Abra’s new 2-in-1 wallet-exchange app boasts 20 cryptos and 50 currencies
It’s decentralized and charges no fees to exchange between cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.
Claiming it to be the world’s first and only all-in-one secure digital wallet and exchange app for mobile devices, Abra relaunched its service for iOS and Android on Thursday with support for 20 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies.
Among them are US dollars, bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Dash, Zcash, Dogecoin, Golem, OmiseGO, Qtum and Vertcoin, with Stellar Lumens, Bitcoin Gold, DigiByte, Augur, Status, Stratis and 0x coming within days.
There’s a big asterisk that goes with all of that, though.
The Abra platform is based on multi-signature smart contracts on only the bitcoin and Litecoin blockchains. The actual money is placed in synthetic “stablecoins” pegged to their corresponding real cryptocurrencies, not the real cryptocurrencies themselves, similar to the way a gold ETF works – without actually owning gold. Presently, deposits and withdrawals can only be made through BTC, American Express, US banks and Philippine banks and tellers, though LTC and ETH are slated to be added soon. The company says the technology has been battle tested for more than a year with hundreds of millions of dollars already.
The Abra wallet is decentralized in that it’s a non-custodial wallet, meaning no one has access to the wallet’s private key except you.
The new app provides access to users anywhere in the world and real-time exchanges between any of its 70 currency pairs. It charges no fees except for standard bitcoin transaction fees, credit card charges and teller fees. However, Abra makes money on the exchange rate spread.
Decentralized, or peer-to-peer, exchanges are considered by many to be safer than centralized exchanges due to the threat of hacking with the latter. In recent news, popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced it’s also developing a decentralized version to exchange digital assets directly from one secure wallet to another. Learn more about the differences in our comprehensive guides to cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds XRP, CND, ANT and DRGN, and actively trades BTC and ETH.