This announcement came in the form of a press release shared with Distributed, describing some of the background and features of this expansion. Additionally, Julie Ingle from the public relations group Affirm provided an exclusive interview on behalf of Abra.
“To be clear, we’re not launching a new app,” said Ingle. “We’re launching a new feature — the ability to use bitcoin to invest in stocks and ETFs [exchange-traded funds] from anywhere in the world.”
Ingle went on to note that “Abra’s mission is to democratize access to all financial services for everyone. We believe that cryptocurrency technology such as bitcoin can serve as a new platform to solve problems of access and trust.”
For this service, Abra won’t collect or store its users’ funds but rather stores funds on the Bitcoin blockchain, according to the press release.
The press release also claimed that investment in 50 traditional corporations, including Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Netflix, will be possible during the initial launch. These options will be added to the 30 crypto assets and 50 fiat currencies that the app already supports.
“We can and will be adding more assets, but the intent of the early access release is to better understand how global investors will interact with these products,” Ingle said. “As to why and how we chose the initial offering, the shortlist was determined by a combination of volume and coverage. So not only did we consider the most popular stocks and ETFs globally, we also worked to ensure we had diverse sector and geographic coverage.”
The move definitely made waves for Abra in the crypto ecosystem and puts the company at the forefront of merging decentralized finance with mainstream investment.
“We see this launch as a pivotal milestone not only toward our overall mission of democratizing access to financial services but also how the industry as a whole will view investing and cryptocurrency as the new protocol for money in the future,” said Ingle. “The notion of investing in fractional shares of stocks, as Abra has enabled with this announcement, is a novel concept today that will become table stakes tomorrow. And the fact that this is all built on Bitcoin is, we believe, one of the best applications for cryptocurrency mass adoption.”