Block reward mining equipment maker Ebang International Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: EBON) has launched a digital currency exchange, which will only cater to qualified investors initially.
Ebang first revealed its plan to launch an exchange on December 31 , 2020. Known as Ebonex, it initially launched in beta mode mid last month for invited users only. At the time, Dong Hu, the Ebang chairman described the exchange as “another step forward in expanding our blockchain financial services business.”
Ebonex allows qualified investors to register and gives them access to speculative digital currencies including BTC, BCH, Ether, Litecoin and meme digital currency Dogecoin. Ebang has yet to clarify on which jurisdictions it will be available in, whether it plans on adding other digital currencies in the future and who the qualified investors are.
Commenting on the launch, Hu stated, “The official launch of our cryptocurrency exchange is the result of our continuing investment in research and development. In recent years we have made a considerable investment in R&D talent recruiting, as well as product innovation and iteration.”
“The launch of our cryptocurrency exchange business will not only expand the revenue sources from our cryptocurrency business, but also optimize the development of our blockchain industry chain,” he added.
Ebonex launches a month after the Chinese company announced that it was diving into block reward mining. As CoinGeek reported, the firm is mining BTC, Dogecoin, Litecoin and a host of other purely speculative digital currencies with no real utility. Ebang is mainly using its own ASIC miners, but has also purchased and leased mining machines from other companies. It’s also building its own data center to support its block reward mining activities.
The Hangzhou-based company believes the mining “will increase our revenue in the cryptocurrency business and optimize our product offering structure.”
Chairman Hu has made it clear that he intends to diversify Ebang’s products and services to reduce reliance on ASIC manufacturing. In 2020, it entered into an Expression of Interest Tender Letter with an unnamed New Zealand firm, targeting to expand into financial services. The New Zealand company reportedly offers financial brokerage and wealth management services.
Ebang listed on Nasdaq mid-last year after failed attempts to list in Hong Kong. Upon announcing the launch of its exchange, its shares shot up 10%.