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South Africa | Game ranchers launch “Rhino Coin,” cryptocurrency backed by legal horn stash

In a deep underground vault somewhere in South Africa is a well-guarded collection of rhino horns, each of which has been weighed, measured, photographed, and tagged with a microchip, and had its DNA sampled, decoded, and recorded in a database. Together, the horns — legally harvested from rhinos raised on private land — weigh 108 kilograms. “In terms of an undervalued asset, it’s madness,” says Alexander Wilcocks, a director of Cornu Logistics, the company that owns the stash.

Wilcocks is referring to the fact that illegally-traded rhino horn — used to make jewelry, or sold as “medicine” with no significant proven effect — is currently one of the most valuable commodities on the planet, going for up to $125 per gram on the black markets of Asia.

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