin revealed plans to deploy cryptocurrency tokens for trading palladium through a Switzerland-based palladium fund, and to launch several digital platforms.
Trading valuable metals with tokens will purportedly enable more fluid transactions, wherein participants can sell excess volumes to third parties more easily than with traditional contracts.
Last month, Nornickel entered a partnership with tech giant IBM to launch an educational program for specialists to develop digital technologies for the mining and metals industry. The main challenges for the upcoming educational center include student training, research and development of digital ecosystems in fields including blockchain and the Internet of Things.
Recently, Austrian steel trading company Alukönigstahl announced that it is working on a blockchain-based steel trading data system dubbed “Steel but Smart.” The system will purportedly provide stakeholders with clear data on steel products’ origins, account and industry standards, as well as information about product properties, processing and deployment.