Tangem Wallet Review 2024: Pros, Cons And How It Compares

Athena Alpha

The Tangem Wallet is, unfortunately, not the best hardware wallet despite having a fantastic user interface and overall design. It’s sleek and works like a dream, but simply doesn’t hold up to the competition when it comes to basic features.

Our Tangem review goes into full details as to why we’ve scored it this way and while we certainly don’t enjoy bad mouthing what is likely a lot of hard work done by Tangem, hopefully they can take our criticism gracefully and use it to help build a better version next time.

Firmware is FOSS
Secure seed storage
Extremely simple and sleek
Can be bought with Bitcoin
Easy to use & detailed user guides
Supports thousands of altcoins
Excellent 25 year warranty
Firmware not reproducible
Not great seed generation
Not compatible with other wallets
No display
No microSD backup
No multisig or passphrase support
No air gapped support

Introduction To Tangem Wallet

A 3 card pack

Tangem is a relatively new (since 2017) company based in Switzerland that makes the Tangem Wallet as well as their companion Tangem App. The Tangem hardware wallet is quite simple and elegant as it’s just an NFC based card that you tap to your phone. You can purchase sets of 2 or 3 depending on how many backup cards you’d like and they look very sleek.

The cards have a tiny chip inside each of them that generates and stores your private key. When you want to spend your funds, you simply tap it to your phone and it’s authorized and signed using NFC technology.

Tangem are clearly going for maximum simplicity here and after going through their advertising materials, support articles as well as testing the actual hardware wallet we can say they get a lot of things right. However they also have a number of… questionable comments here and there that we’re not big fans of.

For example on their store page they claim things like having “the highest chip security standard”. While their chips are EAL 6+ certified, there is the higher EAL7 standard out there so this clearly isn’t true. They also seem to over state how secure their product is with statements such as “just a chip with an antenna. No points of vulnerability”. Obviously no device is invulnerable, even an NFC card.

Overall these statements aren’t terrible and Tangem certainly aren’t the only hardware wallet manufacture to embellish things in their marketing material, but we noticed these types of inconsistencies in a number of places.

Tangem Wallet Supported Coins

Tangem wallet supports thousands of altcoins from dozens of different blockchain networks. For many people supporting of altcoins is seen as an unacceptable security flaw as it means more code and more attack surface areas that put your bitcoin at risk.

For others this altcoin support is a must as they don’t want different hardware wallets for different tokens. We’ll leave this up to the reader to decide, but our recommendation is and always has been to only focus on Bitcoin.

Product Specifications

What’s In The Box?

Box contents
  • 2 or 3 Tangem Cards (depending on kit chosen)
  • Getting Started Guide
  • Specs Sheet

Quick Tangem Wallet Review

Design & Hardware

Build Quality & Durability

Fingerprint magnets!

After opening the box you’re greeted with the actual NFC cards and not much else, mainly because you don’t need anything else. While we have the traditional black 3 card set, Tangem have also sold other colors such as the “limited edition” white ones that are available now.

The cards themselves are quite nice, comprising of a black hard plastic. While they didn’t wow us, they do seem just as durable as any other regular credit card. For the price, it would have been nice to see them be made from a more premium material like some of the higher end metal credit cards you see.

Sleek design with large logo

Beyond the single chip embedded in each of the cards, there’s really nothing else. On the back is the cards unique number and a Tangem logo


Three cards for three locations

Turning to the display there’s unfortunately nothing on any of them. For security purposes, a Hardware Wallet should always be able to display critical information to the user on its own secure screen so that you can verify the details of things like receive addresses before signing the transaction.

If your mobile device is compromised, the attacker can steal your funds by showing you one address while sending another address to the Tangem card to authorize without you knowing.

When you look at your phone, it asks you to authorize sending your funds to address X (the correct one), so you tap your card and sign the transaction. Unknown to you though, the compromised application is getting the Tangem card to authorize sending your funds to address Y (the address owned by the attacker).

