By Frank Tang NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. precious metals dealer Anthem Vault Inc said on Wednesday it has launched the first digital currency backed by physical gold, with an aim to increase the use of bullion as an accepted form of electronic money. “It should make gold more acceptable as a form of currency by combining its appeal as a store of value and a much more efficient medium of exchange,” said Anthem Blanchard, chief executive of Anthem Vault, who previously worked at online precious metals market GoldMoney. Blanchard said Wednesday’s launch was a promotional offering, and the company has plans to offer a full suite of virtual currencies backed by a larger amount of gold as well as other precious metals at the end of September. The launch comes at a critical time for online currency markets after the failure of Mt. Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, and increased regulatory scrutiny shook investor confidence in digital currency.