The SBI Group (Japanese Financial Services Giant) has invested $15 million in Tangem, a Swiss-based startup that essentially develops slimline hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies. Tangem has elaborated its product by calling it a ‘smart banknote for digital assets.’ Tangen enables off chain physical transactions like for store payment (once cryptocurrency has been loaded onto the device through NFC enabled smartphones) as the product is developed to be used as a bank card.
This Monday, Tangem announced that SBI investment would join hands with the startup in order to help them expand its technology to different areas such as stablecoins, ICO’s (Initial coin offerings), digital identity and tokenised asset offerings. In one of the statements by SBI, they confirmed the news of funding made available through SBI’s subsidiary ‘SBI Crypto Investment’ who primarily invests in digital asset ventures. However, the amount of funding was not disclosed by the organisation.
According to SBI, the only reason they invested in Tangem is that of it’s ‘inexpensive’ and ‘robust’ wallet product which the SBI believes can accelerate the demand for crypto assets along with its own products. Yoshitaka Kitao (President & CEO SBI Holdings) said in one of his statements that ‘The Tangem hardware wallet, which is highly secure and affordable, is an important tool to promote mass adoption of digital assets and blockchain’ He further went on to saying that ‘We believe utilizing Tangem will help stimulate the demand for other blockchain services provided by SBI.’
Last year in the month of October, SBI group joined hands with Sepoir, A Denmark based blockchain security startup in order to develop a digital wallet for its own cryptocurrency exchange ‘VCTRADE’. SBI Group bought a 40 per cent stake in CoolBitX (A Taiwanese cold wallet) in March 2018. Hardware wallets are rapidly gaining popularity regarding crypto storage because a number of crypto exchanges have witnessed eminent hacks.
According to a report published by Japan’s, National Police Agency (NPA), in the first six months of 2018, Japan witnessed losses of cryptocurrency worth 60,503 yen. According to another report published by the NPA, in the last 18 months, over $880 million have been lost to cyber attacks globally.