As the Tangem Wallet lacks a display, you’re not able to verify the withdrawal addresses or any other information about the hardware wallet before physically tapping the card and signing a transaction. This is a pretty big security concern for us and looses Tangem some points in the Security & Privacy tests as a result.

Connectivity Options & Other Hardware Features

Each card has its own unique ID on the back

Unlike most other hardware wallets, the Tangem cards have no ports or other wireless communication options. They can send data and sign using NFC communication and that’s it.

Each Tangem card has the NFC antenna connected up to a Samsung produced S3D350A chip. The card’s chip is EAL 6+ certified and the whole card is water and dust proof with an IP68 rating. They also claim it’s able to withstand X-rays, EM pulses and even electrostatic discharge along with temperature ranges of –25° to 50°C which is quite impressive.

Security & Privacy

Line them up

Tangem get a lot of things right when it comes to security and privacy, but do still stumble here and there. For example, they don’t support any Bitcoin only firmware versions. You also can’t updated the firmware of the Tangem cards at all.

They also don’t support any type of air gapped functionality as they always rely on the Tangem app and companion phone to supply power. As spoken about already, they also don’t have any display on the cards either which isn’t the best for security.

Code Openness & Reproducibility

No true analysis of security or privacy can be done unless we can independently review everything, specifically the firmware that is run on the device. Tangem make two separate apps, one for Android and one for iOS.

There’s no desktop support as far as we can tell. Both apps code are publicly viewable on their GitHub and they claim it to be “open source”, however we can’t find any license information on their Android app.

Their Apple iOS app does have an MIT license covering it, so we’re going to give Tangem the benefit of the doubt here and assume both apps are covered under the same MIT license for now.

Tangem GitHub code

We couldn’t find any open source information regarding the hardware, so it would be good for Tangem to put these up in their GitHub too along with fixing up the licensing info for the Android app just to make everything fully clear.

As best we tell, there’s also no clear instructions detailing how to reproduce the actual apps either. Our partner Wallet Scrutiny haven’t been able to reproduce the build either so again Tangem lose a number of points here.

Seed Generation

Also paramount to a crypto wallets security is precisely how it generates your private keys as this is what everything is derived from. At the root of this is a good source of entropy as this is what allows for your seed to be truly random and thus, secure. As per Tangem help articles:

The key is generated on the card using a hardware random number generator during card activation. The entropy for the random number is taken from the chip’s physical sensors.


The secure chip technology they’re referring to is the Samsung S3D350A which uses a DRAM-based True Random Number Generator (DTRNG) that’s on board each card. While this is a great start, we have extremely high standards for this as seed generation is so important.

We require hardware wallets to use not just one, but multiple unpredictable physical processes to generate the seed. While this chips TRNG might be safe, it’s not unheard of for these types of devices to have bugs or security flaws which are discovered years after the fact.

It’s far better to get entropy from multiple different sources and combine them together. That way if one of them is found to be insecure later on, your seed phrase and funds are still safe. We would recommend Tangem update their wallet so it’s using multiple sources in the future.

Seed Phrase Backup

Another interesting part of the Tangem seed generation process is that it doesn’t actually generate a 12 or 24 word seed phrase.

Tangem does not use BIP39 (seed phrase) technology, believing it to be highly insecure.


While it’s true that having a seed phrase in plain text, written on a piece of paper, is “insecure” it also allows for compatibility across other software wallets. It’s also a different, more analogue storage medium that isn’t technology based and thus, is less technical and can be much more robust if engraved on steel or titanium.

While many people that buy crypto and put it in cold storage (as they should) think that the biggest risk is someone stealing their funds, it’s actually not. The vast majority of Lost Bitcoin have in fact been lost due to owner mistakes such as forgetting access codes or passwords to encrypted keys.

Over the years seed phrases have emerged as the de-facto standard for good reason, to protect users from themselves! They allow not just you, but also next of kin to easily access funds when you stupidly forget what password you used.

If you forget the access code that secures your Tangem card and seed phrase it is possible to reset it using one of the other backup cards and their mobile application, but we’d much prefer Tangem allow users to know their seed phrase. This again is difficult to do though as the Tangem cards don’t have any display on them.

