Crypto Wallet Abra Adds Support for European Bank Accounts

News and Analysis

Cryptocurrency wallet and exchange Abra today announced its support for Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) bank accounts. With this announcement, users from European countries can now initiate direct transfers from their bank accounts and invest in any of the 28 cryptocurrencies supported on Abra.

“With users from over 70 countries globally, and a greater demand for the ability to invest in cryptocurrencies from any bank account, it is really important to give investors the opportunity to fund their Abra wallet directly from any bank account,” said Bill Barhydt, founder and CEO of Abra. “This new feature is helping to change the way people invest, adding to a brighter future for the cryptocurrency market around the world.”

Previously, Abra wallets were funded using bank and wire transfers in the United States as well as via American Express, Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards around the world. Officially, Abra’s European bank transfers will occur using the SEPA guidelines. Under SEPA, several European member countries will also be eligible to deposit national fiat currency in addition to Euros.

The SEPA area includes the 28 members of the European Union, as well as four members of the European Free Trade Association (Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Portugal, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovak Republic, Denmark, Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania, Spain, Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden, France, Malta, United Kingdom and Croatia as well as Iceland, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and San Marino).

Once European users have transferred money to Abra they will receive BTC into their Abra wallet where it can be securely stored, exchanged for 28 other altcoins, or converted back to their currency and re-deposited back into the Abra user’s Europe-based bank.

Along with the news of its support for SEPA, Abra has announced the addition of three new coins: Cardano (ADA), Basic Attention Token (BAT) and Tron (TRX) will now be available in the app. In addition to the new coins released, beginning over the next several days users will also have the ability to fund their Abra wallet using Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

The Abra wallet is positioned as a “non-custodial” since the cryptocurrencies and the wallet’s private key are held directly by the user. The Abra model is 100% peer-to-peer, with no middleman ever holding, managing or touching users’funds at any point in any transaction.

To develop the new wallet and integrated exchange, Abra built a first-of-its-kind platform using stablecoins that facilitates holding both fiat coins as well as cryptocurrencies through a combination of bitcoin and litecoin based smart contracts. This unique multi-sig smart contract based investment platform uses P2SH scripts on the Bitcoin and Litecoin blockchains that simulate investment contracts the way a gold ETF is a contract based on USD. Abra acts as the counterparty to the P2SH scripts, and the company runs a market making operation that hedges away its counterparty risk on these contracts.

Because of its stablecoin platform, Abra can quickly add additional cryptocurrencies to the app once they pass the platform’s rigid analysis around liquidity, contract market making and other factors.

Additionally, consumers in any country will eventually be able to invest in other asset classes regardless of where the asset originated. This model, according to the company, can be extended to stocks, bonds, commodities and more with minimal changes to the existing Abra app.

Earlier this year, Abra was named to the Wall Street Journal’s 25 Tech Companies to Watch in 2018.

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