Amid soaring inflation, a new vending machine hit the streets of China on Sunday. The machine offers a new kind of payday: solid gold bullion in return for cash.
According to EconomyWatch, the machine, a collaborative effort between the Beijing Agricultural Commercial Bank and a gold trading company, is aimed at giving citizens a new opportunity for safe investment amid a real estate buying frenzy in the country. The machine allows patrons to receive up to 5.5 lbs. of gold with each withdrawal at a cost of about 1 million yuan ($160,000).
In 2010 China’s demand for bullion grew 27 percent, according to the World Gold Council, making it second behind India, presently the world’s top gold consumer.
The idea of gold vending machines has already been implemented in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Spain, the U.K. and Italy. The significance in China is that the country has only recently allowed citizens to purchase gold, and demand has skyrocketed.
The news of China’s new gold machine came at the same time as China’s state-run newspaper People’s Daily reported that the yuan, gained 105 basis points to a record high of 6.3735 per U.S. dollar on Monday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading system.