Announcing a Return to our Roots: The All-New Bitcoin Magazine

Could Abra be Bitcoin’s “Killer App”?

by

         Could Abra be Bitcoin’s “Killer App”?

Bitcoin’s “killer app” has long been a topic of speculation. What is the compelling use case that will cause millions to adopt bitcoin, knowingly or unknowingly? It just might be Abra.

Announced on the final day of Launch Festival 2015, Abra is a company that is looking to take a slice of the $550 billion global remittance market. With legacy companies such as Western Union charging 10 percent and more to remit money internationally, Abra offers the potential for instantaneous money transfers at a fraction of the cost.

At the event, CEO Bill Barhydt said: “Our mission with Abra is to turn every smartphone into a teller that processes withdrawals. This is not just another bitcoin app. The wallet is a full-fledged digital asset management system, and you don’t have to understand it.”

Use of the application is straightforward and relies on a network of people around the world who act as tellers, charging small fees to help people transfer money abroad. A user can deposit funds into his or her account using a debit card or by meeting up with a teller in person and handing them cash. Then those funds can be instantly — the power of Bitcoin — transferred anywhere in the world. The person receiving the money has only to find a teller, show that he or she is the recipient of the funds, and exchange the digital cash (denominated in USD) back for their local currency.

“The teller charges a fee. We take 50 basis points on either side. If the teller doesn’t charge a fee, we don’t charge a fee,” Barhydt explained at the event.

Further, there is no foreign-exchange risk. Once the money is in the account, it holds that value for the first three days guaranteed. This ensures that if someone wants to send $200, all $200 can get to the intended person.

The killer application

What gives it the potential title of “killer app” is the fact that Abra is powered by Bitcoin, but the user has no idea that Bitcoin is what is powering it.

It’s been said numerous times, but how the network works is less important to someone than whether it works. The average individual doesn’t want to know how the pipes work; they want to know that water is going to come out. The same is true for finance.

At the “Bitcoin and the Future of Payments Technology” Fireside Chat held at the Museum of American Finance back in February, the panel talked about how people don’t know how the Internet works, but know that if they hit “send” on an email, it’ll get to where it needs to go. No one knows about any of the protocols making that possible.

“Bitcoin will be the same way,” said Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle.

The average person using this application won’t need to know that it’s Bitcoin powering the backend either. All users need to know is that their money transferred in minutes and that the fees are significantly less than what they would pay using a service like Western Union.



Recommended

Ten Years Later, a Reflection on Bitcoin’s Genesis and Satoshi’s Timing

Rather than focusing simply on what the genesis block is, today is a day to reflect on what the genesis block represents.

Colin Harper

Op Ed: From Gray To Black and White: Traditional Regulations Come to Crypto

For the crypto industry, recent developments — at both the federal and international levels — signal that the time for plausible deniability or unregulated freedom is coming to an end and more traditional regulations are moving to the forefront.

Courtney Rogers Perrin and Joshua Lewis

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Blowing Through Support Levels on the Way to $3,000

Bitcoin continues to tumble lower and lower as it struggles to claim any footing in the market. It’s down almost 50% in three weeks and it’s showing very little sign of stopping. It’s currently clutching onto the $3,500 values but it doesn’t look like it can hold on much longer.

Bitcoin Schmitcoin

Op Ed: SEC’s Latest Declaration Creates Legal Minefield for Digital Assets

This broad, authoritative declaration is not unexpected, as, to date, the SEC has stated that all digital assets — regardless of whether they function as alt coins or utility tokens — are securities at least initially and, thus, subject to its jurisdiction.

Huhnsik Chung and Nicholas Secara