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Tangem Wallet: The Best Alternative to Ledger?

A capable, secure, and durable cold wallet for your long-term crypto holdings is essential. After all, the whole point of getting into crypto is to have total control over your money, and what better way to maintain self-custody than a cold wallet?

But most hardware wallets are quirky in their design and often hard to use, especially for people who are entirely new to crypto.

Cue the Tangem Hardware Wallet –  a card-shaped self-custodial cold wallet that gives you the power to buy, sell, and store over 6,000 digital assets. The NFC-enabled card is an innovative way of securing crypto that doesn’t rely on a screen or recovery seed.

Here is a deep dive into what the Tangem hardware wallet has to offer and a comparison of what features make it stand out in a sea of cold wallet options.

Tangem Wallet Overview

Tangem Wallet

Tangem Wallet

  • Unique crypto storage solution that uses NFC cards
  • Easier to use than traditional hardware wallets
  • More durable than wallets with screens
  • No need for a separate recovery seed
Cryptocurrencies 6000+ (ETH, BTC, SOL, ADA, USDC)
Cost $43
Mobile support iOS, Android

Tangem Wallet Pros & Cons


  • Intuitive and familiar card-shaped design

  • Easily fits into a pocket

  • NFC-enabled for quick operations

  • Water and dust-resistant design with zero battery or cable requirements


  • Relatively new style of wallet

  • Not as versatile as traditional hardware wallets

  • Requires a smart phone with no desktop option

Our Quick Take on Tangem Wallet

Tangem Wallet is arguably the easiest wallet to use that we’ve ever reviewed.

You don’t have to bother with recovery phrases, it comes in a familiar credit card-sized format and everything is handled on a smart phone display, which is far superior to any hardware wallet with a dedicated screen. The entire set up process takes all of five minutes.

That’s not to say Tangem is perfect (you can argue the pros and cons of seed-based recovery phrases) but when it comes to ease of use, Tangem is in a league of its own. It might be the perfect choice for someone that isn’t especially savvy with technology and likes to use their mobile device for crypto transactions.

A Tangem wallet in the wild

An example of an older Tangem Wallet in the wild. Tangem has offered a variety of different cards in the past including Shiba Inu, TRON and Kaspa themes.

Tangem Wallet History

Tangem is a high-tech company in the blockchain space that was founded in 2017 and is based in Zug, Switzerland.

According to Crunchbase, the founders of Tangem are Andrew Pantyukhin, Andrey Kurennykh, and Anselm Schmucki. The company started with the idea of bringing cryptocurrencies to the masses using a unique combination of a smartcard-based hardware wallet and mobile applications.

After receiving funding to the tune of $15 million from a digital asset venture investment company called SBI Crypto Investments Ltd, they developed the Tangem Hardware Wallet. This wallet features a simple and secure card-shaped design that comes with a record 25+ years replacement warranty.

How Does Tangem Wallet Work?

Tangem works differently than traditional hardware wallets. In the simplest terms traditional hardware wallets are essentially mini computers that store your private keys and give you a small screen to verify information for transactions. They also feature a recovery seed phrase in case your wallet is lost or otherwise compromised.

The Tangem wallet is the size of a credit card and uses NFC to confirm crypto transactions on your smart phone. That’s it. No recovery seed phrase (although you can add one), no battery or cables to speak of. You just tap and go.

This streamlines the traditional crypto securing process significantly but also opens up some potential dangers. For instance if you lose your physical Tangem card then your crypto is gone.

Tangem has made it such that you get 2 or 3 extra backup cards for your convenience. This gives users one of the best solutions for a backup plan.

It is easy for the user to maintain access to their wallet even if one of the cards gets lost or damaged.

What Cryptocurrencies Are Supported?

Tangem currently supports over 6,000 cryptocurrencies and tokens. Some of the popular options include:

  • Bitcoin
  • Litecoin
  • Ethereum
  • Ripple
  • Dogecoin
  • Solana
  • Cardano

What's in the Tangem Box?

One of the main selling points of Tangem is that it’s extremely streamlined and easy to use. Therefore the packaging is extremely simple as well.

The box contains one credit-card sized Tangem wallet (with one or two backups). That’s it. There are no cords, recovery seed pamphlets or anything else.

Tangem Wallet Box

Does Tangem Have a Recovery Seed Phrase?

Yes. You can add a recovery seed phrase to a Tangem wallet. Tangem launched in 2022 without the ability to add a recovery seed phrase but there were enough complaints that the company decided to add in the functionality to the card in 2023.

Tangem remains firmly entrenched in the idea that a recovery seed phrase is just adding another attack vector for potential thieves or hackers but wanted to at least give the option to customers.

There are actually three different ways you can generate a recovery seed for your Tangem wallet:

  • Use the certified True Random Number Generator TRNG.
  • Generate a seed phrase with the Tangem app and import it to the card.
  • Import your seed phrase from another wallet.

If you decide to go with a seed recovery phrase then remember to keep it safe. If anyone takes your seed, they get complete access to your crypto.

