A Singaporean startup developing ‘smart banknotes’ for cryptocurrencies has launched sales of physical bitcoin banknotes with a pilot in a major Singaporean mall.
Describing itself as a ‘smart banknote platform’ that manufactures physical notes with denominated values of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Singaporean firm Tangem has debuted ‘Tangem Note(s)’ in a pilot launch at the Suntech City shopping center in the city-state today.
The ‘banknotes’ will carry their value in bitcoin on a chip inside each note and are available in denominations of 0.01 BTC ($98) and 0.05 BTC ($485) at launch.
The hardware inside each banknote – it isn’t made of paper – is a Samsung Semiconductor S3D350A chip which, according to Tangem co-founder Andrew Pantyukhin says, ‘addresses all known attack vectors on hardware and software levels” on a Medium post. The accompanying cold wallet is “uncopiable”, Tangem says, while its co-founder insists the hacking of a single banknote would prove ‘uneconomical’ and would only be restricted to a single banknote even in the event of a hack.
Each banknote costs the company $2 to manufacture. The co-founder says the company is ‘making millions of units now’ in a bid to facilitate crypto transactions that are “immediate, free and anonymous”.
Pertinently, transferring ownership of the notes and their value in bitcoin is instant when the banknote swaps hands. “Physically hand over the whole wallet together with the blockchain private key. No transaction fees, no need to await confirmation blockchain,” Tangem states on its website, adding that each note will be NFC-enabled, allowing a user to instantly verify the validity of the assets contained via a smartphone.
With bases of operation spread in multiple places around the world – its global headquarters is in the Swiss town of Zug, commonly known as ‘Crypto Valley’ – Tangem has plans to distribute its banknotes globally following its launch in Singapore.
‘As Singapore sets the lead, Tangem is delivering the first shipment of 10,000 production notes to prospective partners and distributors around the world for commercial pilots,’ the company said in a press release.
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