Bitcoin to banknotes

The cryptocurrency is going tangible: 10,000 notes have been manufactured and sent to Singapore this month, a product of the Swiss startup Tangem. A realization that all-digital is not always practical?

Headline-making Bitcoin is now a cryptocurrency-cum-banknote as it moves into a new dimension: the real world. It might sound like an oxymoron, but the digital currency is now available in two denominations, the 0.01 and the 0.05 BTC that can be found in Singapore at the Megafash Suntec City store.

Manufactured by the Swiss startup Tangem, the banknote has an integrated hardware system based on one of Samsung’s semiconductor chips. The notes are “cheap enough to hand over” and, according to Bitcoin News, need “no special infrastructure, no complicated applications”. The user simply needs an NFC– capable smartphone to check the note’s assets.