Zug is now a true global hub for Blockchain innovation, as this sleepy Swiss town has not stopped short when it comes to impressive tech development. The latest company to come out of Zug with a fresh idea is Tangem, a startup that’s successfully developed smart banknotes. It’s probably an alien concept to many, by the idea isn’t as ridiculous as it might seem. Now reaching sale in a leading Singapore shopping mall, the product describes itself as a smart banknote platform – with it attempting to infuse Bitcoin with standard currency-esque transaction elements.
More than a novelty
New technology related to Bitcoin often carries a novelty value, with this development certainly having a touch of that. However, there is clearly a product here with potential. Tangem has figured out how to manufacturer physical notes with denominated values of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Named Tangem Smartnotes, obviously named after the founding company, it’s currently in its pilot launch phase at the Suntec City Mall in downtown Singapore.
A cold wallet with a twist
Each banknote is designed to carry a chip, with the chip designating the note’s value. During the pilot launch phase, the value of each noted is locked between 0.01 BTC and 0.05 BTC. The idea of digital banknotes might not exactly light the world on fire, but the technology undeniably has some impressive elements. Each note contains a Samsung Semiconductor S3D350A chip, which – according to Andrew Pantyukhin (Tagem Founder) – “addresses all known attack vectors on hardware and software levels.” Effectively a cold wallet, Pantyukhin has declared it to be “uncopyable”, with the idea of anyone hacking a single note simply being “uneconomical”. The idea of a collective hard wallet makes a lot of sense from a security perspective, especially if it can effectively mimic a standard currency wallet.
Hand to hand exchange
Given the technology, you would assume that production would be costly, but it’s actually a much more cost-effective product than expected – costing just $2 to manufacture a single banknote. Pantyukhin has revealed that the company is making “millions of units”, which seems optimistic, but certainly isn’t something that would be out of the question. The idea – outside of being a flexible hard wallet – is that it will make transactions between two parties “immediate, free, and anonymous.” Transferring BTC ownership between two parties can be done when the banknote swaps hands. Tangem explains that all anyone has to do is “physically hand over the whole wallet together with the blockchain private key. No transaction fees, no need to await confirmation blockchain.” Each individual note is NFC-enabled, which allows any user to verify the validity of the assets contained via a smartphone.
Straight outta’ Zug
As we mentioned, Tangem is headquartered Zug – the emerging “Crypto Valley” in Switzerland that has everyone talking. Tangem has made it clear that Zug is only the beginning, which probably explains why Singapore has become a target market. “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,” Tangem said within its press release.
When old school meets new school
Novel ideas tend to come and go within the crypto sphere, but few tend to stay the course – let alone reach distribution. Having officially launched in Singapore – albeit in a pilot phase – Tangem Smartnotes could be a project that has legitimate potential.