Zurich/Lindau ZH – Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) plans to make its entire supply chain for gold bar production transparent. To achieve this, the cantonal bank is joining forces with Haelixa. The ETH spin-off has developed DNA marking technology.

ZKB will immediately start selling gold for which the whole supply chain can be fully traced, as the cantonal bank revealed in a press release. To achieve this, ZKB has joined forces with Ticino-based refinery Argor-Heraeu and Haelixa. The latter is a spin-off from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH). It has developed a marking technology that enables a DNA marker to be applied to materials.

“Our DNA marking technology developed in Zurich is already successfully used in the textile industry and for precious stones to offer forensic proof of product authenticity and integrity,” as Michela Puddu, CEO and co-founder of Haelixa, explained in the press release. In ZKB’s case, the marker specially created by Haelixa for the bank will be applied to gold that is destined for the cantonal bank. On arrival at the refinery, the invisible mark is verified by means of a PCR test. This provides forensic proof that this gold originates from a certain mine, ZKB writes.

“As Switzerland’s biggest gold trader, we are seeing increased demand from institutional investors for responsibly sourced gold products, with the traceability of precious metals representing a clear competitive advantage,” said Drazen Repak, Head of Precious Metal Trading at ZKB. For some time now, ZKB has been working exclusively with manufacturers that comply with the requirements of the Responsible Sourcing program of the London Bullion Market Association.

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