Crypto Wallet Maker Tangem Gets $15M from Japan’s SBI Group

The Tangem investment marks SBI’s latest involvement in the virtual assets industry and a second wallet provider the Japanese group has supported after launching the VCTRADE crypto exchange last year.

Swiss-based crypto wallet developer Tangem said on Monday it had received a $15 million investment from SBI Group. The Japanese financial services giant confirmed the news without disclosing the amount.

Tangem plans to spend the fresh capital on expanding its services and client base. Currently, the company produces crypto notes – hardware wallets designed to be used similarly to bank cards and to enable off-chain transactions. The product only supports Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), according to the company website, but Tangem wants to add new cryptos, among them stablecoins and TAO tokens – coins issued during the process of tokenizing various financial assets.

The Japanese group conducted the Tangem deal via its SBI Crypto Investment subsidiary, which backs blockchain and digital assets projects.

“We believe utilizing Tangem will help stimulate the demand for other blockchain services provided by SBI,” SBI Holdings president and CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said.

In June 2018, SBI Group launched its cryptocurrency exchange, VCTRADE. Several months later, it began to invest in storing solutions amid the tougher regulatory environment in Asia. In October, SBI signed an agreement with Denmark-based security company Sepior, the goal being to jointly create a crypto hardware wallet for VCTRADE.

According to Yoshitaka, the decision to back Tangem reflects the company’s belief that hardware wallets are more secure than online storing solutions.

“The Tangem hardware wallet [...] is an important tool to promote mass adoption of digital assets and blockchain,” he said.

Hardware wallets, also known as cold storing, are devices without a direct link to the Internet, while hot wallets need an online connection to function. Several markets regulators consider the former as more reliable and difficult to attack. Last year, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) banned hot wallets after the massive Coincheck breach, which allowed hackers to steal $530 million worth of NEM (XEM) tokens via the internet-based storage system of the exchange.

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