Abra is a bitcoin wallet that lets you hold, send, and receive money in over fifty different currencies, including bitcoin. One question we often get is whether we have any plans to add support for digital currency alternatives to bitcoin, also referred to as “altcoins”. While we have no plans to add direct support for holding altcoins in the app, it is possible to fund your Abra wallet with altcoins using a convenient exchange service like ShapeShift.
ShapeShift is a digital vending machine for altcoins. You put altcoins in and receive bitcoin or other altcoins back at the current exchange rate. Using ShapeShift you can deposit and convert your altcoins into bitcoin or any of the 50+ fiat currencies supported in the Abra wallet. Once the money is in your Abra wallet, you can then send to any other Abra wallet or bitcoin address and withdraw the money via bank or Abra Teller.
Follow these steps to change your alts into bits with ShapeShift:
Step 1. Install the ShapeShift mobile app or go to shapeshift.io in your web browser
ShapeShift has a mobile app available for iOS and Android, and also has a web app you can access on their website at shapeshift.io.
Step 2. Copy your Abra wallet address
Go to the “Add money” screen in your Abra wallet and select “Use bitcoin”. Copy the bitcoin address shown on the screen to your clipboard, then open ShapeShift.
Step 3. Select what altcoin you want to deposit into your Abra wallet
In this example I’m going to transfer coins from my Zcash wallet into my Abra wallet. In the ShapeShift app, I select “Zcash” as my sending currency and “Bitcoin” as my destination currency.
After selecting the altcoin you want to exchange, paste the address you copied in Step 2 into the “receive address” field. Confirm that the address you paste is the same as your Abra wallet address, then press “SHIFT” in the ShapeShift app to start the exchange.
Step 4. Send the altcoins from your altcoin wallet to Shapeshift
Using the “Quick Send” feature in ShapeShift, you can send any amount of altcoins that is greater than the minimum and less than the deposit limit shown on the screen. ShapeShift will automatically convert the altcoins into bitcoin at the current exchange rate.
Step 5. Confirm receipt of the deposit in your Abra wallet
Within an hour or so (sometimes faster, sometimes slower, it depends on how busy the market is), the status of your ShapeShift exchange will change to “Complete” and you will receive a deposit notification in your Abra wallet. This means that your ShapeShift deposit has been successfully converted from the altcoin you sent to ShapeShift into the currency that you’ve selected as your Abra wallet currency.
If you’ve made it past this step, then success! You just funded your Abra wallet with altcoins using ShapeShift.
Have you used ShapeShift to deposit altcoins into your Abra wallet? Is this a feature you’d like to see built into the Abra app? Let us know in the comments below!