In a recent interview, Bill Barhydt tells BlockGeeks that the so-called “crypto winter” hasn’t affected Abra in any way, shape, or form. A recent product announcement from the Mountain View-based startup would confirm this quip. Per a press release from the cryptocurrency-focused financial services provider, it has just launched native support for Ethereum (ETH) — a feature that has arguably been a long time coming.
Synthetic Ethereum On Abra Is No More
While Abra’s application has long allowed its global clients to access Ethereum, support for the second most valuable cryptocurrency has always been synthetic. For those who missed the memo, this means that investors who purchase ETH on the application are just receiving exposure to the asset’s price fluctuations, rather than the physical cryptocurrency.
— Abra (@AbraGlobal) March 13, 2019
Now, however, the upstart will allow its users to directly deposit and withdraw Ether on its multi-faceted platform. This means that starting today, Abra’s users will be able to deposit Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, fiat from American Express-backed plastic, and ETH onto the finance-centric application. In the release, Barhydt, a former CIA, NASA, and Goldman Sachs employee turned crypto diehard, stated:
“By adding native ether support, Abra users will now be able to easily buy and move ether from other wallets to the Abra app.”
Once Ether is settled on the platform, Abra intends to offer deposit and withdraw options for the ERC-20 tokens currently listed on Abra, “in addition to other new tokens that we will now be able to list.“
Interestingly, Joseph Lubin, one of the handful of Ethereum co-founders and the brain behind ConsenSys, also made a comment on Abra’s newfangled offering. Lubin explained that this recent move is another large step towards “bringing the potential of Ethereum’s decentralized world to life.” The Canadian technology entrepreneur adds that while Ether was meant to be Ethereum’s fuel of choice, this budding space is currently shifting towards a token-rife economy, potentially creating a large need for Abra’s synthetic asset system.
It is important to note that this integration may open the door for the California-headquartered company to begin working on making Ether an “on-ramp,” as Barhydt describes it, for investors to allocate capital to other assets in Abra’s ecosystem. More specifically, Ethereum-based smart contracts from Abra, backed by complex technologies behind the scenes, may eventually be able to support synthetic assets, like U.S. equities, a myriad of altcoins, commodities, and foreign currencies.
This could be integral for Abra’s all-in-one financial services model heading into the future, as it allows the company to diversify away from smart contracts based solely on Bitcoin and Litecoin, which could be subject to delays if the networks were to see a high number of transactions. In response to an inquiry about the effect that a rapid run-up in the number of Bitcoin transactions could have on Abra’s services, CEO Barhydt tells us:
“Having a native Ether wallet is one step towards a multi-chain solution. Having a multi-chain solution [for us] is probably the safest way to deal with scalability issues.”
Could This Integration Help Ether’s Price Prospects?
In the aforementioned interview, the chief executive tells us that by virtue of there being more investors and assets supported on Abra, which will all be tied to physical Bitcoin due to the synthetic model, BTC should theoretically start to rise out of pure scarcity. Barhydt notes that there simply isn’t enough BTC to go around.
While it could be argued that the same could be said with Ethereum, it is important to note that Ether’s supply cap is non-existent, or at least with its current cryptoeconomic model. Of course, if enough of Abra’s synthetic asset ecosystem gets run through Ethereum (and thus physical ETH), the cryptocurrency’s valuation could see a healthy boost over time.
But, as it stands, with Ether’s current annual inflation rate of ~5%, such a fundamental factor-induced rally would likely be close to impossible. However, with time and a large reduction in inflation with Proof of Stake, Abra’s integration could very well be a long-term though lesser-known catalyst.
Title Image Courtesy of Descryptive.com Via Unsplash
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