Electroneum, first cryptocurrency to work directly with a mobile network operator; Cellcard to also sell the M1 smartphone

3 min readJan 31, 2020


Electroneum is breaking barriers and expanding quickly. It is now the first blockchain start-up in existence to land a deal for direct collaboration with a mobile network operator to enable airtime and data top-ups, while also obtaining a crucial foothold in the South East Asian region.

Cellcard, an international award-winning MNO, is the country’s longest-serving telecommunications company with more than 20 years of operation covering 80% of the territory and a customer base of more than 3.2 million subscribers.

The major MNO is recognised in the region as a market leader, bringing innovation in both technology and customer service. It is the recipient of many global awards. In December 2019, Global Brand Magazine named Cellcard the “Most Reliable Telecom Operator and Excellence in Telecom Industry.”

Also, last year, Cellcard received awards for “Best Telecommunications Company Cambodia” and “Best Digital Lifestyle Provider Cambodia.”

On their website, Cellcard states it “is proudly Khmer. Its current strapline framing all ongoing communications and campaigns is that Cellcard is for Everyone Everywhere. That reinforces the strategy of affordable access to mobile data for all in Cambodia.

“Intrinsic to the Cellcard brand is the essence of Khmer identity, belonging and family which keeps the company’s values deep-rooted in tradition with a modern, progressive attitude to technology adoption and adaptation,” they add.

Their mission is aligned with Electroneum’s, whose priority is to eradicate financial exclusion and give the massive global population that is unbanked the opportunity to access the global digital economy.

Electroneum has NGOs validating ETN transactions on its blockchain. The NGOs focus on delivering long-term assistance based on education for children and aid to their families as a path out of poverty.

For millions in Cambodia, the up to US$3 in ETN rewards they could receive by interacting with the Electroneum mobile app could be enough for a 21-day Cellcard prepaid plan that includes 143 minutes and 2GB of data.


As part of the deal, Cellcard has placed the Electroneum M1 smartphone on display for sale across a number of their shops.

The agreement between the forward-thinking MNO and the positively disruptive UK-based start-up marks the start of a collaboration aimed at spurring adoption and bringing greater prosperity to the South East Asian country, the sixth fastest-growing economy in the world.

Originally published at https://news.electroneum.com on January 31, 2020.




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