Japan’s SBI Group Pumps $15m into Swiss Smart Wallet Maker Tangem

By Tracy Hannes | January 24, 2019

SBI Group, Japan’s financial services heavyweight, is investing $15 million in Swiss blockchain smart card wallet maker Tangem, announced both companies in independent press releases (Jan 21).

Tangem said the investment will accelerate “the deployment of its technology in other industries where the secure storage and circulation of blockchain assets has the highest potential”, such as in the use of crypto and stablecoins, ICO token distribution, ticketing, and digital identity.

Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, President and CEO of SBI Holdings Inc believes that investing in Tangem will help boost the demand for other blockchain services provided by SBI.

“The Tangem hardware wallet, which is highly secure and affordable, is an important tool to promote mass adoption of digital assets and blockchain,” he said. SBI also mentioned that they invested in Tangem for its “inexpensive” and “robust” slimline hardware wallet.

Hardware wallets have been a rising alternative for storing cryptocurrencies since crypto exchanges have seen numerous cyber-theft hacks. Japan alone lost a massive JPY60.503 billion (around $540 million) worth in the first half of 2018. Worldwide, over $880 million have been lost in the last 18 months to cyberattacks.

SBI Group has been building up its ventures into wallet makers. Last year, it announced a partnership with Denmark-based blockchain security startup Sepior to develop a digital wallet for its cryptocurrency exchange VCTRADE. SBI also bought a 40% stake in Taiwanese cold wallet maker CoolBitX.

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