Tangem CEO AMA Recap: All Your Questions Answered!

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In this special Tangem Community AMA, we were happy to have Tangem CEO Andrey join us. He came to answer all your questions and share important information about the company's plans and goals. The session was meant to connect with the community, give updates on what's coming next, and include you in the development process. 

Ana started the AMA and encouraged everyone to ask their questions live. The AMA discussed many topics, from technical things and security worries to partnerships and the future of hardware wallets in the growing crypto world.

Introduction to AMA

Hello everyone! Welcome to our fifth AMA session. We're very excited to have a special guest with us today - someone I'm sure you've all been looking forward to meeting. We at Tangem are thrilled to have our CEO, Andre, here to answer all your questions live.

We listened to what you said after the last AMA and know you want more time for your questions. So, we'll review the questions you sent in before and the ones you'll ask live during this session. Just remember to put them in the YouTube live-stream chat.

If you stay until the end, you'll have a chance to win one of five fabulous pieces of Tangem merch. So don't go anywhere.

Introducing Andrey - Tangem CEO

Let me introduce Andrey, the company's head and Technical co-founder of Tangem. He has a background in embedded security and secure microelectronics, which is how we started Tangem seven years ago. Our team, including Andre, has expertise in the secure tech field.

Today, we'll discuss what's coming up, and Andrey will be happy to answer all your questions, including the technical ones about features and everything else. I'll tell you more about our upcoming upgrades, features, form factors, and integrations. Then, Andrey will be ready to answer all your questions. Andrey, over to you to say hello to everyone.

Roadmap Updates & Community Mentions

Before we start with the questions, let's quickly discuss what's new on our roadmap. We discussed this in more detail during the last session, so now's your chance to catch up if you missed it.

Last month, we released quite a few things, like our 24 seed phrase, passphrase support, and Send screen redesign. This month, some exciting changes are coming up, including adding OKX DEX and several others shortly.

For our roadmap, in June, we're adding support for Mantle, Conflux, Canto, Kava, Radix, Cardano, and TON tokens. Many of you are excited about the TON ecosystem coming to Tangem. In July, we've got some of your long-awaited favorites ready to release, and Blast is an excellent addition to our lineup.

For the community, we're at several events this month. We're currently at ETH Belgrade in Serbia, and later this month, we'll be going to Georgia and Switzerland. If you're nearby, let us know, and we can meet some of you in person!

Lastly, I want to mention our great Tangem Club, an improved system for our Tangem Beta program. It's open to everyone, but we need your help and feedback to make the product together.

That's all for now. Let's move on to the main event - your questions! Andre, are you ready to start answering them?

Questions & Answers

Q: Wallet Connect non-EVM future plans

You asked how we will work with non-EVM blockchains like Cardano since we currently use Wallet Connect to interact with EVM smart contracts.

The answer is pretty simple. We prioritize integrations based on what our community needs and wants. For these kinds of integrations, we mostly rely on the blockchain infrastructure. Wallet Connect, which you mentioned, is an essential tool for our community. It helps us connect our wallet, key management system, and blockchain ecosystem.

As I mentioned, we will offer support for Cardano tokens very soon. However, for more detailed integration, we depend on the community to give us tools that will help us add such support without doing it natively, which can take a lot of time. We hope the community will help us with these tools, allowing us to bring more features to blockchains like Cardano.

Q: Bitcoin Lightning Network support

Regarding Lightning Network support, it's important to know that it can't be done with a cold wallet because of how it's built. A Lightning wallet needs a hot wallet - an application always connected to the internet, which goes against the idea of a cold wallet.

There are no Lightning network implementations on cold wallets. The transaction process is very complex, requiring a lot of back-and-forth communication between the node and the wallet. This is why it can't be quickly done, and we won't be able to support it due to technical limitations.

That being said, we support Bitcoin and pay close attention to it, as most transactions seem to come through the Bitcoin network. We will continue to focus on the quality and node availability of the Bitcoin network in the future.

Q: Custom EVM networks

Allowing users to add custom EVM networks within our app is a very demanding feature, and we understand that many of you want to see more of it in Tangem.

However, we are committed to providing our users with high availability and service. We must choose and integrate backends, nodes, and APIs ourselves. It's not as easy as opening an interface, typing in some endpoints, and working with the network like you would with Ethereum. We can't be sure it's safe for you.

Even with popular Ethereum clones, we handle the integration ourselves and will continue this approach in the future because it's a matter of safety for most of our users.

Q: Have there been attempts at clones?

It's a simple question regarding attempts to clone Tangem wallets, like how credit cards are cloned, from an engineer's perspective. Everything is protected against attacks like replay attacks or anything related to the communication between the card and the phone.

