The Abra app has added VISA payment options for crediting the account, allowing mobile users to quickly and easily gain access to Bitcoin (BTC) and potentially a large portfolio of diverse digital assets.
The Abra app uses the Litecoin network to store some of its digital assets in the form of a smart contract. Within the app, the coins and tokens are synthetically represented and do not communicate with the blockchain. This ensures speed and no fees. However, Abra has indicated it may offer withdrawals of the actual coins soon.
The offering of Abra app comes at a time when enthusiasm for Bitcoin has waned, yet even at those lower prices, there is still interest in acquiring crypto assets. Before the expansion, only US-based owners of American Express cards were able to buy directly in the Abra portfolio.
The only other way was to wait for a bank transfer, or deposit crypto coins purchased elsewhere. Abra initially accepted deposits of Bitcoin and Litecoin. The rest of the coins and tokens in the portfolio are only accessible after swapping between assets.
The VISA and MasterCard purchases are available through the Simplex payment processing firm. Abra buyers can purchase between $50 and $20,000 in Bitcoin with various levels of verification. The newly-acquired Bitcoin could be redirected to any existing BTC wallet, or they could be stored in the Abra wallet and exchanged for 20 crypto coins and tokens and 50 fiat currencies. The offer comes at a time when Bitcoin prices are weighed down and hover around $6,200.
The Abra app does not allow purchases from a short list of countries but is otherwise globally available. The selection of Abra reflects coins that took the attention in the past few months, as well as relatively older ICOs from a year or two ago. The portfolio includes the recently hot DigiByte (DGB) and also gives access to anonymous coins such as Monero (XMR) and ZCash (ZEC). Using the Abra app requires sharing personal information and is not itself anonymous.
The founder and CEO of Abra, Bill Barhydt, has been extremely bullish on Bitcoin prices and the crypto space in general:
His expectations are that Bitcoin could rise as far as $50,000, without specifying a timeframe. Barhydt also believes last December’s spike in prices was dangerous and harmed the markets, as he has stated in a recent interview for the US tech magazine Inverse.