Regardless of your crypto investment strategy, a good and reliable crypto wallet could significantly impact your trading experience. As a result, many crypto wallets were developed, but not so many make a difference in securing and safeguarding your digital assets and NFTs.
In today’s Abra Wallet review, we will look into some of this crypto product’s features, pros, and cons to establish if this is the right wallet for you.
What Is Abra Crypto Wallet?
Abra is a multi-crypto mobile wallet and exchange platform that started as a Bitcoin-only wallet in 2014, developed by Bill Barhydt and Pete Kelly. The team is headquartered in Mountain View, USA, but they also have offices in Manila, Philippines.
Since its launch, the project has attracted the interest and funds of several venture capital investors, raising approximately $35.5M. Abra initially accepted cash and remittance payments via face-to-face meetings through a teller system throughout the United States and the Philippines.
Later, in 2017, the service started widening users’ crypto access and supporting USD bank transfers and deposits through the American Express card. The teller payment system was also limited to the Philippines residents during this time.
Abra now allows users to buy and trade cryptocurrencies, stocks, and ETFs, and it also supports credit card deposits, but we’ll get back to this later in this article.
Furthermore, in 2021, the company launched Abra Borrow, a lending program that allows users to take out loans using their Bitcoin or Ethereum holdings as collateral. Other significant features of the crypto project are a tool that allows institutional clients to trade crypto and OTC Services, which are designed for customers who want to perform larger trades.
How Does Abra Work?
On Abra, you can store your Bitcoin or many other cryptocurrencies, making it significantly easier to manage your crypto assets safely. Moreover, Abra is a non-custodial crypto wallet, meaning the company cannot access your wallet, digital assets, or recovery phrase, leaving you in charge of your funds.
Besides the complete ecosystem encompassing the crypto exchange, the Abra App, the Abra Crypto Card (a crypto rewards credit card that works on the American Express Network), and the cryptocurrency wallet, the company wishes to further sustain all its Abra users by offering a simple full-service crypto platform.
The Abra features can be used through an app available on iOS and Android devices. However, before registering, it is highly recommended to perform your own thorough research on their Terms and Conditions, trading fees, and other customers’ reviews.
Supported Currencies and Available Countries
US-based users can buy, sell, and trade approximately 50 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. International users can access around 75 cryptocurrencies, such as BTC, BCH, ETH, ZRX, BAT, and DASH.
The app accepts a total of 54 fiat currencies, including AUD, USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, SGD, and HKD.
The app’s service can be used in over 75 countries, including those from the following regions: North America, South Africa, South America, Australia, Europe, and South East Asia.
User Interface and Experience
The Abra app is pretty light and has an intuitive interface, with the menu system and tab layout making it simple to find any feature you are looking for. The app has been reported to have good functionality, even though there have been a few bugs over the years.
How to Get Abra Wallet
If you want to download and register on Abra, the steps are pretty easy to follow:
- Go to the Abra wallet website, App Store, or Google Play;
- Select the app for your system, download and install it;
- Provide your name, email address, and mobile phone number;
- You will receive a text with a verification code;
- Create and confirm a 4-digit PIN;
- Confirm whether you are a resident of the United States of America;
- Generate a recovery seed phrase and write it down.
You will have to go through ID verification if you want to link your bank account. You will have to provide a photo of your ID, a selfie with the ID by your side, a valid bank statement, and other documents if the platform finds it necessary.
How to Use Abra Wallet
- Open the app and go to the portfolio screen;
- Tap “+Add Money” and select which crypto you want to deposit;
- Scan the QR code or copy and paste the cryptocurrency address.
- Go to the portfolio screen;
- Select the main menu in the top left corner;
- Tap on “Send to Abra user”;
- Select a user from the list of contacts;
- Select which cryptocurrency you want to send by choosing in which type of wallet the recipient will have the funds deposited;
- You can convert crypto to fiat when sending by tapping the blue-highlighted “change” option.
- Go to the portfolio view and select “Withdraw;”
- Select which cryptocurrency you would like to send to your crypto wallet;
- Enter the amount you wish to withdraw;
- Tap “Confirm.”
