For November's newsletter... |X| = 10!
This month marks the 10th anniversary of our company! It has been an amazing journey, and we thought you might enjoy taking a brief trip down memory lane with us. We've accomplished a lot, but there is so much more ahead!
November 2008 – In the beginning…
Mass Metal, LLC was formed on November 6, 2008 in the midst of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Panic liquidation of precious metals had created a significant difference between the spot price of silver and the street price of smaller items. Large buyers could purchase 1000 ounce silver bars 30% to 40% below the price everyone else had to pay for one, ten, and one-hundred ounce bars.
Co-founders Jeremy Brakenhoff and Josh McCleary saw that this was patently unfair and decided to do something about it. They used the opportunity the market presented to arbitrage the price difference between the large and small items. But instead of keeping the profits, they had something else in mind. They used the proceeds to fund a revolutionary idea...
December 2009 – SilverSaver launch!
After a year of development work, the Mass Metal team launched the first online platform where everyone, regardless of the size of their bank account, could legally own a specific weight of the same 1000 ounce bars of silver that large investors bought and sold. This gave everyone access to physical silver at the lowest prices possible.
At the same time, they wanted to make "saving" in silver hassle free and automatic. In December 2009, SilverSaver™ was born. (click here for a larger image of the original SilverSaver home page!).
Precious metals investors--large and small--were fascinated by the idea that you could set up a schedule and automatically save in physical silver. By the summer of 2010, "savers" in all 50 states were using our technology platform to accumulate physical silver bullion.
December 2010 – Depository Audit
One year after the launch of SilverSaver, COO Josh McCleary made a trip to the depository to insure proper processes were being followed and to perform an audit of the metal held there on behalf of our clients. These visits now occur regularly as part of our internal process to insure the integrity of our client/depository relationship.
Throughout our history, we have selected partners who operate with the highest standards of ethical conduct, and who understand that financial technology is changing the world.
A timeless video from the early days…
Back in 2010, we created this video. It has proven to incorporate timeless principles. Some of you will remember it. For the rest, we hope you enjoy it as well!
2011 – Gold, Employee Benefit, and Canada!
It was only a matter of time before we added gold to the platform. In 2011, the yellow metal made its debut on the SilverSaver platform. Now clients could set an amount they wanted to save in both gold and silver.
A second major announcement in 2011 was to introduce an innovative product in the employer financial wellness market. For the first time, employers could offer their employees a 401(k)-like ability to automatically save gold and silver through a voluntary payroll deduction. This brought Jeremy's and Josh's goal to make ownership of low cost physical gold and silver accessible to everyone one step closer to reality.
The popularity of the SilverSaver platform in the United States was noticed by gold and silver investors north of the border. As a result, we extended our platform's reach into Canada.
2012 – Live Pricing and a NASCAR Sponsorship
In May of 2012, we released Live Pricing. Our clients want ownership of physical gold and silver. In a world of rapid change, they needed the ability to both buy and sell the physical metal 24x7. This is what is known today as OWNx NOW.
Then, in July of 2012, we had an opportunity to sponsor NASCAR driver Blake Koch at Daytona International Speedway. This was something that we just couldn't pass up. It was exciting to see the SilverSaver logo lapping Daytona at nearly 200 mph!
2015 – X Marks the Spot. Another Revolutionary Idea.
With gold added to our platform, it became evident that the days were numbered for our beloved SilverSaver brand. It is never easy to say goodbye to something that launched a revolution in how people viewed savings. However, as we turned our eyes to the future, we could see that both technology and our vision were larger than the brand would support.
In 2015, we rebranded the company under the name OWNx. Ownership is the key. You are in control. X is the variable. We could see that gold and silver were only the beginning. With financial technology gaining traction, digital ownership of "things" was only a matter of time. We needed to position the company to enable our clients to solve for "X" however they choose.
Control and choice. Those were the hallmarks of our next release: The OWNx Precious Metals IRA. We simply extended our NOW real-time buy and sell technology to interface with a few select self-directed IRA custodians. The result was once again revolutionary. Never before had precious metals IRA clients been able to buy and sell physical gold and silver within an IRA 24x7. In fact, the process to set up and manage assets in these self-directed IRAs was a nightmare. It was a major problem in the industry that we are privileged to be able to have solved for our clients.
2016 to the present, and beyond…
In 2016, financial technology exploded onto the scene. It was tempting to jump into the fray. After all, SilverSaver pioneered fractional ownership of large gold and silver bars before FinTech was cool. However, as we examined the landscape, we found too many similarities between the hype surrounding the blockchain/DLT, and the tech bubble of the late 1990s. Tremendous promise. Excitement. Lots of VC money flowing into the sector.
Time to tap the brakes.
We're glad we did. ICOs blew crypto hype into a bubble that burst as problems with scaling blockchains became evident. Blockchain-based DLTs may turn out to be viable. Or they may be a dead end. Reality is, at the time of this writing, nobody knows.
What we do know is that the financial world stands at a crossroads. The existing system is fundamentally flawed. Technology alone will not be its savior. The world needs both a new economic model and a means to exchange value that will support that model. It must be built upon technology that is scaleable, sustainable, and economically viable.
It will come, and we plan to be a part of it.
2019 and beyond hold a great deal of promise. We have exciting new plans under development. However, we must continue to stay the course. Smart. Simple. And patient. That strategy has served our clients for ten years. We are confident it will serve them for the next ten and beyond.
OWNx Office Closure Dates
Thanksgiving Day and Friday, November 22nd and 23rd.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24th and 25th.
New Years Eve Day and New Years Eve, December 31st and January 1st.