Abra Adds Native Integration of Ether

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Abra wallet
Abra wallet

Digital wallet and exchange service Abra has expanded support for the Ethereum platform by adding native integration of ether, the platform’s native cryptocurrency, now allowing users to deposit, invest and withdraw ether directly from the Abra app.

The announcement of the integration was made on Wednesday at Token2049, an event dedicated to the crypto and blockchain industry, held this week in Hong Kong.

Abra CEO Bill Barhydt on a Token2049 panel, March 2019, by @AbraGlobal, via Twitter

Prior to the integration, ether was only available on Abra as a “synthetic asset,” meaning that users could only be exposed to the cryptocurrency’s price movements but couldn’t actually hold the cryptocurrency. Users had to make a deposit into the Abra app either via a US-based bank account, American Express card, bitcoin, bitcoin cash or litecoin, and then needed to have their balances converted into a synthetic version of ether. This latest level of support adds the ability for Abra customers to directly deposit and withdraw ether (ETH) via any other Ethereum wallet.

“By adding native ether support, Abra users will now be able to easily buy and move ether from other wallets to the Abra app,” said Bill Barhydt, CEO and founder of Abra. “This also opens up the potential to use ETH as an on-ramp to invest in the other assets listed on Abra.”

According to Willie Wang, Abra’s vice president of product, the launch of native ether support is “a crucial milestone” for the company which has been looking to expand support for the Ethereum platform and community.

“The greatest part about this news is that this is just the beginning. In the near future, we will offer native deposit and withdraw support for the other ERC-20 tokens currently listed on Abra, in addition to other new tokens that we will now be able to list,” Wang said.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in California, Plutus Financial, Inc., doing business as Abra, operates a crypto mobile-based app that allows users to buy, sell, store and invest in cryptocurrencies. The platform is based on a non-custodial architecture, meaning that Abra doesn’t control or have access to users’ funds. Instead, Abra uses Bitcoin and its blockchain technology to store and encrypt cash deposits on the user’s mobile device. Funds are accessible only by a user’s unique recovery phrase.

Abra is currently available in 155 countries and supports over 30 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies. Users can also gain exposure to the price movements of Ethereum by investing in the BIT10 crypto index directly through the app.

Abra plans to add support for traditional stocks, commodities and ETFs in the near future.

“We’re going to start with popular US stocks and ETFs and add more global assets in the coming months,” Barhydt wrote in a blog post in February.

“We’ve heard from many of our users that they would love to have one stop shopping from the Abra app for all of their investment needs. This new product release makes this wish a reality.”