Abra’s New Decentralized Investing Technology Platform

Today, Abra announced a new version of our smartphone app and exchange service, which enables investing in 20 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies as well as the real-time exchange across all 70 currencies. This is the first time a platform is offering 20 cryptocurrencies plus 50 fiat currencies in a single wallet with real-time exchange across all 70 and no third party custodian.  

How was Abra able to achieve something that no other company in the crypto space was able to achieve? The answer lies in our new smart contract-based investment platform.  

Abra has developed a unique multi-sig smart contract-based investment platform that allows us to create synthetic digital assets (e.g. stablecoins) based on Litecoin or Bitcoin.  Abra has been using stablecoins in USD, EUR, JPY, KRW, etc. and our platform has already seen hundreds of millions of dollars worth of transactions using the same technology. We are now  extending this technology to create synthetic digital assets that includes other cryptocurrencies. In other words, Abra gives you investment exposure to cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies without actually holding the physical currency.

These multi-sig contracts based on P2SH scripts on the Litecoin and Bitcoin blockchains simulate investment contracts the way a gold ETF is a contract based on USD. In the case of a gold contract, if the value of gold goes up, the user gets more USD, and if the value of gold goes down, the user loses USD. Abra is doing the same thing but using Litecoin and Bitcoin instead of USD with Abra acting as the counterparty (i.e. the other signatory) to the P2SH scripts. Abra now runs a market making operation that hedges away our counterparty risk on these scripts. We’ve been running this operation to manage fiat, Bitcoin and ether counterparty risk for over a year now with no service interruptions. We’ve extended this market making capability to include the altcoins launched today.

Today these P2SH scripts are 2 of 2 multi-sig scripts with Abra acting as the second signature. Abra intends to add an Oracle function as a third signature, likely in another legal jurisdiction, later this year.

Abra has chosen Litecoin as the primary asset class for our investment platform although we now have the ability to move users between Bitcoin and Litecoin contracts. We chose Litecoin after a long and thorough research process to determine the asset class that met our criterion: secure, safe, scalable on-chain and off-chain, low mining fees, and preferably with adherence to the published Bitcoin core roadmap. We believe that Bitcoin will always be slightly more secure than Litecoin due mainly to its smaller block size – many refer to Litecoin as digital silver vs Bitcoin’s digital gold. But this small security tradeoff means lower mining fees and more on chain scaling for our users. We believe that Litecoin is the best choice today for these contracts.

I’m excited to see Abra has chosen to use the Litecoin network in the newest iteration of its app,” said Charlie Lee, Founder of Litecoin. “Litecoin’s unique combination of low fees, high throughput and secure immutable transactions is a great fit for its use as programmable money.”

Why does this matter?  

This synthetic currency technology is a breakthrough on several levels: 1. Abra can quickly add additional cryptocurrencies to the app once they pass our rigid analysis around liquidity, contract market making and other factors 2. consumers in any country can now invest in any asset class regardless of where the asset originated.

“Abra has developed an easy-to-use app for managing investments in crypto currencies,” said Dan Boneh, Professor of Computer Science and head of the Applied Cryptography Group at Stanford University. “Their use of multi-sig technology in bitcoin and litecoin to create investment contracts is quite powerful. That they have done it in a super user-friendly way is commendable.”

While we’re starting with cryptocurrencies, this model can be extended to stocks, bonds, commodities, etc. The same app can be used to send money as well as invest. We’re truly becoming the crypto bank!

Download the Abra app now to start investing in cryptocurrency!

56 thoughts on “Abra’s New Decentralized Investing Technology Platform

    1. Hey Jim

      So if you want to send in BTC via an external wallet, there is no KYC/AML check with Abra. Once you have BTC in the app, you can invest in any of the other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies available in the app. However, if you want to use a US bank account to purchase cryptocurrency, our banking partners require you to fill out information

  1. I see that you have BCH now. Do you still plan on offering those who owned BTC at the time of the fork of BCH the equivalent number of BCH coins? I asked tech support about it a number of months ago, and they said they were working on it? Is that still true?

    1. Floyd,

      Yes. We are actively working on it. First, we need to get BCH into our app. The next step is to do the distribution. It is next on the list to do. Thank you for your patience.

    1. Make sure you download the latest version of our app. Once you have that downloaded, tap the upper right wallet button in your main app screen to add any of our new cryptocurrencies.

