In the world of Bitcoin and Blockchain, it seems every day there is a new technology that promises to change the way you interact with financial products. Abra is a new app that could hold true to that promise. Abra is a digital wallet that works similarly to other platforms that let you transfer money and invest held value. The company embraces transparency with their customers, partners and employees.
Abra allows you to invest in 30 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies through one app. After creating an account, the app will enable you to add money to your wallet through your bank account, credit/debit card, cash, or bitcoin, among other options. On one platform, you can buy, sell, store, and invest in cryptocurrencies. The app aims to create an open financial system that’s accessible to everyone. The app also lets you trade between different assets almost instantly and with no fee involved.
Abra operates through the use of synthetic currencies. If you deposit $1000 of LTC into the app, you can choose to trade it for exposure to Stellar’s price at $0.25. Doing so creates a transaction on the Litecoin network that needs multiple signatures. You sign the first part of the transaction to Abra to secure your LTC at the trading price. Abra then signs the second part of the transaction which unlocks the LTC and sends the profit to your wallet. Through this process, you never actually own Stellar coins. Instead, you are giving yourself market exposure to the changes in the price of altcoins. Abra works by creating a synthetic currency that mimics the cost of your chosen coin, but the entire time you are only engaged with Litecoin. This is what allows you to invest in different currencies without needing to have separate wallets.
The use of synthetic currencies may raise some concerns, but there isn’t an issue with liquidating them. Abra has run these contracts successfully for over a year without service interruptions. Trades can also be made for bitcoin or litecoin and those sent to a wallet of your choosing. Users in the United States can also choose to trade for fiat currency, which can be sent to your bank account. Abra is able to guarantee users’ smart contracts by hedging users’ positions with different exchange partners.
Because Litecoin offers no hard fork drama, spikes in transaction fees or network outages, Abra is able to rely completely upon that network. Litecoin has lower fees than Bitcoin, though Bitcoin does offer more security. The security tradeoff is what allows Litecoin to have lower mining fees.