Is Tangem Wallet Safe?

Yes, the Tangem Wallet is safe. When you activate Tangem Wallet, the card’s chip generates a highly secure random private key that remains hidden. Neither Tangem nor any other entity has access to it, ensuring protection against theft or fraudulent attempts. Unlike traditional seed phrases, Tangem offers a safer backup solution using additional cards.

Furthermore, the Tangem App is designed without any backdoors, and the company prioritizes user privacy by refraining from collecting personal data. To reinforce its commitment to safety, Tangem Wallet underwent an independent audit of its firmware and source code by the renowned Swiss auditing company, Kudelski Security.

These robust features demonstrate that Tangem Wallet has been thoughtfully designed with safety as a paramount consideration.

Mobile Support

You can access your Tangem Wallet app on both iOS and Android devices. The device must have NFC capabilities, however. The app is compatible with both platforms, allowing you to conveniently manage your Tangem hardware wallet regardless of your device preference.

Currently there is no desktop version of the software.

It’s worth noting that Tangem Wallet stands out from other hardware wallets due to its intuitive and familiar card-shaped design. This unique form factor offers portability and ease of use, fitting comfortably in your pocket. Additionally, the NFC-enabled feature allows for quick and convenient operations.

What is the Price of The Tangem Wallet?

When considering the price of a Tangem Wallet, it’s essential to compare it with other leading hardware wallets like Ledger Nano and Trezor. At a roughly $50, Tangem Wallet offers a competitive and affordable option for securely storing your digital assets.

In comparison, Ledger Nano wallets, known for their robust security features and wide cryptocurrency support, generally range from $60-$269, depending on the specific model. While they offer a reputable brand name and a range of features, their higher price point might be a factor to consider for budget-conscious users.

Trezor, another popular hardware wallet provider, offers various models with prices typically ranging from $50 to $249. Trezor wallets are lauded for their user-friendly interface and strong security measures. The higher-end models offer advanced features, such as a touch screen and passphrase support, which contribute to the higher price range.

When evaluating the functionality of these three products, Tangem Wallet stands out for its unique card-shaped design and NFC capabilities, providing a familiar and convenient user experience. Granted, it doesn’t come with a screen compared to the competition, but you get easy accessibility to the wallet through the NFC feature that enables you to use it with any device that is NFC-enabled.

Plus, the Tangem Wallet supports over 6,000 cryptocurrencies and tokens, offering broad compatibility. Both Ledger Nano and Trezor also boast a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies with established track records in the hardware wallet market; however, for novice users, getting used to the device might take some time.

How Tangem Stands Out

Apart from its affordable price, the Tangem Wallet is a complete shift from the traditional hardware wallet. While your typical Ledger and Trezor wallet comes in the form of a specialized device designed with a compact sturdy design that resembles a small USD thumb drive, the Tangem Wallet keeps things simple with a familiar card-shaped design.

The card comes with 3 extra cards just in case you lose the first one. Plus, you don’t need to worry about storing your private key in a separate location as the card is designed to store your private keys all at once. All you need to make a transaction or recover your wallet is the card. You can synchronize your card to the app on your phone or other mobile devices and still transact just as you would with a hot wallet.

Potential Dealbreakers

While the Tangem Wallet offers unique advantages with its card-shaped design and user-friendly features, there are a few potential dealbreakers to consider. To begin with, the form factor of a card-shaped hardware wallet introduces a higher risk of physical loss or damage compared to traditional hardware wallets. Misplacing or damaging the card could lead to the permanent loss of access to your funds (particularly if you decide to not use a recovery seed phrase).

Fortunately, Tangem Wallets come with a set of extra cards just in case you lose the first one.

One other potential downside: You must have an NFC-enabled device. This shouldn’t be much of a problem (Apple has supported NFC since the iPhone 6 in 2014) but it’s worth noting.

Lastly, while being able to exchange tokens on your wallet is convenient, some users may find the exchange fees associated with Tangem Wallet transactions to be higher compared to conventional exchanges, which could impact the cost-effectiveness of frequent trading activities.

Conclusion: A New Way to Think About Security

It has to be said that the Tangem Wallet is far easier to operate than traditional hardware wallets and will no doubt appeal to new crypto users.

With its intuitive card-shaped design, NFC capabilities, and broad cryptocurrency support, it provides a convenient way to buy, sell, and secure digital assets. The Tangem Wallet’s emphasis on security, including the generation of a hidden private key and the use of additional backup cards, adds an extra layer of protection.

Is it as good as established wallets like Ledger or Trezor? That remains to be seen but it’s certainly a novel approach to crypto security and it might work far better for less-technical crypto users.

Jinia Shawdagor

About the Author

Jinia Shawdagor

Jinia is a fintech writer based in Sweden focused on the cryptocurrency market and blockchain industry. With years of experience, she contributes to some of the most renowned crypto publications such as Cointelegraph, Invezz and others. She also has experience writing about the iGaming industry.

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