What is Abra?
Abra is a non-custodial wallet which lets users own the private keys of their cryptos. The app enables the trading of 25 cryptocurrencies (and counting) and 50 fiat currencies by making use of Bitcoin and Litecoin smart contracts. This means that users can make investments in 70 different coins, and trade instantly and without any fees.
Abra was founded in Saratoga, California in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Bill Barhydt. The company is based in Silicon Valley but keeps an office in Manila. In 2016, Abra was made available to customers in the Philippines and the United States. In 2017, support for Bitcoin was added and Abra was launched at a global level.
The crypto-based project seems to be under the ownership of a company named Plutus Financial, Inc.
The Abra wallet can be funded by using multiple options, through Bitcoin, your bank account, American Express credit cards, or cash. If you want to fund your Abra account with cash, you will be required to go to an Abra Teller in your area.
You can also make online purchases wherever Abra or Bitcoin are accepted as payment options.
How Does Abra Work?
Abra functions similarly to other Bitcoin money transfer platforms. The app is used to send or receive payments, integrating the smart contract technology to facilitate low-cost international transfers. This helps users bypass paying high fees that usually incur in international transfers, like in the case of PayPal or traditional banks.
As an example, when you make a deposit in a cryptocurrency, let’s say ETH, and want to trade it with another crypto, LTC. This will generate a transaction on the Litecoin Network which requires several signatures, similar to those used in a smart contract.
The first part of the transaction is signed by the app, and the ETH’s price is locked up. If the price of LTC goes up, you will have more ETH according to the price relation between the two cryptos. Afterward, Abra signs off the second half of the transaction which unlocks you ETH and then sends the entire amount resulted from your trade.
During your transaction process, you will not be in possession of LTC coins, and you also would not have been able to send LTC from Abra to an LTC wallet. Abra just lets you be exposed to the market’s price movements. This process is done through the generation of a synthetic currency which follows the price of LTC, but you can only interact with ETH the entire time.
This allows users to invest in multiple cryptos without having to invest in multiple currencies and having to create separate wallets, manage their private keys or use an exchange platform.
How to use Abra
You first have to download and install the Abra app onto your iOS or Android device. Then, you will have to make a deposit of funds to your account by using the different specified payment methods. All of Abra’s 50+ currencies can be used with no sending fees. You can use the wallet anywhere in the world, but keep in mind that not all countries support all Abra services. Visit Abra.com to see if your country is among the supported ones.
Abra simplifies the process of investing in multiple cryptocurrencies and promises many great advantages, such no fees, easy transfers, and cheap exchange rates.