International Business

Question mark over Arbitrade’s gold backer

  • Question mark: Arbitrade says it is backed by $10 billion of gold

A company that Arbitrade said would be its partner in a $10 billion gold bullion deal in Dubai is not a member of that city’s gold exchange.

It raises a question over a claim by the founder of Arbitrade, Troy Hogg, who said the company was in partnership with Sion Trading FZE of Dubai to be granted title to $10 billion worth of physical gold.

In a telephone press conference on June 28, he described Sion as “one of the only licensed gold traders on the Dubai Gold Exchange”.

However, the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange, in a response to an enquiry by The Royal Gazette, said: “We can confirm that Sion Trading FZE is not a member of Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange and we have no affiliation or relationship with them.”

Arbitrade is a cryptocurrency exchange and coin company that is relocating to Bermuda. It has said it is in the process of acquiring Victoria Hall, the $6.5 million seven-storey office block on Victoria Street, as its new headquarters.

The gold bullion mentioned in the press conference is to be used to back five crypto tokens. Arbitrade plans to bring gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion to a vault on the island.

Arbitrade has also said it will donate $1 million towards the refurbishment and launch of a Bermuda Government co-working incubator space for the fintech sector. It has expressed a desire to donate a further total of $125,000 to a variety of charities and programmes on the island.

The Royal Gazette has made an enquiry with Arbitrade’s media contact regarding the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange’s comments about Sion Trading. We are awaiting a response.

Arbitrade has said it has incorporated in Bermuda, and has passed the KYC/AML [Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering] process. The Royal Gazette has made an enquiry with the Bermuda Monetary Authority about the status of the company, and is awaiting a response.

Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, during an interview with ZBM’s Bermuda Tonight on Monday, said three directors of Arbitrade had met with the BMA and had gone through the vetting process.

“At the end they were given permission to incorporate, but that is only the first part,” he said. The minister explained that the company would go through a further regulatory process and vetting regarding its business plan.

The company did not appear on the Bermuda Registrar of Companies website yesterday, however eight directors of Arbitrade Ltd do appear on the Directors Register. There is no listed address for the company.

Separately, the Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Regulations 2018, and the Companies (Initial Coin Offering) Regulations 2018 were gazetted in the Bermuda Government official notices yesterday. In a statement, Mr Caines said that all companies wishing to launch an initial coin offering or run a digital exchange are subject to a stringent assessment and review process.

He said: “To be clear, once the Acts fully come into effect, any company will need to follow the application process. Therefore any discussions about potential offerings or exchanges are premature.”