Abra’s Crypto App Introduces Bitcoin Investment Option for Stocks and ETFs

News and Analysis

U.S.-based digital wallet Abra has introduced new features enabling global investors in 155 countries to invest in shares and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) using Bitcoin (BTC).

The app already offers investment in 50 fiat currencies and over 30 cryptocurrencies, with the new features expanding those possibilities to traditional financial markets.

According to the announcement, those assets include major stocks such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google, Netflix, commodities such as SPDR Gold Trust, ETFs like Vanguard Growth and the S&P 500, and indexes like the Russell 2000 and others.

“We’re announcing that we are enabling everyone, everywhere in the world the opportunity to invest in traditional stocks, commodities and ETFs, all from the Abra app. We’re going to start with popular US stocks and ETFs and add more global assets in the coming months. Of course, all of the great features for investing in cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies remain fully integrated as well,” said Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra.

Stocks and ETFs investment features are based on a new investing model called Crypto Collateralized Contracts (C3s), which allows investors to make investments in any asset by using Bitcoin (BTC) and smart contracts.

C3 contracts allow an investor to easily gain investment exposure to any asset, such as a stock, bond, another cryptocurrency, etc., by simply using bitcoin as the underlying technology for the investment. In other words, if you want to invest $1,000 in Apple shares you will place $1,000 worth of bitcoin into a contract. As the price of Apple goes up or down versus the dollar, bitcoin will be added to or subtracted from your contract. When you settle the contract — or sell the Apple investment — the value of the Apple shares will be reflected in bitcoin in your wallet which can easily be converted back to dollars, or any other asset for that matter.

The feature will be made available to investors in over 155 countries, offering zero trading fees for the remainder of 2019 on stock and ETF investments, the firm said, adding that the minimum investment is $5. Interested users can currently sign up for early access on the company’s website.

“Right now, Abra is available in 155 countries. That list will keep growing as more people realize the inevitability of decentralized finance and the utility of bitcoin as the means to get us there. It shouldn’t matter where you live or how much you earn to be able to participate in the world’s best investment opportunities,” added Barhydt.

Founded in 2014, Abra is backed by notable investors including American Express Ventures, Foxconn Technology Group, Arbor Ventures, among others.

Last year, Abra added support for Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) bank accounts enabling users from European countries to initiate direct transfers from their bank accounts and invest in supported cryptocurrencies. Back in October, the firm launched a new token aimed to offer investors more exposure to the cryptocurrency market. The token tracks the top-10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization and essentially allows investors to invest in all ten at once.

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