Tangem, a Swiss manufacturer of crypto “smart banknotes,” has raised US$15 million from SBI Crypto Investment, a digital asset venture investment company wholly owned by SBI Holdings.
Operating out of Switzerland and Singapore, Tangem develops smart cards called Tangem Notes that carry a fixed amount of cryptocurrency. Tangem Notes are embedded with a S3D350A chip from Samsung Semiconductor and equipped with a NFC antenna. The company provides accompanying Android and iOS apps which allow users to verify the authenticity and value of Tangem Notes via NFC.
Tangem Notes strive to be the easiest and safest way to acquire, secure and transfer cryptocurrencies.
“The Tangem hardware wallet, which is highly secure and affordable, is an important tool to promote mass adoption of digital assets and blockchain,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, President & CEO of SBI Holdings Inc. “We believe utilizing Tangem will help stipulate the demand for other blockchain services provided by SBI.”
Technically, every Tangem Note is a separate hardware cold wallet that is fixed to a certain cryptocurrency and can hold one private key at a time. But unlike traditional hardware cryptocurrency wallets like Ledger and Trezor that are optimized for digital transactions, Tangem Notes are optimized for physical transactions and are designed to be fully trusted even when received from untrusted sources, according to the company’s FAQ.
The capital injection from SBI Crypto Investment will be used to accelerate the deployment of Tandem’s technology in other industries where the secure storage and circulation of blockchain assets has high potential including stablecoins, initial coin offerings (ICOs), ticketing, anti-counterfeit, digital identity and retail loyalty, the startup said on Monday.
“We take the next big step on our mission to bring blockchain to people’s everyday life,” said Andrey Kurennykh, co-founder of Tangem.
“In 2018, our technology was proven by the markets after we launched the mass production of Tangem cards for crypto currencies and tokens. With this additional investment in 2019, we will be able to extend our product offering in other industries and provide better support to companies which embrace the idea of physical distribution of blockchain assets.”
In May 2018, Tangem launched the pilot sales of its physical “bitcoin notes” at the Megafash Suntec City store in Singapore, delivering the first shipment of 10,000 production notes of 0.01 and 0.05 BTC to prospective partners and distributors for commercial pilots. A wider rollout is planned this year with vending machines, ATMs, and money exchangers, in addition to more retail outlets.
The startup simultaneously announced the addition of former Visa senior vice president and head of innovation Vijay Sondhi as a senior strategic advisor.