Really? So you're not charged a single dime for the cost of the plastic? That seems like a bad business model for whoever makes Karatbars - it's not like they get their plastic for free... Unless, of course, you are paying for the plastic as well as the little bit of gold.
No, what ...if anything is paid, is for the gold. Hardly a bad business model, just indicative of the fact that the company is highly profitable and doesn't feel the need to nickle & dime us with unnecessary & superfluous costs.
Companies, individuals, or entities that choose to go with a private label or branded cards do pay for initial setup & design costs for their cards subject to minimum orders, and receive discounts on each unit until the costs of initial setup is recouped.
There's no such thing as "currency grade" gold, and if you think there is, I challenge you to provide a definition from a reputable source, Karatbars excluded.
If you say so.
Tamper-evidence isn't a huge deal. Tylenol bottles are tamper evident and can hold a lot more gold... But you stated, right here on this forum that "any merchant or store clerk can easily verify that it is a genuine gold bar, and not a fake." That sounds to me like you are asserting that they are impossible to counterfeit. Do you stand behind that claim or do you wish to retract it?
It is what I stated it to be. I don't care "how it sounds to you", and I don't stand behind whatever interpretation you choose to take. I've already stated the purpose & function of the holograms & serial numbers.
There isn't. But let's not despair... What about a car dealer? Or an airline? Or, hell, a casino?
Why bother consulting some database to find the one place within a thousand square miles that may accept Karatbars when I can just go out to any place I want and hand out my American Express?
For the most part, that is what most karatbars owners are doing at the moment. IMO, one would be foolish to spend their karatbars at the moment while cash (paper or digital) is still being accepted. I know personally that if gold is at $1600/oz, and I had to make a $1600 purchase, I would prefer to give $1600 in fiat paper than fork out an ounce worth of karatbars. My karatbars are a hedge against inflation, and if I use those today, ...over the long run when gold does revalue upwards as it is destined to do imo, then that $1600 purchase today becomes essentially a $5,000 purchase if gold goes to $5,000/oz which many experts predict could very well happen.
The purpose of the K-Exchanges is to provide a convenient point of exchange IF
one had a need to quickly exchange some of their gold back into cash. ie: If one found themselves in need of a quick $500 or whatever amount, and an ATM wasn't an option (for whatever reason) they could exchange a minimal amount of karatbars for the small amount of cash they needed without having to liquidate an entire ounce. It conveniently allows people to keep more of their gold in gold for as long as possible.
Let me give you a little scenario as an example:
ie: The year is 1978 and gold is $40/oz. You choose to buy a pair of Calvin Klein jeans priced at $40.
The merchant agrees to accept an ounce of gold in exchange.
Fast forward a few years, and gold is now $400/oz. You've essentially paid $400 for your Calvins.
The ability to effect transactions in karatbars is something one should only use quite sparingly imo, and not until you essentially have no choice but to use karatbars.
Here's another scenario:
ie: The year is 1978 and gold is $40/oz. John acquires a 1 oz coin. Susan acquires 31 x 1g Karatbars.
Fast forward a few years, gold is now $400/oz. John & Susan each are in need of a quick $80
John has to liquidate his entire stockpile of gold and gets $320 in rapidly depreciating paper as change.
He has no more gold left and doesn't have enough to buy another ounce. He has to come up with another $80 to even get back into gold.
Susan on the other hand simply liquidated 6 of her 31 karatbars. She still has 25 karatbars of gold left.
By the time John is able to get his hands on another $80 to get back into gold, Gold is now $800/oz
Susan still has 25g of gold, and was able to acquire 3 more grams (1 gram at a time) before gold went to $800
John's total savings in paper are valued at $400 in depreciated paper
Susan's total savings in gold karatbars are valued at ~ $722 in depreciated paper
Even without replenishing the savings, John's savings would be at $320, and Susan's would be valued at $645
Who has retained their purchasing power and stayed ahead of inflation due to the flexibility afforded by Karatbars?
For a business owner, the advantages of being a K-Exchange center are obvious. If paper currency continues to depreciate and lose purchasing power, the benefits for a business owner to be constantly infront of the eyeballs of a growing customer base that continues to retain purchasing power is incalculable. If you're a business with a customer base that has no purchasing power... you're essentially out of business. Who knows, ...there may infact come a time when merchants may actually prefer exchanging something else other than FRN for their goods & services.
Having been shopping in multiple jurisdictions that had depreciating currency values, I can tell you merchants readily & eagerly prefer to exchange their goods & services for something that had far greater purchasing power and held value far better than their usual medium of exchange.
Why are you so concerned with the number of K-Exchanges that may or may not be in Las Vegas anyway? You obviously have no desire to acquire Karatbars, so don't worry if the entire database of Vegas K-Exchanges is not yet published.
Fine. Tell me what restaurant I can go to in California and pay with Karatbars. Also, please tell me how I can leave a tip and receive change. Remember, I don't like fiat currencies and since I will be paying with Karatbars I want my change back in Karatbars too.
Again as I previously stated, I don't have the entire database of k-Exchanges throughout the entire world, and I'm not about to call Germany to request an updated list simply to satisfy the desires of someone who clearly has no interest in acquiring karatbars. If this is something you'd like to know, I suggest you contact the head office in Stuttgart. If you don't want to call to Germany, then perhaps you can wait a few months until everyone is comfortably settled into the new USA office located on Wall Street, 20th floor, and speak with someone there.
Finally, I'll be able to order my morning coffee and pay with gold... in 2074.
Actually our target date is October 2013 for this feature to be fully functional worldwide.