Smart securities firm Symbiont and Orebits, a provider of digitisation services for unrefined commodities, are claiming bragging rights for the first distributed ledger-based trade of unrefined gold.

Symbiont, a technology powerhouse within the enterprise blockchain arena, has registered the term "smart securities" to describe its ledger-agnostic smart contacts application. The platform is digitising unrefined gold via "smart certificates" called "orebits". These are digitised assets, backed by proven gold reserves, which can be exchanged electronically on a peer-to-peer basis; the first orebits were issued on Symbiont's platform on 10 March 10, said a statement.

Scott Mehlman, CEO of Orebits Corp, said: "Orebits Corp has created a new asset class, enabled by Symbiont's distributed ledger technology, which will change the precious metals financing marketplace forever. This new asset class will allow reserve owners to access liquidity from previously illiquid assets."

Michael Zimits, president and COO of Orebits, said: "The operational efficiencies and data auditability provided by Symbiont allows us to bring exposure to unrefined gold into the capital markets."

The first reserve owner to issue orebits on the new platform, John Comeau of 130 International Inc, added: "I am pleased to be the first in what will be many customers of the orebits digitisation process. Orebits Corp has given me an alternative financing method for my gold reserves that is both elegant and innovative and will allow me to gain the liquidity that I require."

Symbiont co-founder and CEO Mark Smith said: "We are excited to be working with Orebits Corp to bring yet another distributed ledger project from prototype into production. Orebits Corp's innovation has created a new avenue for investors to gain exposure to gold, starting at the genesis moment for financial instruments that are tied to gold—namely, when the gold is still in the ground."

"The time for digitised gold ownership has arrived in a big way," added Zimits. "Orebits don't require investors to deal with issues – such as margins, storage and insurance – that come with previously available methods of investing in gold."