Atomyze US, a blockchain platform aiming to tokenize metals, is shutting down.
"Due to circumstances outside of our control, Atomyze (US) LLC has decided to shut down its operations and has entered a process to unwind the company," CEO Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto told The Block in an email.
The firm was founded in 2020 with backing from Russian metal miner Nornickel, Forbes reported. It launched a beta version of its product in February of this year with tokenized platinum and palladium.
Atomyze's model essentially would take in metal from the asset provider and hold it in a secure vault, Hightower-Sellitto said in an interview with Kitco News. Token holders would own the actual metal via the digital title, which would be "fully redeemable."
"We're bringing efficiency to ownership of physical materials," Hightower-Sellitto said then. "So rather than having to go through the logistics of buying spot material on the open market, the OTC market, dealing with logistics to ship it, insurance, getting your own storage facility for it, you can actually own physical material through digital title."
The company was hoping to target institutional investors and planning to extend its product across other types of commodities and physical assets.
"We do intend to bring a whole host of metals to market that you really can't invest in through an ETF or through a futures contract today," Hightower-Sellitto said. "There really isn't any viable options for cobalt, for example, but there is huge demand for cobalt and huge interest from the investment community in that type of product."
Atomyze Russia, which is a separate entity from Atomyze US, launched its first digital token backed by palladium produced by Nornickel, Reuters reported in July. It had gotten a greenlight from Russia’s central bank in early 2022.
"The emergence of Russia's first industrial token marks the entry of the Russian economy into a new period — the era of tokenization," Interros Holding President Vladimir Potanin said in a company statement quoted by Reuters. Interros Holding is both an investor of Atomyze and Nornickel's largest shareholder, it also reported.
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