Announced today, Japanese banking giant SBI Group has invested in Swiss crypto startup Tangem.
The company is the creator of a slimline hardware cryptocurrency wallet.
SBI Group Invests in Tangem
SBI is offering its support to Tangem with a $15 million USD investment. It will use the capital to expand into areas such as stablecoins, ICOs, tokenized asset offerings, and digital identity.
Tangem Crypto Wallet
Described by the company as a “smart banknote for digital assets,” Tangem’s cryptocurrency wallet mimics a bank card in that it allows a user to make off-chain physical transactions. Effectively, a user can make in-store purchases, by loading the device with cryptos via an NFC-enabled smartphone.
SBI’s wholly-owned subsidiary SBI Crypto Investment provided Tangem with the funding.
The group has been busy partnering with a host of crypto startups. In October 2018, it invested in Denmark-based blockchain security startup Sepior and last March, it bought 40% of cold wallet maker CoolBitX.
SBI and Tangem
On the investment deal SBI Holdings President and CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, said the following:
“The Tangem hardware wallet, which is highly secure and affordable, is an important tool to promote mass adoption of digital assets and blockchain […] We believe utilizing Tangem will help stimulate the demand for other blockchain services provided by SBI.”
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A hardware wallet is a physical cryptocurrency storage device. It is similar to an external hard drive in that the data is stored offline and the device is only connected to the computer when necessary. As such, it provides increased security for cryptos than other alternatives.
Because they store cryptocurrencies offline, hardware wallets such as Tangem are becoming an increasingly popular means of storage for the assets.
Numerous online exchanges and wallets have experienced notable hacks, and traders are often told to never store crypto on an exchange for that reason. According to a report from Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA), the issue is significant; the country lost $540 million USD worth of crypto in the first six months of 2018 to hackings alone.
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