The Abra crypto investing app creates new interest-bearing account
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Founded in 2014 by Bill Barhydt, the California-based Abra app allows users to trade and store over 100 different crypto assets. Abra has backing from American Express Ventures and Foxconn Technology Group. Available in more than 150 countries, Abra users can now earn interest on leading crypto assets and stablecoins, as well as buy, sell, and trade.
Abra users fund the app using a bank or wire transfer, credit card, or by using crypto assets. Once funds have been added, users can use the funds for trading or transfer them to the new interest-bearing account. Abra users can earn up to 9% interest per year by storing their assets in the new interest-bearing account.
The first assets to be supported by the interest-generating account are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Paxos (PAX), and True USD (TUSD) stablecoins. Support for additional crypto assets will be added over time. The interest rates offered at present are BTC 4.1%, ETH 4%, and 9% on all of the above stablecoins.
Nevada-chartered Trust Company Prime Trust has been appointed by Abra to issue the new interest-bearing accounts and to provide custodial services for user funds. To access the new accounts, Abra users will need to verify their identity with PrimeTrust.
Rise of the Crypto Bank
The last 18 months has seen strong growth in the number of products, services, and accounts that offer interest on crypto assets. These have become popular with investors holding assets for the long term as they now have the opportunity to earn interest on their assets. Investors in crypto assets needing short term liquidity who do not wish to sell their assets are able to use similar products in the DeFi ecosystem to lend or borrow fiat and other crypto assets.
It’s a trend that is set to continue, says Abra founder and CEO, Bill Barhydt. “Tens of millions of people hold hundreds of billions of dollars in aggregate of their financial net worth in cryptocurrencies. Yet, no traditional bank views crypto as an asset class leaving the community with no opportunity to participate in markets that traditional fiat money takes for granted,” said Barhydt. “We are on a mission to create a simple and honest crypto bank to enable millions of crypto holders to maximize the potential of their crypto assets.”
Abra’s new interest account offers daily compound interest on user balances. The assets stored by Abra users are matched to liquidity demand from institutional borrowers to calculate the interest rate offered to Abra users.
“With the launch of the Abra Interest account we offer an unparalleled opportunity for investors to earn interest alongside the ability to trade all in one simple experience”, added Willie Wang, VP of product at Abra. “Consumers can sign up and start earning interest at a rate several times higher than a typical bank account.”
Earlier this month Abra settled charges with The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The regulatory agencies had accused Abra of “offering and selling security-based swaps to retail investors without registration and for failing to transact those swaps on a registered national exchange.”
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