Seed Storage

A secure chip is inside each card

A securely generated seed means nothing if it’s not managed and stored securely. As noted, when the private keys are generated during the wallet setup process they are copied to each card and stored in the secure element chip on board.

A Secure Element (SE) is just a computer chip that has been specially built to withstand physical attacks and tampering with. It’s critical to protect your seed phrase in the event an attacker gets a hold of your hardware wallet and tries to extract the seed from it.

Each card is also protected by an embedded access code which can be made up of numbers or characters. By default this access code is the same on all cards, but you can also have unique access codes on each card if you want.

The secure element is rated as EAL6+, which is the same level of chip protection used in passports and the cards have a minimum lifespan of 25 years, which is guaranteed by Samsung, the chip manufacturer. This means that if someone finds or steals one of your Tangem wallet cards, your funds are still safe.

Even if they try and guess your access code over and over the Tangem card will require them to wait up to 45 seconds between each attempt.

The card will be protected against brute-force attacks. After the sixth incorrect attempt to enter the code, the delay time for the next attempt is increased by 1 second. The maximum delay time is 45 seconds


Users Data & Privacy

According to Tangem they don’t monitor any transactions, addresses or wallet balances which is excellent to see. They also allow you to buy the tangem wallet cards using bitcoin too, which greatly helps protect your privacy.

Tangem does not monitor incoming or outgoing transactions. We never gather wallet addresses, users’ personal data, or any other information that could identify users or their phones. The app doesn’t store personal data or any other information that could identify a user or their phone.


The Tangem Wallet App does seem to collects a lot of very private data, even if they state it’s only for “analytical purposes”. This data includes things like:

  • App info and performance
  • Crash logs and Diagnostics
  • App activity and App interactions
  • Approximate location
  • Device or other IDs

Given you have no other option to access or use the Tangem wallet but through their app, this to us seems a bit suspicious and not very reassuring. We’d also prefer to not just trust that they don’t monitor any transaction data and instead use our own full Bitcoin Node, but again you can’t with their Tangem App.

Interface & Ease Of Use

Tangem Cards

No user interface on the cards

While the cards themselves don’t have any actual interface, tapping them works perfectly every time and we were never hunting around to find the “right tap spot” like with other hardware wallets we’ve tried. Simply tap the card to the NFC area on your phone and it’ll register instantly.

During setup, you are tapping and holding the cards a number of times, but it’s a quick and easy thing to do and overall the entire setup took minutes as promised on their website. The unique identifier number on the back also helps during setup to know which cards which.

Tangem App

Welcome wizard

Turning to the Tangem wallet application, it’s incredibly simple and easy to use and it’s clear they’ve put a lot of effort into their open source app code. It’s very well done with beautiful graphics everywhere, but we also have to admit that it’s rather bare bones on features. For example there’s no way to connect via Tor and there’s also no option to connect it to your own full Bitcoin Node.

The setup process for creating your wallet is similarly excellent. Everything has a beautiful design and guidance through each step is dead simple. There’s clear instructions at every turn and we especially liked the vibration the phone gives as it counts down when setting up each of the NFC cards.

Wallet creation

Once you’ve created your wallet it then takes you to the backup process where you copy the generated seed over to your other cards and set an access code for them. Again this is dead simple with clear instructions shown at every step.

Creating your backup cards

Finally once all cards are created it asks if you’d like to enable finger print protection for the created wallet instead of having to enter in the access code each time you scan a card. This also allows you to open the app and check your balance without having to scan one of the cards each time.

Main wallet interface

In the main wallet interface you’re shown your balance, how many cards you have your backups on and all your various tokens. You can enable / disable whatever altcoins you’d like and start sending and receiving funds straight away

What If I Lose A Tangem Card?

Tangem cards in black

It should be noted that when you first go through this whole setup process and your seed phrase is generated and stored on each of the cards, this is the only time it can ever be copied. If you lose one of the cards later on, you cannot buy a new card and copy or clone it from one of the other backups.

