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Bitcoin gets physical

Assets loaded on the card can be verified via smartphone through a validation app. (Source: Tangem)
Assets loaded on the card can be verified via smartphone through a validation app. (Source: Tangem)
A Swiss technology company has started rolling out smart banknotes called Tangem Notes that offer a physical presence for cryptocurrencies. The "banknotes," which are actually plastic cards, have been launched for sale in a large store in Singapore and there are plans for a wider rollout throughout 2018 and 2019. Currently available Tangem banknotes are valued at 0.01 BTC and 0.05 BTC.

Tangem, a company based in Switzerland and Singapore with partners around the world, has released the Tangem Note. The smart banknote offers buyers a physical representation of a cryptocurrency which can be used to make secure transactions. The pilot products have been rolled out to the Megafash Suntec City store in Singapore and are available in denominations of 0.01 BTC (~US$96) and 0.05 BTC (~US$482).

Shoppers purchasing the Tangem Note will find themselves in possession of a plastic card containing a Samsung S3D350A chip. The card/banknote utilizes NFC technology and should appeal to those with an interest in cryptocurrencies but have concerns about their intangible nature. Tangem claims the smart banknote contains a secure cold wallet and a user simply hands the card over to make a fast and anonymous payment.

The company states that it is already delivering 10,000 production notes worldwide and has begun mass production on a million more. Although Bitcoin is the currently adopted digital asset, it is likely such hardware will eventually be used in conjunction with many of the other leading cryptocurrencies.


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Daniel R Deakin, 2018-05- 4 (Update: 2018-05- 4)