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Tangem: A Way to Bring Millions to the Bitcoin space

Tangem: A Way to Bring Millions to the Bitcoin space

Reading Time: 4 minutes by on February 2, 2018 Bitcoin, Finance, News, Tech

It is known that bitcoin is one of the most popular digital currency, however, wouldn’t be shocking when bitcoins will available physically like banknotes and coins. Well, Tangem is the first smart banknote for the digital asset and wants to introduce the digital asset to millions by changing the bitcoin’s digital standard.

What is Tangem?

Tangem will be a physical bitcoin, similar to OpenDime, but instead of using a USD flash drive, Tangem uses ‘smart notes.’ Co-founder Andrew Pantyukhin told Hackernoon “We are the first real physical bitcoin;  the first tangible bitcoin.” These banknotes will allow physical transactions, i.e., for our day to day expenses, akin to fiat money. Fiat currencies are backed by the governments, which would be the only remaining difference between Tangem and fiat money.

However, it is not completely accurate that Tangem will be the first physical bitcoin, as the project has many predecessors, with Casascious being one of them.

Tangems are smart banknotes which are inbuilt with a chip that holds bitcoin or any other cryptocurrencies. These smart banknotes will make digital currency transactions easy same as fiat money. Physical transactions using Tangem will be free and instant. However, this opposes the core idea of digital cryptocurrencies that is conduction transactions digitally and easily.

However, Pantyukhin said, “They are truly decentralized, meaning it will never be restricted by technological limitations.”

How can one obtain them?

According to the Tangem Director Pantyukhin, these smart notes will be available everywhere around the world, from retail chains to special ATMs. For crypto enthusiasts, it will be the first time ever they would use a physical bitcoin like a fiat currency.

How did the idea come into existence?

In response, Pantyukhi said, “It’s like champagne , it was a bit of an accident!” He added that Tangem has an expert microelectronics team that has the ability to program secure features intrinsically. In 2015, when cryptocurrencies started to grow, the idea of smart cards came to life.

However, the chips were not up to the mark and could not perform in the desired manner. Therefore, the idea was dropped temporarily. Due to the microelectronic experts in the team and their relationship with chip manufacturers like Samsung and Infineon, the idea saw it coming back to life. These vendors provided the required information of chips that Tange could use.

How is Tangem possible now?

Initially, there was two type of chipsets, one that was “unhackable” and extremely secure, while the other could manage complex calculations. However, in 2017, the secure chip could support advanced cryptography and complex calculations. Additionally, it could attain a higher level security certificate and consume low power which makes it more affordable for production and use.  

Are these smart notes hackable?

The chip technology is highly secure and military grade, which makes it tamper-proof. Similar chip technology is used in SIM card and credit cards. As the technology has history, all the attack vectors have been addressed and tested. Moreover, Pantyukhin pointed that hacking a single note is “uneconomical” and if it gets hacked by any chance, the technology restricts access to other smart notes.

Why do we need it when practically everything is digitalized?

Pantyukhin explained that the introduction of smart notes would not have to be taught to users, as it is similar to fiat money. However, with digital currencies, a user needs to have an account on an exchange and also must know how the technology works. This is just a simple way to use cryptocurrency. He said Tangem is “really very simple. Crypto is still very difficult to use”.

Also, the introduction of these smart notes could lead more users around the globe to accept and adopt digital currencies. As per Pantyukhin, about 1 billion people are aware of cryptocurrencies, out of which about five million people trade daily on crypto exchanges. Therefore, Tangem will focus on the crypto traders that already are aware of it. However, the optimistic co-founder believes more would employ it once it’s on the market. “That’s the current demand, and it will grow quickly to seven billion once we remove the barriers to use,” said Pantyukhin.

What are other areas were Tangem could be employed?

Pantyukhin pointed that this would change how we see cash at the moment. He said, “So it’s not just about existing money, the whole definition and perception of cash is going to change once we drop the cost of introducing a new currency to almost zero.” There are multiple applications where this could be used such as; loyalty cards, ticketing, and gift cards.

At the moment, there is one in the market that could match what Tangem’s expertise. It took around three years to build Tangem, so it may be another two to three years to achieve a significant cash flow. “Obviously, by the time they get there we hope to be light years ahead,” said Pantyukin.

How much would the production of smart banknotes cost?

For now, the cost per smart banknote cost under $2, however, when producing billions it would cost similar to what fiat money production costs. Our next goal apart from production is to focus on distribution of banknotes.

To end Pantyukhin said: “We are a new way of tying the physical and digital together, which has never been done before. Inherently we treat digital as easily copyable, and this technology guarantees it cannot be copied. That again has never been possible or practical before.” Tangem’s take on bitcoin is reminiscent of Matthias Dörfelt’s representation of bitcoin as bank notes, which was a purely artistic exercise.


Would these smart banknotes expand the current crypto ecosystem? Let us know your views on this post in comments section below.

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