The Swiss crypto startup Tangem has announced that Japanese financial services firm, SBI Group, has invested $15 million.
Tangem, which produces slimline hardware wallets for cryptocurrencies, made the statement Monday. According to the company, the investment would enable it to expand its technology to additional products and services, such as stablecoins, initial coin offerings (ICOs) and tokenized assets.
Tangem describes its storage product as a “smart banknote for digital assets.” The wallets are intended to be used like bank cards, allowing physical, off-chain transactions once users load their assets onto the devices via NFC-enabled smartphones.
“We take the next big step on our mission to bring blockchain to people’s everyday life,” said Tangem co-founder, Andrey Kurennykh. “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”.
SBI confirmed the investment in a separate statement. Though the firm chose not to disclose the amount, it did announce that funding had been made available through SBI Crypto Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary that invests in digital assets ventures.
According to the SBI statement, the company had invested in Tangem because its “inexpensive” and “robust” line of wallets could help boost demand for crypto assets, not to mention its own products.
“The Tangem hardware wallet, which is highly secure and affordable, is an important tool to promote mass adoption of digital assets and blockchain,” said representative director, president & CEO of SBI Holdings, Yoshitaka Kitao. “We believe utilizing Tangem will help stimulate the demand for other blockchain services provided by SBI.”
SBI Group also partnered with the Denmark-based blockchain security company, Sepior, in October 2018, with the aims of developing a digital wallet for its cryptocurrency exchange VCTRADE.
Last March, the group also bought a 40-percent stake in CoolBitX, a Taiwanese producer of cold wallets.Hardware wallets have become an increasingly popular solution for cryptocurrency storage, as more and more online exchanges have become hacked. According to a report, more than $880 million has been lost globally to cyberattacks over the past 18 months.
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