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 broad range of strategic and transactions support services, including the setup of a divestiture approach, target screening and engaging with interested parties.
The Royal Canadian Mint (the Mint) is a Canadian Crown Corporation* in charge of the production and distribution of the circulation and non-circulation coins in Canada and other countries. The Mint manages the domestic coinage system, and provides the Minister of Finance advice on other monetary related matters. In addition, the Mint also produces and markets bullion and related refinery products and services, and has grown to one of the largest mints in the world.
In 2012 the Mint launched MintChip, a digital currency for purchases. The MintChip – which in essence is a small memory card issued by the Mint – keeps a balance for users and lets them 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, in particular useful in the segment for small purchases and online payments.
Although the innovation at the time was described as the “evolution of physical money, with the added benefits of being electronic”, the MintChip was never formally launched. In April of this year the Mint’s management stopped its development and announced that they would review the currency’s future options. Following an evaluation of options they have now decided to sell off the business, stating that concept would be better off in the hands of a private sector party. “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,” explains Bob Zintel, Director of MintChip.
The Boston Consulting Group
To support the divestiture of MintChip the company has brought in the expertise of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The consulting firm will assist the Mint in packaging the MintChip assets. In addition, BCG will support with determining the best approach to identifying 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.
* Crown Corporations are entities that are wholly owned by the state.