Abra to Launch ‘Chartered’ Banks Both in USA & Overseas
Abra, a Mountain view-based financial services company, is launching Abra Bank and Abra International, the company announced at SALT New York 2022.
Abra Bank aims to become the first regulated bank in the U.S., where customers will be able to deposit and make transactions with cryptocurrencies, while Abra International plans to become the global entity providing these services.
“Abra Bank will be the first operational US state-chartered bank – a full bank not a trust – in the digital asset space enabling trading, custody, investing, NFTs, credit cards, and more[sic],” wrote Bill Barhydt, the founder of Abra. The bank, which is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2023, will be available to accredited institutional and individual investors – this requirement will be in effect until Abra Bank launches in the US, the statement says.
While the U.S. entity requires inventors to be accredited, Abra International will be accessible to all users. It will have “similar licensing for non-US users” and will be released in October.
The company is also launching a new product called Abra Boost, which will provide an opportunity for “qualified investors to deposit and earn interest on their digital assets,” as well as earn interest and stake digital assets. It is expected to go live on Oct. 3.
Abra was launched in 2014 by a former Goldman Sachs analyst, Bill Barhydt. It currently operates as an “app that allows users to access interest-earning, buying, selling and trading in cryptocurrencies.”
In 2021, the company raised $55 million for its global expansion. The round was led by Ignia and Blockchain Capital.
The company was listed among the “Top 25 Tech Companies to Watch in 2018” in The Wall Street Journal in 2018 and was named one of its next Billion-Dollar Startups by Forbes in 2021.
Abra’s announcement comes at a time when many crypto companies are struggling to stay alive.
Platforms like Voyager Digital and BlockFi experienced turbulence during the market crash that started in May and seems to be continuing to this day. Voyager’s business model proved to be unsuccessful and even illegal, based on the lawsuit that has been filed by its customers, while BlockFi had to be bailed out by a crypto exchange FTX to continue its operations.
Prominent companies like Coinbase, Kraken, Crypto.com, Bitpanda had to lay off hundreds of employees, freeze further hiring and restructure their finances.
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