Canadian Mint hires BCG to sell off MintChip digital currency

12 September 2014 2 min. read

The Boston Consulting Group has been hired by the Royal Canadian Mint to manage the divestiture of its MintChip digital currency. BCG will support the financial services firm with a suite of strategic and transactions support services – including the setup of a divestiture approach, target screening, and engaging with interested parties.

The Royal Canadian Mint is responsible for the production, distribution, and circulation of bills and coins in Canada. In addition, the Mint also produces and markets gold bullion and related refinery products and services – and has grown to be one of the largest mints in the world.

In 2012, the Mint launched its MintChip project, an in-house digital currency for purchases. MintChip – essentially a small Mint-issued memory card – keeps a balance for users and allows them to send and receive money or make purchases. According to the Mint, the digital currency provides a safe, efficient, and customer-friendly manner of handling transactions – and is particularly useful in the area of small purchases and online payments.

Canadian Mint hires BCG to sell off MintChip digital currency

The MintChip project – described by the Mint as an “evolution of physical money, with the added benefits of being electronic” – will not, in the end, be released by the Canadian crown corporation. In April of this year, the Mint’s management stopped the project’s development and announced that there would be a review of the currency’s future options.

Following an evaluation, management has decided to sell off MintChip, stating that at this point in its evolution, the program would be better off in the hands of a private sector firm. “The Mint's research and development efforts on MintChip have reached a stage where the project is ready to move to its natural next step of commercialization in the private sector,” explained Bob Zintel, Director of MintChip.

To support its divestment of MintChip, the company has brought in the expertise of management consultancy The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The consulting firm will assist the Mint in packaging MintChip’s assets, while also helping identify the best plan for attracting and engaging interested parties. “We believe BCG has the experience and expertise to help us maximize the return on investment in this program,” adds Zintel.

The Mint did not release how much it had spent on the MintChip program so far, nor how much it expected to recoup on the investment.