According to a press release published on may 3rd, Tangem, a startup company from Switzerland launches a pilot sale of physical bitcoin banknotes in Singapore. 

Tangem is the first smart banknotes for digital assets that are using near field communication (NFC) chips manufactured by Samsung Semiconductor. The banknotes themselves come in two denominations, 0,01 and 0,05 BTC, which is equivalent to 95 and 475 USD. The Tangem banknotes strive to improve the simplicity and security of acquiring, owning, and circulating cryptocurrencies for users.

Cryptocurrencies can be loaded onto the Tangem card and offloaded back from Tangem to the host blockchain. It’s also anonymous and instant, due to the fact that the card can be physically handed over together with the blockchain private key. This means no transaction fees and no need to await confirmation on the blockchain.

The card itself is also easy to use, it requires no special infrastructure and no complicated applications. Tangem says on its website “just touch the banknote with an NFC-capable smartphone to be 100% sure it has valid assets”. 

The first shipment of 10,000 notes is now delivered in Singapore to prospective partners and distributors for commercial pilots. “The first million entering circulation in early 2018, this is the only mass-produced hardware carrier for digital assets,” Tangem says on its website. 

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