The specific way NFC hardware and protocol are implemented makes it impossible to interfere with this communication. While it's possible, in theory, to listen to the data passing through the channel, it's not useful. This radio communication is useless to hackers or ordinary people, so it's not a realistic way to attack in any situation.

Q: What materials interfere with Tangem Wallets?

You asked about materials that might interfere with the communication between the phone and the Tangem wallet. It's fundamental physics—any magnetic material, like metal or a metal case, will interfere with this communication. That's why we don't provide metal cards, as they hamper communication and make the user experience less reliable.

We use high-quality polymers for our cards. However, if you want to store the card safely, any metal case or metal wallet will isolate the magnetic field, preventing your phone or card from communicating via NFC.

Q: Plans on browser for dApps

Plans to add a built-in browser for dApps are a matter of prioritization. We will add some elements of dApp browsers, providing native support for the most popular dApps, like Gnosis Safe.

Our applications will have more extensions for that purpose, but we will not transform into a fully functional dApp browser in the foreseeable future. Our focus remains on key storage and integrations with external tools like Wallet Connect, which will be the main channel for dApp integration moving forward.

Q: Considerations for multisig solutions

Implementing a multisig solution or other stealth addresses to mitigate the risk of hacks and unauthorized withdrawals is not our priority. We will not implement any sophisticated key management, key sharding, or algorithms required to share keys because they contradict our security and product security strategies and are also very complicated for users.

If you want multi-sig functionality, you should use on-chain solutions like Gnosis Safe, which I mentioned earlier. We will not implement multi-sig algorithms in our wallet due to the complexity and potential for mismanagement, which could worsen things for many of our users.

Q: What is your most substantial advantage as a company?

You asked about our strongest advantage that will make our team a leader in the market. Our main strength lies in our strong community orientation. We focus on what people are saying and our core values, such as self-custody and simplicity, rather than abstract concepts or even direct commercial interests at the current point.

We are committed to creating a simple, understandable, and secure product suitable for onboarding new users and serving experienced crypto users. That's everything we stand for, and we will continue this approach in the future.

Q: Future developments for more tech-savvy audiences

Regarding how Tangem will try to keep more tech-savvy and crypto-native users who need more advanced in-app functions, it's contradictory to provide a product that is equally good for everyone. We are primarily focused on new users and non-tech-savvy users.

Our product can still be a good choice for tech-savvy individuals for mobile platforms, as it is just as secure as any other solution on the market. However, you shouldn't expect any sophisticated functionality inside our application. Instead, you can build your own key management scheme and algorithms through on-chain tools and dApp integrations, achieving any desired level of security.

This approach allows you to access any dApp or blockchain, but you must invest time. Just don't expect to see this functionality inside our application.

Q: Further developments and partnerships to develop value proposition

As for upcoming developments, partnerships, or initiatives that will further enhance our value proposition, most of the forthcoming integrations are reflected in the roadmap I briefly explained.

Beyond that, we will introduce a product integrated with existing payment rails, the Visa card integration, which I will explain in more detail later. We will also extend our in-app integrations, providing more alternative services for onramp, offramp, swaps, cross-chain functionality, and staking.

We plan to provide local or regional integrations for these services to offer our local users the best propositions. The majority of our efforts will focus on these kinds of integrations.

Q: What is the probability of the same seed regeneration?

Regarding the probability of Tangem wallets regenerating the same seed phrase, it's a straightforward process done on a smartphone. It involves generating a huge random number using the hardware inside your smartphone, making it statistically impossible for the exact seed phrase to be generated on the same device.

However, we discourage users from generating seed phrases and recommend keeping them safe, which is the main recommendation for anyone who generates a seed phrase in our application.

We will introduce a security enhancement to help users feel even more comfortable. We can take additional entropy or randomness from our wallet or card and mix it with the random number generated by the phone, providing two sources of entropy. Even now, if you generate a random number with your smartphone, keeping the seed phrase secure is relatively safe.

Q: How will Tangem keep up with rapid innovation in the space?

You asked how Tangem will work to stay ahead of the rapid innovation and development in the crypto space and keep security up to date to prevent new tactics used by scammers and others.

The best protection against scammers is simply not knowing your seed phrase, making it impossible to share your private keys or seed phrase with anyone. That's the most effective way to protect users, and that's what we have in our wallet.

Regarding other potential threats, we closely monitor and research everything related to mobile and hardware security. Because we are entirely focused on mobile platforms and hardware devices with a single chip inside, we can be very confident about potential attack vectors and ensure we are protected against them.

I will explain later why we don't have screen displays or buttons, but the main answer to this question is that we keep everything very simple and focused and have a clear, clean security model for our product.

