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4/1/18

Codelco's "CopperCoin" to Revolutionize Metals Trading (UPDATED)

Mining takes another step into the world of crypto. Here's Reuters on the news out of Chile this morning.

Santiago - In what experts and industry leaders are already calling "an existential threat to the London Metal Exchange" Chile's State-owned mining company Codelco today launched 'CopperCoin', a blockchain-backed token system designed to facilitate metals purchasing and transactions with the companies main Asian markets.

During the launch press conference in the capital Santiago, Codelco's president Nelson Pizarro said, "The substantial cost advantages of CopperCoin to both our company and our major clients in South Korea, Japan and China make it an obvious choice for all future transactions. This market-changing initiative again demonstrates Codelco's commitment to progress and efficiency in the 21st Century."

The move was welcomed by copper industry executives such as Park In Meeta, Head of the copper smelting division South Korea's KORES, the massive metals manufacturer chaebol. "We are happy that the often prohibitive costs of futures contracts run by third parties can now be by-passed in a reliable manner, the savings on transactions will be shared between buyer and seller. No more middle-men is an outstanding example of the positive effects of market disruption," Mr. Park told Reuters in a phone interview.

However, some industry watchers were less impressed with the announcement. According to Micheal Hopwell-Frost, head of futures trading at BNP Paribas London, "Codelco will live to regret the decision to by-pass the LME (London Metal Exchange) for futures settlements and go it alone. What they call "revolutionary" is nothing short of an existential threat to the city's markets and sets Chile on crash course for an international incident with The UK. With Brexit causing nerves, the prospect of the copper industry by-passing us will be too much to bear and wholesale redundancies are almost inevitable. I personally will be consulting with my lawyers to decide the best course of action, including the potential for a legal suit, suicide or upping sticks and moving to New York, which is tantamount to the same thing."

UPDATE 12:01pm: An important update.



PPS: The typo was accidental. I'll leave it there, for comedy reasons.