Abra a financial service app founded by Bill Barhydt in 2014 in Silicon Valley allows people to exchange bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies all over the world.
Abra app works as an online wallet, and it supports as many as 30 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies. CEO and founder Bill Barhydt, former director of Netscape, launched the app in 2014 intending to make Abra a one-stop destination for cryptocurrency users and make the withdrawals and exchange as simple as possible for users. In a short period, Abra has come a long way and has the potential to become the world’s most used online wallet for cryptocurrency.
According to Bill, the main goal to create this platform was to turn every smartphone into a teller that processes withdrawals. Bill Barhydt has a history of motivating people to use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He was the first person to give Ted Talk about Bitcoin when he mentioned how bitcoin would become mainstream in the future.
Bill Barhydt, previously worked with Goldman Sachs as a software engineer before launching Abra.
Currently, Abra is available on both platforms android and IOS.
Initial Investments for App
The company received an initial investment of 12 million dollars from an investment group led by RRE ventures, Abro ventures, and First round capital.
After six rounds of investment, Abra has raised 35.5 million dollars, Jungleventures and Silver8 Capital being some of the latest investors.
How does Abra app work?
User can download the app for free and can deposit the money in the app from debit or credit card. Abra doesn’t charge users for depositing fiat currency. User can convert deposited money into any cryptocurrency and can transfer it to any other wallet or any other Abra user easily.
Abra works like any other digital wallet, and it is user-friendly. According to CEO, Bill Barhydt, what goes behind the scene in converting cryptocurrencies is very complicated, and users don’t have to know all about it to navigate through it.
Abra as an investment tool
In February this year, Abra became the first-ever app to let people invest in global financial equities, enabling people from 155 countries to invest in traditional stocks and ETFs in addition to the 30 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currency. Currently, Abra offers 50 investment assets, including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Netflix
People who signed up pre-launch were not charged any trading fee for investing in stocks ETFs.
According to the team, the model which is used to invest in stocks with Abra platform is called Crypto Collateralised Contracts or C3s, and this model also allows users to switch between various assets and investments without having them to move money between different wallets and platforms.
Abra doesn’t have access to users funds as they are stored on Bitcoin Blockchain.
By making Abra a global investment app, the reach will surely expand around the world, and people who were unable to invest in global financial market before, now, with the help of Abra app they can invest in stocks from any part of the world.
Bill Barhydt, in an interview given to hackernoon.com, mentioned that people in Mexico, India, Middle East, and Southeast Asia now will be able to invest in USA stocks because of Abra.
How secure is Abra?
Unlike any other digital wallet, Abra users have actual funds in their wallet. In other wallets like PayPal, users only see a number associated with their account balance and funds are with the third party more like a bank. In one of Bill’s blog, he mentioned that Abra does not need to require personals details of users who deposit bitcoin into the app.
Abra uses modern encryption technology to ensure the security of users and, as mentioned earlier, Abra is non-custodial and can not access users’ funds. When a user transfers funds, the recipient does not get any sensitive information of the sender.
First-time users may hesitate to transfer or deposit funds using Abra, but Abra takes the security of users seriously and are open about it.
What makes Abra unique?
With so many mobile financing and bitcoin apps out there, Abra does a great job in standing out among its competitors. User-friendly interface and with low-cost trading rates makes it users’ favorite digital wallet.
All in one Feature
Abra supports 30 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies with its availability in 150 countries makes it unique, and not only that it also allows users to invest in stocks and ETFs of more than 50 companies. This all in one feature could make the app reach an unprecedented number of users.
Competitors to watch out:
The Kenya based company, launched in 2013 allows users to transfer bitcoin and also supports Blockchain technology. Bitpesa is limited to African countries for now, but its users are growing fast.
Launched in 2014, Denmark based company is backed by Eye Venture Capital, SEED Capital Denmark, and Accelerace. The company offers two-way virtual currency to fiat conversion services for businesses and individuals. Even though the venture is in its early stage, it has the potential to grow in the current digital cryptocurrency transfer market.
In a statement given to Hackernooon.com, Bill said that there would be a lot of new startups who would try to replicate your model, because what can you achieve through this model is tremendous. It is clear that Abra is aware of the competition present in the market and are constantly growing to keep ahead.
What future holds for Abra?
Bill Barhydt announced that soon they would launch the web interface of Abra, which will work similarly to We chat or Whatsapp that is; by scanning the barcode on the screen to link the phone, the reason for not having web interface into the database is because it makes phishing impossible.
According to crunchbase.com, Abra’s estimated annual revenue is 5 million dollar.
With an increasing market for bitcoin and other virtual currencies, Abra has the potential to dominate the market, and according to many experts, they are already on their way to achieve that.