Q: What made you get into the crypto space and create Tangem?

You inquired about why I wanted to create a crypto wallet and what drove me into the crypto space as an investor. It was a long time ago and started as a professional interest because I was an engineer then. We had access to quite advanced technology, allowing us to develop a working prototype quickly.

The main reasons were curiosity and professional interest. Regarding investment, we are not affiliated with or promoting any specific coin or blockchain, and we will never have our own coins, ICOs, or anything like that. We are not investors and will never be affiliated with any particular blockchain.

Q: Will you be creating a screen device for Tangem?

The need for a display to verify transactions is a common concern, and you asked if Tangem is concerned about this and if we will create a screen device in the future.

Many users find the topic of blind signing sensitive, so we have prepared special research and an explanation. In short, having a separate display on your device can be a valid concern when discussing less secure platforms like Windows desktops.

However, in the case of mobile platforms with their level of security, it's redundant and brings no real security benefits, according to our understanding. It introduces more disadvantages regarding reliability and the product's lifespan, so we will not include it.

We will stick to our current architecture with a very reliable device with a single electronic component designed specifically for this application. It has strong flash memory inside that will store your keys and data for decades, comparable to paper and ink.

Any composite device with a screen, buttons, plugs, and batteries is much less reliable. You shouldn't expect to put it in your safe, retrieve it in 10 years, and have it work as designed. With our card, especially if you have two or three cards, you can store it for decades and even pass it on to your children.

That's why our product is safe when combined with mobile applications. Mobile platforms are secure enough unless the user chooses to tamper with them, which can make them vulnerable.

What's really important is protecting against potential static attacks, where a hacker or intruder tries to obtain your keys or seed phrase. This cannot be done on a mobile platform, and it's impossible in our scenario because the key is always in the chip, making it impossible to extract.

Q: What are the top 3 priorities for 2024?

You asked about our top three priorities for 2024. We prioritize staying within our roadmap because it's the most challenging thing we have, and we will focus a lot of our efforts there.

The second priority is the Tangem Ring. This year, we will start shipping the Ring, which is an important milestone for us.

The third priority is Visa integration and the first Visa-integrated wallets. Again, a limited number of users will be available this year as part of a pilot program, but it will still be the first fully self-custodial Visa card on the market. I will explain why a bit later.

Q: Why does it sometimes happen that networks are unreachable?

You raised a very good question about past issues with unreachable networks, how this happens, and whether we are completely decentralized. The answer is within the question itself, highlighting the contradiction between being decentralized and having full-service availability.

Our application strives to make as many connections to nodes and node APIs as possible to have enormous redundancy. Sometimes, we have to pay for these integrations ourselves. Still, we try not to establish our own internal node infrastructure. Doing so would make the whole product and functionality centralized and dependent on our infrastructure, which we want to avoid.

That's why we integrate with external services, and sometimes, one, two, or three services can either fail altogether, work slowly, or fall behind with node synchronization. This is possible, but these are the consequences of decentralization, and that's what we have to deal with to avoid building a centralized infrastructure for everything.

We still have to do this for some blockchains, but with larger blockchains like Ethereum, we rely on public services like Infura or Alchemy. That's the answer to your question.

Q: Are you planning on creating a crypto card/ring function?

As I mentioned earlier, we are proceeding with the Visa integration this year and are planning to integrate a crypto card ring function this year, possibly in collaboration with Visa.

However, it's important to note that the Visa product will be entirely separate from the wallet. The last thing we want is to merge the payment functionality, a licensed and regulated business, with a fully self-custodial wallet.

The Visa card, which has elements of our wallets inside, is a special type of card licensed by Visa and made in partnership with them. It has a different kind of hardware inside the card and will work directly with a smart contract. This means you can get this card, go to Starbucks or anywhere in the world, and make a purchase, with the crypto transaction coming directly from the card to the smart contract on-chain.

The Tangem wallet will stand separately and manage the smart contracts and your funds within them. This fully self-custodial setup means no intermediary will hold your crypto, even for a short time. It will be fully separated, and the wallet will remain anonymous. All the coins you store there will not be connected or linked to anything you do with the Visa payment rails and the smart contract that manages the Visa card.

If you stop using this product and withdraw the funds you used to pay with Visa, they will always be fully available. It's fully censorship-protected, and you can extract all your funds from the smart contract regardless of the Visa integration or the Visa card. This means you have complete control over your funds at all times, and the Visa card is just an addition to your self-custodial fund storage, which is still controlled by your wallet.

This is a high-level conceptual explanation of what we're doing with Visa. Unlike anything else on the market, it will be a unique offering, like existing Visa crypto cards from exchanges or even new products claiming to be self-custodial. It's entirely different because it combines a crypto transaction embedded into a Visa transaction natively, and it will be revolutionary. You'll see!

