Bitcoin Goes Physical: Swiss Start-Up Launches Pilot Sale Of BTC "Banknotes"

Authored by Ana Alexandre via,

Tangem, a start-up operating from Switzerland and Singapore, has launched a pilot sale of physical notes of Bitcoin (BTC), according to a press release published May 3.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

Tangem Notes, described in the press release as “smart banknotes” with a chip developed by Samsung Semiconductor, reportedly allow consumers to physically carry Bitcoin stored in denominations of 0.01 (about $96) and 0.05 BTC (about $482). The first pilot batch, consisting of 10,000 notes, will be shipped from Singapore to potential partners and distributors around the world.

According to the press release, the idea behind creating physical notes of Bitcoin was in part to increase the ease of spending crypto, “improv[ing] the simplicity and security of acquiring, owning, and circulating cryptocurrencies.”

Singapore has developed a reputation as a hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain development in Asia. Recently, The Singapore Fintech Association and the Fintech Association of Japan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on fintech development. Additionally, China and Singapore completed a shipment of gasoline entirely using blockchain technology in early April. In March of this year, Singapore’s central bank reaffirmed its commitment to using blockchain for cross-border payments.


a Smudge by an… Coinista Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:44 Permalink

I'm still hodling! I'm not the fiery-eyed evangelist I once was, my relationship to bitcoin has become that of a divorcee that still keeps in close touch. I'll always love her, some part of me will always hope that she will change, that she will return to being that young, brilliant, quirky gal I fell for. But until then she's not something I need in my life right now. The drama, the instability, the inability to set firm goals and follow through.

In other words, she is exactly like my flesh-and-blood wife.

But now the fun part. The physical wife, counterintuitively, does not feel threatened by bitcoin at all. When I offered to sell the new girl she said "screw it, it's not even worth liquidating, just leave it in the closet."

And I'm like her. The pronoun is "her" honey, she's female. Not it. Her. Know why?

(drum roll)



In reply to by Coinista

a Smudge by an… Bitchface-KILLAH Sun, 05/06/2018 - 11:37 Permalink

I love it!

Hey my claims to bitcoin fame are marked by poingant failure but also some true insights.

My firm wrote the first bitcoin crowd funding plugin for Wordpress. In this I managed to scientifically prove that nobody in this world wants one of those. Not a single person on this planet.

My next putative venture was FLAVORED BITCOINS! I know right? it's brilliant! That's only because it's THE BEST APPLICATION OF THIS TECHNOLOGY EVER ENVISIONED.

i'm still working out some details of said tech but I did come up with a marketing pitch which scientifically establishes another fact: I have the Brooklyn Jew accent ca.1976 nailed. Totally and finally nailed.

This goes a long way to establishing my theory that you can't live in NYC without coming out a bit Jewish. It just kinda seeps into you by osmosis.

Next thing you know you are on a checkout line in Kansas and you find yourself muttering "this you call a bagel?"

In reply to by Bitchface-KILLAH

lincolnsteffens Coinista Sun, 05/06/2018 - 15:12 Permalink

The concept seems to be very promising. I won't be converting any precious metals to a few electrons stored in any steal-able or hack-able device which is just about anything electronic that is accessible by anyone else. Fiat is a possibility as it always becomes worth less  anyway.

If they issued paper bitcoin backed by proven reserves of gold for a transparent identifiable constant value that would be a major step or bit gold infused paper money. I hate track-able credit cards but would consider a small allocation to a loaded card of bitcoin with an allocated gold or silver equivalent.

In reply to by Coinista

FBaggins Oldguy05 Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:40 Permalink

This is another huge step in the right direction. If I understand the concept, people can use the notes without having to go through the blockchain or online to verify transactions. They can check out the genuineness of the note online in their own time. My question would be that if you are going to trust the currency without immediately verifying it online, how you would prevent counterfeiting without having to resort to some kind of government law enforcement?  Maybe the answer is for governments which want to take the control and value of our currencies out of the hands of the international banksters, simply to go the crypto way.  


In reply to by Oldguy05

a Smudge by an… FBaggins Sun, 05/06/2018 - 11:52 Permalink

I don't think you understand at all. The idea of a trucker's wallet with block chain is too fabulous for words. I think it's patentable!

If somebody doesn't take that little sexpot of an idea and run with it then we should all hang out heads in shame for pretending to be capitalists when in reality we are just too frankly unmotivated to be true hipsters.

In reply to by FBaggins

Jeffersonian Liberal BaBaBouy Sun, 05/06/2018 - 09:46 Permalink

Someone please explain to me...yet BitCoin and all these 'cryptocurrencies' (ooh, that sounds so subversive and cool) are not just another form of fiat currency?

Seriously, I want to drink your koolaid and see it the way you do, but every time you make your argument and just about convince me, the koolaid wears off and I see all of this as, 1. just another fiat currency, 2. paving the way to the digitalization of all currency (the end of paper and coin money) and the coup d'etat of the surveillance state.



In reply to by BaBaBouy

Archive_file Jeffersonian Liberal Sun, 05/06/2018 - 09:50 Permalink

It’s simple, fiat is printed (and inflated) at the whim of bankers.

BTC and alt-coins are generally decentralized and have a set number of “coins” based on their proprietary algorithm. Every transaction of crypto can be seen on the blockchain via block-explorer. This can’t be said of the Federal Reserve or of their cooked books. 

