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South Korea Has Gold Bar Vending Machines...And They're Selling Out
Tyler Durden

First, it was Costco selling (and selling out of) gold bars, as we reported last year. Now, you can buy them in vending machines in South Korea.

One way or another, it looks as though the public wants gold. 

Bloomberg reported this week that in Seoul's upscale Gangnam district, a GS Retail Co. convenience store features a vending machine selling gold bars, ranging from less than 1 gram to 37.5 grams, with prices starting at around 88,000 won ($64) and fluctuating daily. Initially launched in 2022, these machines are now in 30 stores nationwide.

South Koreans are joining the global investing trend, with many investing in fractional shares and physical gold, amid widespread interest in various asset types, from meme stocks to cryptocurrencies, the report noted.

The one thing we see in common with the United States? People that want to exit from the fiat system. 

A GS spokesperson told Bloomberg: “Currently we are seeing about 30 million won of sales per month. The gold vending machine draws customers’ attention due to increasing demand for safe haven assets and the spreading trend of micro-investing.”

Park Sang-hyun, an economist at HI Investment & Securities in Seoul, added that investors have a “fear of missing out when everything rallies, and that partially contributed to the scene.”

He added: “Feeling uncertainty about the global economy prompts safe haven demand.” 

In South Korea, the convenience store CU, a competitor of GS, quickly sold out its ultralight gold cards, with the 1-gram options disappearing in just two days due to high demand from people in their 30s.

As of May 31, CU had sold 95% of its 770 gold items, buoyed by prices falling below market rates, according to a statement from BGF Retail Co. The chain plans to introduce gold bars ranging from 2 to 10 grams, although no specific date has been given.

Additionally, Kbank, an online bank with over 10 million users, began a service on May 9 allowing the purchase of gold bars from 1.875 grams to 37.5 grams with free delivery, as online banks also respond to rising gold demand.

“With the price of gold recently topping $2,400 per ounce, investing in gold has become a popular way,” Kbank said in a statement. 

About Costco, late last year, we wrote: "It's an incredible commentary on the average American citizen. Americans are literally choosing to transact U.S. dollars for gold."

"Just because it's happening on a website that says 'Costco' and the transaction is being consummated by housewives named Florence doesn't change the fact that enough people thought converting U.S. dollars into hard assets was a high enough priority that these bars sold out," we wrote.

"These aren’t shoppers heading over to Kitco — these are people casually picking up some gold when they buy dog food and toilet paper. And if you think that's crazy now, wait until we hit a period of volatility."

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