Q: Will you have different styles of Tangem Ring?

You asked if there will be different styles of rings like there are with cards. That's a good question and something we can consider in the future, but at the moment, we're starting with a single design.

Everything in the physical world is more complicated or takes much longer to make a reality. Let us first get feedback and see how it works in the field. We are confident that it will be as reliable as the card, and then we'll see what we can do with customization. It's a good idea, though!

Q: What other integrations are you making in the web3 development space?

You inquired about other contributions our organization can make to enhance and advance web3 development and integrate it seamlessly into our daily lives. We are doing a lot and have been doing so since 2018. The wallet you have right now is our consumer product, a crystallization of our experience. Still, we started with many different things and have numerous concepts and pilot projects in various areas of web3.

We've worked with decentralized identity and have some excellent products in that field, but we're waiting for the market to be in place because it requires a lot of government regulation and effort. We hope to return to this business later because our product is perfect for decentralized identity and storing your credentials and personal data yourself. Again, it's the concept of self-custody, but it's for your data.

We've also done many things with physical NFTs, anti-counterfeit protection, and ticketing. We can do a lot because our platform is very flexible, and we can create different types of wallets that can be used in the physical world. Everything connecting the physical world to Web3 can find a place for Tangem. It works for us.

Q: What is the future of hardware wallets?

As for how Tangem foresees the role of hardware wallets evolving in the future and what steps we're taking to stay ahead of the curve and meet the changing needs of the crypto community, we still see a growing demand for hardware wallets.

The core concept of the crypto industry is that your keys should be with you. The well-known phrase "not your keys, not your crypto" is something we 100% believe in, and we think it will remain a core concept in the future.

If this question implies some sort of regulation or scrutiny, it's not possible because, from a legal point of view, we're simply providing a hardware device that connects to applications and other applications. It would be virtually impossible to restrict or ban this kind of product.

There's a promising future for this because the keys for any kind of Web3 asset should be protected with technology like this and kept with the user. We're bullish on the future of hardware wallets.

Q: How will new EU regulations affect Tangem?

Regarding Tangem's take on the new EU crypto regulations and how we're coping with them, as I briefly mentioned, the upcoming EU regulations do not really impact hardware wallets or self-custody wallets. They don't ban this kind of product or its usage.

The regulations really mean that on-ramps and off-ramps will be more regulated. Any transactions involving self-custody wallets will be monitored and may require more AML procedures. Still, the product will remain, and for small transactions below €1,000 or a few thousand euros, it will be as convenient as it is now.

We don't expect there to be any more complexities in terms of on-ramping and off-ramping, and from the on-chain perspective, there will be no differences because these regulations cannot do anything with on-chain things. It's still a hardware wallet, your device, and your software.

Q: How did you create the name Tangem?

You asked about the origin of the name Tangem and what made us create it. It's a simple story. There are two words: "tangible" and "gem." We started with a very different product, a fixed-denomination wallet. If you have ever seen our first wallets, there were small cards with a 0.01 Bitcoin denomination loaded and distributed physically. We imagined it would replace physical banknotes, and that's how the name emerged. It's a funny story.

Q: What is the future of Tangem?

Regarding the future of Tangem, whether we're planning on adding more products, focusing on taking more market share, or creating a different product category, you got the answer from our previous conversation.

We will not make anything significantly different regarding the hardware wallet product. It will be a single-chip-based device in the form of a card, ring, or something else. We will just do more and more integrations based on these devices.

There will be no pivots, revolutions, or anything really new because this product strikes a very good balance between simplicity, usability, and affordability. We will continue to do this without any serious changes in the future.

Thank you very much, everyone. We love our community. You're helping us a lot, and as I said, your opinions and requests are of absolute value to us. Let's keep going like this. Thank you.

Final words for the AMA session - winners for this AMA session

It's been wonderful to have Andrey with us today. It's the first time we're going live with him, and it's been great. Thank you so much, Andrey, for joining us.

That wraps up today. I will take Andrey offline and then give a quick goodbye.

We've said goodbye to Andre, and I want to thank everyone for joining us today. It's been a great session. We tried to keep it to an hour, and we succeeded for the first time in the history of our Tangem AMAs!

We will announce all of our winners at the very end. The best way to do this is to look for the announcement on our Discord. If you follow us on Discord, we'll post something about our winners in the #giveaways channel for this AMA session. Five people will be chosen from there.

I will leave you with this wonderful little video today. If you haven't caught up with it before, now's the perfect time. I think we'll see you in about three or four weeks. Until then, we'll see you in the community. Have a wonderful day.