Ebang International Holdings, which owns Ebonex – a fairly new entrant into Australia’s cryptocurrency exchange market – has announced it’s collaborating with Mastercard to introduce crypto-linked cards. Ones that glow when tapped.

The Chinese company says that this is an “Australian first”, although it should be noted there are other Aussie-based exchanges that already have payments integration involving Mastercard, such as BTC Markets and CoinJar to name a couple.

Nevertheless, as Ebang explains things in its announcement, this collab will see Ebonex become the first crypto exchange Down Under to be granted Mastercard’s “Principal Member” status for issuance of crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards.

Okay, then. First (in a sense) or not, it’s still some pretty decent adoption news that should help enable the exchange’s customers to more easily buy, sell and trade digital assets, and spend them anywhere Mastercard is accepted by “seamlessly converting [them] into fiat currency”.


Tap and glow

Ebonex plans to issue both virtual and physical cards to its Aussie customer base by about October of this year. And in a further mild plot twist, the Ebonex physical card will be the first illuminated LED card in Australia, lighting up when tapped.

Cool, now everyone at the other end of a darkly lit nightclub, for instance, can see you forking out for another round of Jägerbombs when you decide to quickly dump the SHIB you regretted buying during an unsustained dog-coin rally.

Users will also apparently be rewarded when using the card in the form of digital assets, NFTs, cashback, frequent-flyer points, lounge access and subscriptions to online media and music.


Entering the market with an Ebang

Regarding the news, Ebang’s CEO, Dong Hu, apparently said these carefully crafted words: 

“As a new crypto exchange in Australia, we are privileged for Ebonex to attain a Principal Membership with Mastercard to self-issue crypto-linked Mastercard cards. It is an amazing opportunity for us to extend our market reach and gain recognition in the payment and financial area,” adding: 

“We plan to issue both virtual and physical cards to our customers and for the cards to reward users in the form of digital assets, NFTs, cashback, frequent flyer points, lounge access and subscriptions to online media and music.” 

He went on, but you get the gist. We liked this bit of frankness in the press release, though…

“There is no guarantee that the company’s operation of its Ebonex Exchange will improve the company’s financial performance or results of operations. Shareholders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this press release, or the forward-looking statements contained herein.”

Ebang, by the way, describes itself as a blockchain technology company with strong “ASIC chip design capability”. And nope, that’s not referring to official endorsement from the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

They’re talking application-specific integrated circuitry of the sort found in the Bitcoin mining industry, gaming consoles, mobile phones, AI… things, and probably secret-intelligence off-world alien defence systems.

It’s the first one on that list – BTC mining – that Ebang specialises in, though.

According to Cointelegraph, Ebang was listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker EBON in June 2020, becoming the second Bitcoin miner manufacturer to go public on a US stock exchange after another big Chinese crypto-mining firm – Canaan.