Abra, found online at Abra.com, promises to help you buy, sell, hold, or pay with bitcoin in an easy, fast, and secure way. Here’s our review.
What Is Abra?
Abra is a bitcoin-based payment platform. You download the platform as an app for your smartphone. Using Abra, you can quickly and easily buy, sell, send, and store bitcoin.
You can use Abra to buy bitcoin with your existing bank account or credit cards, for example. You can also store funds in your Abra wallet long-term (it’s a non-custodial wallet, so you remain in control of your funds at all times). Or, send bitcoin to merchants or receive bitcoin from others in exchange for products and services.
Overall, Abra is marketing itself as an all-in-one bitcoin solution. The platform is catered to the US marketplace, although basic functionality (like the ability to use Abra as a mobile wallet) is available worldwide.
How Does Abra Work?
Abra is an all-in-one bitcoin wallet and payment platform. The platform is designed to make it as easy to use as possible. It’s designed to be user-friendly for beginners, while still being accessible to advanced bitcoin users.
The three core functions of Abra include:
You can use your bank account, credit cards, or cash to fund your Abra wallet and convert it into bitcoin. Users enjoy fast funding even for bank-based purchases, with transfers completed in as little as 1 day.
Abra automatically creates a mobile bitcoin wallet for you. Abra is a non-custodial wallet, which means you hold onto your funds at all times, and only you have the key.
You can use your Abra wallet to send bitcoin, receive bitcoin, or pay merchants who accept bitcoin anywhere in the world. You can send bitcoin between mobile devices anywhere in the world. Abra currently supports bitcoin and 50+ fiat currencies worldwide. The receiver chooses how they want to receive the money – in bitcoin or their local currency.
You can spend bitcoin using Abra by ordering a prepaid card or a credit card. Right now, this feature is only available in the United States.
Ultimately, Abra works all over the world. However, it only has bank transfer support in two countries right now, including the United States and the Philippines. However, once you have bitcoin in your Abra wallet, you can spend it anywhere just like any ordinary currency.
Abra has all of the following features:
- Buy or sell bitcoin easily
- Hold bitcoin in a secure, non-custodial wallet
- Send or receive bitcoin from any bitcoin user worldwide
- Purchase goods online or offline wherever you see a seller accepting bitcoin
- Keep two balances at once (you can keep a USD or PHP balance, for example, and a bitcoin balance from the same wallet)
- Exchange funds easily between two wallets (like your USD and BTC) to buy or sell bitcoin when the price is right for you
- Bank transfers (Abra currently supports a number of major and regional banks in the US and the Philippines, with more banks and countries to be added in the future)
- Cash withdrawals (you can use the Abra app to find Abra tellers in the Philippines; you can use tellers to buy or sell bitcoin with cash)
- Fund your account using any American Express card (available only in the United States)
- Spend bitcoin anywhere
Obviously, when a company offers convenience like Abra, you know there are going to be fees involved in the process. There are plenty of companies that make it easy to buy bitcoin – but these companies vary widely in terms of their exchange rates. Fortunately, Abra is totally transparent about its fee structure. Here are some of the important fees:
Send Money or Request Payments:
Add or withdraw funds via a bank: Free (Abra never charges a fee for bank funding or withdrawals, although some banks in the Philippines may charge a small fee)
Add or Withdraw Funds Via an Abra Teller:
Add Funds Via American Express Cards:
Add Funds Via Bitcoin:
Withdraw Funds Via Bitcoin:
Network fee (the mining/network fee, Abra doesn’t profit from this)
Exchange rate: Abra’s exchange rate can be viewed from within the app. Open your Abra app, got to the main screen > Menu > Change Currency > Country > Next > Convert Balance. This will show you the current exchange rate available through Abra in your local currency.
Who’s Behind Abra?
Abra was founded by serial entrepreneur Bill Barhydt, who has 20+ years of payment experience. The team is headquartered in Silicon Valley with an additional office in Manila, Philippines.
Abra was founded in Saratoga, California in 2014 before relocating to Mountain View, CA in 2015. That same year, the company launched beta Abra apps for iOS and Android, won the Launch Festival in San Francisco, and announced Series A investment partners like First Round Capital, Ratan Tata, and American Express Ventures. In 2016, Abra launched in the United States and the Philippines. By 2017, the app had expanded to support 50+ currencies, bitcoin, credit cards, and more.
Abra made headlines earlier this year for adding actress Gwyneth Paltrow as an advisor. Around the same time, Abra was featured in an Apple TV show called Planet of the Apps, which is kind of like “Shark Tank” but for app developers. All four Planet of the Apps entrepreneur advisors (including Paltrow) chose to support Barhydt and his Abra app.
Abra Review Summary
Abra is a mobile app that lets you buy, spend, and send bitcoin in an easy way. The app is designed to open bitcoin to the mainstream world. It’s easy to use – even if you have no prior knowledge of bitcoin and how it works. The app also functions as a mobile wallet where you hold onto your private keys.
Today, Abra is available worldwide, although bank transfers are supported only in the United States and the Philippines. However, the platform supports 50+ fiat currencies along with bitcoin. To learn more about Abra, visit online today at Abra.com.