Episode 196 – Dr. Adam Trexler – Democratizing Gold Ownership for Wealth in Hand

“People need tools to store wealth in a dense physical way. That entire market is a multi-trillion dollar market, there hasn’t been a ton of innovation in it and we want to have the best products in the world for that function.” – Dr. Adam Trexler

  • Dr. Trexler pioneered innovative processes to produce the Aurum®️ including advanced security features, bill architecture, and new printing methods. He also led the acquisition of two other early-stage companies to augment Valaurum’s IP portfolio in addition to raising all capital for the start-up.
  • Dr. Trexler continues to lead research and development initiatives at Valaurum. Inc. He is the primary inventor and first patent author of the KeyBill, the most secure form of physical cryptocurrency. He is also an inventor of numerous precious metal bill security features, with a patent issued in 2020 and several more in development.
  • Prior to founding Valaurum, Dr. Trexler worked in academic research and venture capital. From 2008-2012, he was a professor and researcher at the University of Exeter and Queen Mary University of London, with numerous refereed publications relating to the history of culture and science, particularly with regard to credit, the gold standard, money and labor. Before his academic career, Dr. Trexler worked at Corporate Finance, Inc., structuring early stage companies to raise equity capital.
  • Join in as Adam and Patrick talk gold! It’s history as money, the intrinsic stored value of gold, and it’s longevity as a means of wealth preservation and risk management. Step into current day, and Adam discusses the passion he felt to learn about the philosophy and history of money, why it’s valued as it is, and the role it plays in the organization of society. Propelled by burning questions, natural curiousity, big ideas, and a deep understanding of gold’s importance, Adam felt drawn to new innovations in nanotechnology from two inventors with whom he eventually collaborated to produce the Aurum®. Gold bills which make gold ownership secure, trustworthy, accessible and collectible. Adam shares his vision for its broad viability as legal tender, future distribution and supply, and value of the company. All of which feed his deeper purpose, together with an exceptional team, to create something of meaningful contribution for current and future generations.
  • Show Notes
  • [00:42] Patrick introduces his next TEDM guest, Dr. Adam Trexler.
  • [02:00] Adam and Patrick get their conversation started with Adam’s brief description of his company and their product, The Aurum®, a bill of which Patrick was gifted not long ago from his brother-in-law.
  • [03:21] Adam starts off macro to discuss gold, its history as money and a consolidated means to hold wealth for the past 2500 years, the value of which is estimated between 10-15 trillion dollars globally.
  • [05:18] In today’s world, the high cost of gold bars and coins makes it harder to attain and they are no longer meaningfully divisible as a form of exchange. Founded in 2012, recognizing the inevitable trend of fiat currency, Valaurum’s purpose is to reinvent the coin for the 21st century. Listen in as Adam further describes this state-of-the-art nanotechnology, The Aurum®.
  • [10:18] Patrick and Adam discuss the intrinsic value of gold either for wealth preservation or it’s value as a global form of exchange against a Canadian or US dollar bill.
  • [13:25] As a vision for the future, Adam shares his purpose, why the bill was created and what their endgame is. Not only do they envision the bills as a store of wealth but also as legal tender to bring back a viable form of currency for 90% of the population.
  • [17:17] As an example of the stored value of gold, Patrick shares how 60 years ago gold could buy a nice suit, a nice room, and great meal, and today, with the value of gold, you can still buy that nice suit, nice room, and great meal.
  • [18:23] Although cash currently has its merits, Patrick feels having some gold in a person’s portfolio given the state of the world, is essential. Adam sees it as a form of protection against the risk and uncertainty of a person’s local environment or government.
  • [20:11] So where did this idea come from? Adam shares his experience in the venture capital market and how it inspired him to do things differently, with more connection to people, to the emotionality of the innovations and belief in the product to be of contribution. He returned to school to get his Ph.D. with a fascination for the philosophy and history of what money represents on a societal level. With that burning question, and a deep understanding of gold’s importance, Adam was drawn to the work of two inventors, their innovations he felt compelled to learn more about, and eventually they began a collaboration.
  • [25:10] Since it’s inception in 2012, the evolution of The Aurum® has come in notable stages. Adam explains the difficulty of producing it in the beginning with a high production cost to value. After 8 or 9 years of painstaking development and process improvements, they were able to cut that cost in half and continued to bring it down each year. Adam recounts the massive challenges they endured, described as a “miracle of material science” to achieve this impressive product.
  • [31:38] Adam shares what’s driven him to stay connected to the vision of the product given the arduous process they undertook, to get to a place where they could scale their capability, have it take off in the market and grow year after year. He’s only scratching the surface.
  • [36:26] Who is Valaurum’s main client? Adam outlines the current three and who they’re working to involve.
  • [38:13] Adam describes his early family dynamic, and his competitive streak which contributed to his entrepreneurial spark. He is naturally curious with big ideas.
  • [40:40] With many moving parts and many hats to wear, Adam began to tune in to his own strengths in business and where he needed to delegate and seek the wisdom of others. Valaurum, is rich with the people involved.
  • [45:34] Patrick takes a moment to acknowledge Adam for his ability to hold, believe in, and articulate his vision in a meaningful way that attracted the people needed for Valaurum’s success.
  • [47:04] Adam shares his vision for the future value of the company.
  • [47:57] Adam discusses next steps for distribution, supply and spreading the word about Valaurum.
  • [51:08] Valaurum’s tagline, mission statement, and Adam’s viewpoint of why we would want to own Aurum®.
  • [53:42] Adam imparts some final thoughts and poses 2 questions to consider: What is value? How do we keep it?
  • [56:07] How the names Aurum® and Valaurum came to be.
  • [57:13] A quick visit ‘round the Rapid Fire: Apple or Android; music Adam grew up with; memorable movie; room-desk-car; favourite swear word as long as its not directional; message at the gates.
  • [60:25] Adam’s gratitude.
  • [61:09] Patrick offers his observations of Adam and alignment with his life path, plus his own gratitude!
  • [62:28] Adam leaves with thoughts on the extraordinary level of precision and focus required in all aspects of Valaurum. Focus isn’t permanently achieved, it’s continually achieved.

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