Abra: A New Kind Of Bitcoin Remittance Service - Bitcoinist.net

Abra: A New Kind Of Bitcoin Remittance Service


Bill Barhydt, serial entrepreneur and former Netscape director, debuted his first Bitcoin startup, Abra, on Wednesday, March 4.

abbrabitcoinistThe announcement came on the last day of the Launch Festival, an annual conference known for premiering new and innovative startups. In his speech, Barhydt explained that Abra was created to help migrant workers in various countries send money to their loved ones back home.

Our mission with Abra is to turn every smartphone into a teller that processes withdrawals. This is not just another bitcoin app. The wallet is a full-fledged digital asset management system, and you don’t have to understand it. It’s very sophisticated what’s going on behind the scenes,” said Barhydt.

Existing bitcoin remittance services act as brokers, but Abra is going with the more traditional model of Western Union and other remittance service providers. Abra relies on a network of money tellers, similar to Mobile Money in Africa, which serve as stations for people to send and receive cash.

A user can also load their account with a debit card, but can not receive money with it.

With Abra, a user can send money to anyone in the world, even if that person has not downloaded Abra or has a bank account. The fintech startup uses bitcoin on the backend to send money globally and cheaply.

abbrabitcoinistBut if you were an Abra user, you wouldn’t know it.

The company has a huge focus on making the company customer friendly. Therefore, it does not mention or expose the user to the cryptocurrency at all. Instead, all transactions are denominated in US dollars.

One of the main selling points of the service is the lack of fees. For the time being, Abra does not charge fees for any remittances sent through the service. The company also says there is “no foreign exchange risk.”

The service claims to be much faster compared to the existing options. As soon as the money is sent, the recipient can instantly withdraw the money from an Abra teller in the other part of the world.

Would you use Abra or other bitcoin remittance services to send money to love ones aboard?

Photo courtesy of goabra.com

Photo courtesy of goabra.com

Photo courtesy of goabra.com

Jeffrey Maxim