Harald Seiz in conversation
In 2011 you founded Karatbars International GmbH and have since then set many milestones. Currently, your company has a turnover of several hundred million euros and it continues to grow. What was your motivation and how did your close connection to gold come about?
My professional background is the financial industry. When the global financial crisis hit in 2008 and we experienced how investment bankers burned the assets of many small investors and the global financial system was on the brink of collapse, I decided to take a new path. My fascination with gold, the oldest means of payment in the world, played an important role in this. In the beginning was my vision. “Everyone should be able to afford gold.” The idea grew and when I gathered all my courage, I put it into practice by founding Karatbars.
Why did you choose gold as the solution to the problem set?
Gold has a special history. Gold has been around since over 5,000 years and has been the world currency for 2,800 years. Until 1971, the dollar was pegged to gold. Today, the fiat currencies are just a paper of Trust. Our financial system is outdated. Currencies, as we have today, built on debt go bankrupt about every 80 years. Those who suffer are always the people. Therefore gold is the only safe currency Karatbars CashGold every person as an alternative offer.
How can you imagine this practically and what are the advantages of your solution?
With our carat bar CashGold, in the form of our Gold-Cards or in paper money-like notes, we offer people gold in smallest denominations, so that it can be used on the one hand as an investment and on the other hand as a practical means of payment. Through various security features, which are both the carrier as well as on the gold, our CashGold almost forgery-proof. CashGold is therefore the physical way to exchange gold for goods. Our approach is absolutely secure and we are completely bank-independent.
Did you expect your idea to be so successful on the financial market?
I’m honest. From the beginning I believed in my idea and was sure that it would be successful. Only he who burns for his idea can light the fire for others. I never doubted myself, although I guess I was the only one who believed in me. Strictly I followed my path and achieved what I had dreamed of when I started school. A life of success and independence.
What difficulties did you face before and during the foundation?
I don’t even know where to begin. My childhood and youth were difficult. I wasn’t a high-flyer, and I wasn’t someone you’d expect to have a career. I didn’t get support from my parents or friends. Everything I have achieved, I have fought for and earned by overcoming numerous hurdles.
Are you of the opinion that success is based on courage and that anyone who only believes in his idea and does not let doubters lead him astray can make it?
Yes. The courage to take risks is the cornerstone. “Looking into the future is like looking at the sea.” Nobody knows what’s behind the horizon. But those who take the step have a good chance of reaching their goal. If I had listened to the opinions of all the doubters, there wouldn’t be any Karatbars today.
In your book “THINK Big” you have given deep insights into your life story and conveyed the core message “Anyone can do it”. Is that so?
My life story is intended to show the reader that success is not something that is innate and born in the cradle. It does not matter where you come from or how you grew up. What counts is your will and the strength to assert yourself. The context of “From Dishwasher to Millionaire” need not remain a dream. Anyone who dares to do something, makes visions plausible in practice and is not afraid of the final step, takes his career into his own hands.
For some time now there have been so-called crypto-currencies. Why did you discover a new business field for yourself here?
I am very happy that with the crypto-currencies there is a new alternative means of payment. Crypto currencies are a modern way to pay independent of banks – just as we have already successfully implemented this with our carat bar CashGold. The idea of our crypto currency Karatgold Coins is that they are exchangeable into physical gold and each Karatgold Coin represents a fixed weight of gold. Through the partial coupling to gold, Karatgold Coins meet the security needs of investors. This is our approach, which is unique worldwide.
What is your goal and what drives you?
It is the people who motivate me to achieve new goals. We live in the age of globalization and advanced technology. And yet there are millions of people today who are suffering from hunger. And yet our earth has enough resources to feed the more than 7 billion people. What we are experiencing today is nothing more than a distribution problem. Gold has been the most important and safest means of payment in the history of mankind, as it has a strong symbolic character through its durability. I want to counter the problem of global inequality of distribution by taking the approach of “gold in small denominations”. With this vision I want to reach all people and thus make a contribution to a more just world.
What would you like to give to the people on the way?
Believe in yourself and your idea. Don’t let yourself be intimidated and go your own way. Never stand still, even when you have achieved great things. Take care of your own success, no one else does.