You have to buy a full new set and transfer all your funds over to the new Tangem wallet cards from your old one. The reason for this is understandable as noted by Tangem:

As the cards operate without using the company’s servers, the cards know nothing about each other. It is only when creating a backup that the private key is copied to the number of cards you have chosen (2 or 3). If backup cards could be linked on multiple occasions, an attacker could make copies of your card without your knowledge.


Compatibility & Connectivity

One of the biggest drawbacks when it comes to the Tangem wallet interface is that you can only use them with the Tangem wallet app. It doesn’t support any other third party software wallet providers.

Plus, as there’s no way to access the seed phrase words, you can’t even import them into another hardware wallet. This combined with the fact that there’s no support for multisig or passphrases means that the Tangem is a rather limiting setup to use unfortunately.

Tangem Warranty

Tangem offer a 30 day return policy if the item is unused and in its original packaging.

Our policy is valid for 30 days after you have received your parcel. To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition you received it in. It must also be in its original packaging. To complete your return, we require a receipt or proof of purchase.


They also offer an amazing 25 year replacement warranty. This is great to see as it shows how confident they are in their product and its ability to actually last the length of time they promise.

Tangem Alternatives

Who Is This Wallet For?

  • Users who want to hold both Bitcoin and Altcoins
  • Users who value simplicity over everything else
  • Users who don’t mind being locked into using Tangem’s Wallet App
  • Users who insist on using FOSS firmware
  • Users who don’t need Passphrase support or Multisig wallets in the future
  • Users who don’t need to sign using USB, microSD card or QR

Tangem Wallet Competitors

Competing with the Tangem are a number of other very highly ranked crypto wallets. While other crypto wallets such as the BitBox02 or Trezor Safe 3 offer more features at a slightly higher or similar price, they don’t use the same NFC technology that the Tangem does.

Effectively you’re trading simplicity for security, privacy and features other hardware wallets have. While this type of trade isn’t anything new when it comes to products, we’d always prefer to have complete control over the funds and its seed phrase.

If you’re wanting something with a screen then the Foundation Passport is an excellent choice for those that are Bitcoin only. The COLDCARD Mk4 is also great for those wanting to use NFC and that is also Bitcoin only. If you wish to store altcoins, then something like the Trezor Model T or Keystone 3 Pro are also good options too.

Is The Tangem Wallet Safe & Should You Use It?

Simple cards. Simple wallet.

No. While we really like the simplicity of the overall design and app, there are simply much better options out there that provide more security, more privacy and more features for a similar or slightly higher price.

A slick looking interface can’t help if you want to use your computer rather than your mobile device to manage your funds. Not being able to ever access your private keys or use any other wallets besides the Tangem wallet is also a pretty big deal breaker for us too.

While the Tangem wallet supports a lot of different crypto assets, it doesn’t support many other basic features such as passphrases, air gapped support, signing via USB, multisig or even displaying information on its own secure screen.

This all combines to leave the Tangem Wallet far behind the competition when it comes to most things users prioritize. It’s great to see them use FOSS code and that they’ve had independent firmware audits from companies like Kudelski Security, but the limited functionality and subpar seed generation means it gets out competed.


What Coins Are Supported By Tangem Wallet?

Tangem Wallet supports thousands of different cryptocurrencies and token over a number of different networks. You can find a full, up to date list on their website.

What Happens If Tangem Goes Out Of Business?

If Tangem the Swiss company goes out of business then you will still be able to access your Tangem wallet account. This is because no Tangem servers are required to send or receive funds, so you simply have to open the app and transfer your funds to another wallet.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Tangem Wallet?

Tangem has a number of disadvantages such as not being able to sign transaction via USB or QR code, not allowing users access to see their seed phrase, not having its own display to show information to the user securely as well as not having support for things like passphrases or multisig wallets.

Is Tangem A Hot Or Cold Wallet?

Tangem is classified as a cold wallet as it stores your private key offline, on the secure chip inside each of the Tangem wallet cards.

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