After learning about cryptocurrency from his teenage son, real estate investor Kent Swig launched his own digital token, DIGau.
Swig also secured $6 billion in gold reserves to back the new cryptocurrency, Bloomberg reported. The new venture could increase Swig’s net worth.
Kent Swig’s crypto will be pegged to the market price of gold.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Swig said that his DIGau crypto will be a unique gold-backed, U.S.-based crypto security that pays a dividend to token-holders. The token will be issued in accordance with the various regulatory processes of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and other bodies.
DIGau will be pegged to the market price of gold, guaranteed by liens Swig and partner Stephen Braverman’s company, Dignity Gold, and secured against mining claims in Nevada and Arizona.
“Gold was one of the original rock-solid backings of all currencies,” Swig told Bloomberg. “We’re not reinventing the wheel here. What we’re doing is applying the world’s stable backing of a lot of things to a very advanced technology.”
Cryptocurrencies that have a value pegged to an external reference, like gold or the U.S. dollar, are called stablecoins. Much like their name, these cryptos tend to be more stable than other digital currencies, which are subject to price swings.
The value of a stablecoin must be held in reserves by its issuer at all times to assure investors some security if the price falls.
Swig told Bloomberg that he spent 18 months looking for gold assets to secure $6 billion in reserves.
How Kent Swig made his money
Swig is the third generation of his family to make their fortune in real estate. His father, Melvin Morse Swig, was heir to the Fairmont Hotel chain.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Chinese History from Brown University, Swig studied at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.
Currently, Swig is the owner and co-chairman of Terra Holdings, LLC, which is one of the largest private real estate service companies in the U.S. Terra Holdings owns and operates several residential real estate service firms including Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property.
According to data on the Brown Harris Stevens website, the combination of Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property annually sells more than $7 billion in apartments and townhouses.
Swig is also president of the investment and development firm Swig Equities, LLC, which focuses on buying and developing real estate in New York and California.
According to the company's website, Swig Equities has purchased and developed over $3 billion in properties including some prominent buildings in downtown Manhattan’s financial district.
Among his numerous real estate ventures, Swig also owns the commercial real estate firm Helmsley Spear LLC and construction company Falcon Pacific Construction LLC.
Swig continues to serve as the principal to his family-owned real estate and hotel company, The Swig Company, which is based in San Francisco. He resides in Manhattan with his two sons.