Abra Wallet Fees
Through its Simplex integration, Abra is able to support credit card deposits. The payment methods and respective fees are included below in the Abra wallet review.
The wallet applies different fees according to the method of funding you have chosen:
- ACH bank transfer: free (where available);
- Teller (Philippines): up to 2%;
- Monthly usage fee: $5/month;
- Withdrawal via PH Bank: free;
- Withdrawal via crypto: network fee;
- Crypto deposits: no Abra fee; network fee may apply.
US users: Altcoin withdrawals come with a network fee in addition to the Bittrex withdrawal fee.
International users: Altcoin withdrawals come with a Bitcoin network fee plus a Bittrex withdrawal fee. This is because the app does not natively support altcoins for international users, as they are synthetic within the Abra app, meaning the underlying currency is still Bitcoin. Abra thus uses Bittrex to exchange BTC for altcoin when making the withdrawal.
When exchanging currencies within the Abra app, this generates a small spread. This means you will buy a currency at a higher price than the one it has on the market rates, or you will sell a currency that is below the current rates.
Our Abra wallet review will list the payment methods supported by the app for account funding:
- Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc;
- Credit card: MasterCard, Visa, or American Express (US only);
- Local Bank Transfer: US (ACH), EU (SEPA), Philippines;
- Wire Transfer: US bank wires and International wires are expected to be added in the future.
Bank account transfers depend on your country of residence, as in Europe and the US, you can expect the funds to be credited within 1-2 days, and in the Philippines between 2-4 days.
Cash, credit/debit cards, and crypto deposits are instantly available. Deposits and withdrawals made through the Abra wire program are credited between 3 to 5 days.
Withdrawals made through US and Philippines banks usually take up to 2-3 business days. Cash withdrawals are available immediately, while crypto withdrawals vary according to network traffic.
The limits imposed by Abra will vary according to your actions:
- Buy/Sell (exchange) cryptocurrency: 5 BTC/day;
- Cryptocurrency deposits: no limit;
- Cryptocurrency withdrawals: 100 BTC, 100,000 ADA, COVAL, and DOGE, 5,000,000 ETH, and 10,000,000 for all the other tokens.
The Abra company operates from California, but it is registered with the SEC Philippines and other relevant entities as Plutus Technologies Philippines Corporation.
The code of the app is not open source, and there are no publications that reveal any of the technical details behind the app.
Abra is a non-custodial wallet, meaning that it does not hold any of the users’ private keys. Abra provides mobile number verification, PIN numbers, and seed recovery phrases during the registration process.
The wallet encrypts personal user information and does not reveal sensitive data to the recipient when making transactions. Abra implements the Synapse Fi banking software provider and is connected to the FDIC-insured Evolve Bank to enable it to access the ACH clearing system. This allows the app’s system to treat bank transactions made by US users as electronic deposits and withdrawals.
Abra’s website features guides, research, crypto 101, and the FAQ section, which offers information regarding their services and functionalities.
Customers are able to contact the Abra support team through live chat, app, email, or social channels. The live chat can be accessed on their website between 9:30 AM and 4 PM PST M-F, and by accessing the “Contact Us” tab in the app, you can send your email to [email protected].
The team can also be reached at their official Telegram group, Twitter account, and Facebook page.
Abra Wallet Reputation
A significant number of users complained that their account was blocked or restricted when they tried adding their bank account to their app, even though they respected the identification procedure. Other issues included funds disappearing from their account and indifference from the support team when the customers solicited help with such issues.
Besides, a notable event involving Abra occurred in June 2023, when a US securities regulatory body issued an emergency cease-and-desist order against the company and other related projects. It is still to see how this will progress, but the regulators stated that Abra would have been insolvent since March 31, 2023.
The app has a rating of 3.5 out of 5 on Google Play from around 55,700 reviews, and it reached over 1 million downloads. The ratings are not that bad, but there are many one-star reviews that have complained about the poor service of the app.
Abra Wallet Review: Verdict
Abra is a wallet and exchange service for mobile users that allows fiat and crypto deposits. It supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies, is available almost worldwide, and allows users to use multiple payment and withdrawal methods. However, the fees are pretty steep, and it seems that there is a common problem encountered by those who try to use their bank account.