In reply to by Jeffersonian Liberal

snblitz Buckaroo Banzai Sun, 05/06/2018 - 14:39 Permalink

When they hit the hard cap of 21 million bitcoins the "block reward" for mining goes away (it also goes away due to halving),  how will miners make money mining?

transaction fees you say?

Okay, currently miners expect around $100K per block mined.

That comes to about $20 per transaction, or $7 per transaction with segwit.

Do you want to pay $7 to $20 per transaction after the block reward ends?

In December 2017 people were paying $24 per transaction for timely transactions and at that time the miners were still getting the block reward too.

In reply to by Buckaroo Banzai

Buckaroo Banzai nmewn Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:01 Permalink

You do understand that 99.99% of all dollars and euros in the world have already been digitized...right? That physical cash represents a rounding error of all dollars in circulation...right? That if you go to a bank and try to convert your digital dollars into physical cash dollars in amounts more than, say, $10,000, you will cause panic and general mayhem as the tellers and bank managers run around like chickens with their heads cut off?

If you are worried about living in a world run by digital money, you are going to need a time machine to take you back to the 1950s.

Bitcoin at least represents a digital currency that cannot be created with the click of a mouse.

How is this so difficult for people to understand??


In reply to by nmewn

nmewn Urban Roman Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:23 Permalink

Thats precisely what I'm saying.

It comes from nothing, is backed by nothing and is actually even worse than nothing by virtue of the fact IT RELIES ON things that must be in place for it to seemingly work, namely, the internet and devices to access the internet. 

Even fiat (once printed) is indeed "something" that needs nothing else to be useful regardless of us knowing it's intrinsic value is in essence zero (paper & ink) it is still useful and is unencumbered easily transacted without needing any device or internet. 

In reply to by Urban Roman

Buckaroo Banzai nmewn Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:38 Permalink

FFS stop being so ignorant, this shit isn't that difficult to figure out for anyone with an IQ over 110 who bothers to invest a small amount of time actually trying to understand it. BitCoins don't "come from nothing", you have to deploy a huge amount of computing resources to unlock them. And saying it's not "backed" by anything is fucking absurd. What's a gold coin backed by? Nothing but itself. Bitcoin works the same way. The backing for a Bitcoin is the Bitcoin itself. THAT'S HOW HARD MONEY WORKS.

"Even fiat (once printed) is indeed "something" that needs nothing else to be useful regardless of us knowing it's intrinsic value is in essence zero (paper & ink) it is still useful and is unencumbered easily transacted without needing any device or internet."

Fiat money has value BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT SAYS YOU HAVE TO USE IT TO PAY TAXES, OR TO CREATE AND/OR FULFILL ANY CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATION. When the government that issues the fiat currency breaks down, the currency becomes worthless. Look at Venezuela for a perfect example in the current moment in time. If BitCoin is the same as fiat, why are rich Venezuelans tripping over themselves to convert their Venezuelan fiat money into BitCoin?


In reply to by nmewn

GooseShtepping Moron Buckaroo Banzai Sun, 05/06/2018 - 12:10 Permalink

BitCoins don't "come from nothing", you have to deploy a huge amount of computing resources to unlock them.

Okay, you're right. Bitcoins don't come from nothing; they come from less than nothing. Expending computer resources in order to produce a valueless string of digits is a complete waste of time and energy. Just because resources were expended on Bitcoin, that doesn't mean that Bitcoin has acquired value thereby. This is the literal embodiment of the Keynesian trope about burying bottled money in the mine shafts. Even old John Maynard only meant that as a metaphor, but the Bitcoiners have taken it to its logical extreme.

So how does it feel to be an ultra-Keynesian? You guys think you're a bunch of libertarians, fighting for free markets and taking down the banking cartel? The central banks of the world have nothing on crypto when it comes to wishing things into existence.

In reply to by Buckaroo Banzai

Buckaroo Banzai Urban Roman Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:26 Permalink

Uh...did you even read what I wrote? Absent a tiny rounding-error's worth of physical cash, WE ARE ALREADY IN A 100% DIGITAL CURRENCY WORLD.

Bitcoin is just a better form of digital currency. And, now, given that there are ways to transform Bitcoin into a physical currency virtually instantaneously using chip-embedded notes, or "credit sticks" like Opendime, BitCoin actually represents a superior form of physical currency over the physical cash dollar. Because as I pointed out, right now it's extremely difficult to extract more than a few thousand dollars worth of physical dollars out of the digital dollar system.

In reply to by Urban Roman

thisandthat Urban Roman Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:27 Permalink

Funny that no one apparently knows what fiat means, since no one pointed it out, about his question, and even went further with the misconception...

News flash: fiat means mandatory; ie: that you can't refuse it as a means of payment. That's all.

Beyond that, and unless explicitly illegal, anything really can be used as a means of payment, as long as both parties agree, including collectibles, such as btc...

In reply to by Urban Roman

Buckaroo Banzai Savvy Sun, 05/06/2018 - 10:29 Permalink

Do an internet search on how BitCoins are created. It takes a massive amount of computing resources that have to successfully execute a "proof of work" algorithm to create a new block on the blockchain, and release their associated Bitcoins. You can "click your mouse" as much as you want but it ain't gonna generate dick.

In reply to by Savvy