Abra’s CEO Sheds Light on the Cryptocurrency Bank of the Future

Bill Barhydt is excited about the future.

Cryptocurrency wallet and exchange service Abra announced on Thursday that seven more “altcoins” are joining the service, making a total of 20 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies. The company offers exchanges with no deposit or transaction fees, built on a “smart contract” system that could support any number of asset classes to create a bank of the future. Since launching its redesigned app last month, the company has doubled its userbase.

“It’s been fantastic,” Bill Barhydt, founder and CEO of Abra, tells Inverse. “We’ve now got users in around 70 countries. It’s just crazy, it’s fun. People really like the way Abra works, it’s super easy to use, so I couldn’t be happier.”

Starting now, users can trade in Bitcoin Gold, Stellar Lumens, DigiByte, Augur, Status, Stratis and 0x. These join the 13 tokens already offered through the app: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Golem, Litecoin, OmiseGO, Qtum, Ripple, Vertcoin and Zcash.

So many crypto options!


The system uses a combination of Bitcoin and Litecoin smart contracts to offer price-stabilized crypto tokens. The company likens the way the assets are exchanged in these contracts to how a gold exchange-traded fund is based off the United States dollar. This opens up the company to supporting a variety of assets, including other cryptocurrencies, stocks, commodities and bonds. With Abra also offering money transfers, it has the potential to transform into a crypto-powered smart bank.

“It’s going to be a while before we have anything to say about that specifically, except to say we think it’s something that people will want, so we’re looking very hard at it,” Barhydt says.

The current focus is for international expansion, with Abra’s global operations likely to form the company’s upcoming announcements for the second half of this year. While there will be other cryptocurrencies later, the current focus is on quality of service and expansion.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw us doing other asset classes in the future,” Barhydt says. “No specific plans right now, but it’s something we’re definitely looking at.”

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