    1. Hi Art,

      We believe our security model is superior. We don’t hold your funds on your behalf. You are in control of your private keys, so you control the funds in your Abra app at all times. This differs from Revolut and many similar apps. Learn more here: https://www.abra.com/safety/

  2. Can you send crypto to an external wallet without kyc? What’s the fee for withdrawals such as to an external wallet?

    1. Hi Shiv,

      It depends on if you have a US or Philippines bank account. If you do, you can link it up and start depositing. However, if you do not have a bank account in the US or PH, you will need to transfer in BTC from an external wallet. Once you fund your Abra app, you can exchange in and out of any of the 20 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies almost instantly!

  3. Hopefully more merchants will accept cash-ins and cash out using abra so that I can fund my abra wallet.. In my province it is very limited. Hope you could also implement 7-11 cash ins and others.

  4. Do we have address for those crypto to deposit and withdraw?
    like ETH or BCH address so that we can receive and send ETH or BCH?

  5. Abra implemented smart contracts on lite coin. Is it similar to etherium smart contracts? If not whats the difference?

  6. Hello,
    Since you are adding LTC infrastructure for your investment smart contracts does that mean you’ll be adding withdrawal/deposit ability to the LTC wallet?

    Thank you
    -Acidosis

    1. Currently, you cannot. You can transfer in and out BTC though! We are actively looking into ways to withdraw altcoins directly though!

    1. Currently, no you cannot do that. You can only withdraw from Abra in BTC or fiat if you have a linked bank account.

  7. Can I use abra platform as our mining wallet? If we want to exchange from other cyrptocurrecy to fiat do I have to convert it to btc first?

    1. If it’s for BTC mining, then yes! Just copy and paste your Abra BTC wallet address to your mining software. So, we don’t offer native altcoin support. When you exchange from BTC to DASH (for instance) on Abra, it’s just the underlying BTC value that is reflected in your DASH wallet. Please send an email to contact@abra.com if you need further assistance or have more questions. Thanks!

  8. Ok so “Abra has chosen Litecoin as the primary asset class for our investment platform” but does not accept LTC.
    What’s the point so?

    Also what’s the point to have so much fiat currency if you only operate with US Banks?

    Not trying to be rude but just want to uderstand your app

    Regards

  9. When I buy XRP via Fiat on your app, does Abra also buy the matching amount of XRP off an exchange to drive demand against the asset and increase it’s overall value in the ecosystem?

    If I buy 50 XRP, are 50 XRP taken off the market and stored somewhere on a wallet that Abra owns?

    I understand that I cannot withdraw XRP from Abra, but I am curious if anyone owns the XRP I am buying.

      1. The link to FAQ was confusing…are you saying that “no” buying XRP on Abra does not help drive the value up on the token we are investing in because Abra doesn’t actually buy anything?

  10. I personally think you should of waited to launch this after implementing native LTC support. You are on a LTC platform but do not accept it.

    1. Gotta admit,…something strange that you do not accept litecoin, as it is the native token of your platform? I dont even own any, but weird

    1. Once you have money in your account, you can invest first in any of the 20 cryptocurrencies well offer. So you can go from USD -> LTC directly.

    1. We do not support UK banks yet. We are actively looking at expanding our banking options abroad. We’ll keep you posted on future updates!

  11. Hi. Although your app seems very cool, it is nothing new really. Many of the traditional “forex” brokers offer the ability to trade cryptos – through a CFD. The only difference seems to be your added blockchain security, as well as the fact that you hold the deposit in BTC/LTC.
    My question: ABRA is the counterparty, so how do you manage your risks. For example, lets say many of your clients decide to “buy” USD. If the crypto market were to crash by say 60%, you would have a massive problem as you would have to effectively make up that 60% from your own pocket.

    1. Hi Antony,

      So here is more info about how the synthetic contracts work: https://support.abra.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001818392-How-do-Abra-s-synthetic-currencies-work-

      We have structured our model to where there is enough liquidity in the assets we list to avoid risks involved with large increases/decreases in market volatility. We have a rigorous process for choosing digital assets based on objective factors that will keep Abra and users safe.

    1. For now, Abra is available for your iOS or Android smartphone. We are actively looking at building out a web app, but we will not have updates there in the short-term.

    1. Hi Milan,

      In short, yes. When you purchase Zcash for example on the Abra app, the value underlying is in a synthetic contract powered by smart contracts in BTC/LTC. However, note that you are in control of that underlying value, as Abra is a non-custodial service. Make sure to write down your Abra recovery phrase and store it in a safe location!

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