Mobile Bitcoin wallet Abra has unveiled its new trading platform that lets users invest in 20 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies in the same app that they use to manage their BTC.
Abra announced on Thursday that the latest version of its mobile app now includes support for a total of 70 currencies as a real-time exchange service across all currency pairs. The company says it is the “only all-in-one smartphone app in the world with these capabilities.”
The wallet is non-custodial, meaning that users retain control of their private keys at all times and do not have to worry that they will lose their funds if Abra is hacked.
Now, to be clear, this is an investing app with an integrated Bitcoin wallet — not a full-fledged cryptocurrency exchange.
The only cryptocurrency that can be deposited and withdrawn from the app is Bitcoin (support for Litecoin and Ethereum is expected to be added soon), and the only fiat currencies with this support are the US Dollar and Philippine Piso.
The other 67 currencies are synthetically-created “stablecoins” whose values are pegged to those of their associated assets using smart contracts and are settled in Bitcoin.
As Abra explains:
“These multi-sig contracts based on P2SH scripts on the Litecoin and Bitcoin blockchains simulate investment contracts the way a gold ETF is a contract based on USD. In the case of a gold contract, if the value of gold goes up, the user gets more USD, and if the value of gold goes down, the user loses USD. Abra is doing the same thing but using Litecoin and Bitcoin instead of USD with Abra acting as the counterparty (i.e. the other signatory) to the P2SH scripts.”
Abra is able to offer this service because it also runs a market-making operation, which hedges away the firm’s counterparty risk in the case that asset values fluctuate wildly.
The platform does not charge commission fees on trades, though — as with Circle’s recently-launched investing app — it nets a small profit on the spread between buy and sell prices.
Abra previously allowed users to use this technology to invest in Ether and a few fiat currencies, and it claims that it successfully processed hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of transactions using this system with zero service interruptions.
The app has no geographic restrictions, so it is available to users throughout the world. However, only users in the US and Philippines can deposit and withdraw fiat currency from the platform, which can be accomplished using bank wires or ACH transfers.
US residents can also make deposits using American Express cards — unless their card issuers have banned cryptocurrency-related purchases. Users in the Philippines, meanwhile, can make cash deposits at Abra Tellers.
Featured image from Shutterstock.