So most of you all know of hardware wallets and we have all heard the phrase “not your keys, not your coins” before. But it was not until FTX and other exchanges collapsed that we really started to understand how important self-custody is — that is where hardware wallets come in and they are a great way to keep our coins safe and secure.
This hardware wallet that we are going to talk about though has a completely new approach that I bet you have not seen before — it is called the Tangem Wallet.
What Is Tangem?
If you are not familiar with Tangem, they are one of the popular cold wallet manufacturers in the crypto industry today.
Tangem wallets are unique in the fact that they do not require the user to generate, write down and manage a backup key — this makes it really easy to set up the wallet and also removes a lot of the pitfalls that people experience when managing cold storage.
You also do not have to worry about accidentally revealing it to a scammer or hacker as this is one of the top ways that people get scammed out of their crypto — by revealing their backup phrase.
How Does Tangem Work?
Tangem is a physical card and there is actually no seed phrase (for the classic ones) — so they do not give you any seed phrase to actually remember it. But their recently launched Tangem 2.0 wallets let users generate a seed phrase if they want and it is completely optional.
According to Tangem, they say that the seed phrase is actually built into the NFC chip that is in the physical card — so this is a bit more interesting compared to some of the other hardware wallets that you may have heard of.
Even though this is a bit different compared to saving your own seed phrase, there actually is still a lot of security in these physical cards as they only work as an app on your phone, and you can find the application on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
If you want to make any transactions like swap, send, receive or add new tokens in the wallet, you have to use one of the cards — usually most people will have two or three cards, so you can have one or two as a backup — but any of the cards will work and basically you place the card right up to your phone where the NFC works.
Security & Certification
The card is very simple in design with just a chip that is an advanced standalone microcomputer that has been independently certified as having the highest standard of security among crypto wallets known as EAL6+ which is a level of protection similar to that of NASA and passports.
The card also has an NFC antenna for wireless communication similar to a regular credit card, so there are no vulnerable elements that are prone to failure like batteries, a cable or a screen.
Tangem also has an independent audit of the firmware and the source code involved was carried out by Swiss auditing company Kudelski Security.
Lastly, they are rated IP68 which is the highest possible protection rating against environmental conditions. So that means they can withstand super harsh elements like dust, water, heat and even can put it in the snow and it will still work.
1. Download Tangem from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
2. Open the app and scan your card
Tap the card and do not remove it until the end of the operation.
3. Create a new wallet
The private key is generated when you create a new wallet — once again there is no seed phrase (for the classic ones) and the card works with the pin or biometric authentication, so only you can access your crypto; the private key never leaves the chip once it has been activated so it cannot be stolen.
4. Add a backup card
You can link up to 3 cards to one wallet. Click on “Backup now” and hold the first backup card to the back of your phone. After you have added the first backup card, you will get a message to add the second one if you purchased the 3-card bundle.
5. Create an access code
We are going to create an access code to protect these cards if someone were to find them — so this adds another layer of security to the cards.
6. Finalize the backup process
You will need to scan your primary card — verify your card’s last 4 digits and click “Scan the primary card” and proceed by holding your card on the back of your phone until the operation is complete. Also repeat the process with your 1st and/or 2nd backup cards.
7. And you’re done!
Once done you should see a success message — congratulations! Now your wallet is ready to be used.
If you want a super affordable and secure wallet that is beginner friendly and does not break the bank, then I can’t recommend Tangem enough.
The only person I would say this wallet isn’t for is someone who absolutely hates closed source firmware. But again, any cold wallet that uses a secure element chip will have at least some level of closed source firmware.