Bitcoin startup Abra announces U.S. and Philippines launch

By Money Times

Oct 26, 2015 09:34 PM EDT

Bitcoin startup company, Abra, recently announced that it is set to launch in the United States and the Philippines after getting $12 million in Series A Round funding from investors, including the American Express and Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons.

According to Forbes, Amex adds up to the list of financial institutions that has entered the Bitcoin Industry. The other influential firms that have invested in Bitcoin are Nasdaq, Goldman Sachs, Visa, and the New York Stock Exchange.

Coin Report writes that American Express Ventures managing partner Harshul Sanghi said, "As people and businesses transact more globally, there's a need for more convenient and affordable ways to move money, and we think the blockchain could play an important role in the evolution of money transfer and commerce, especially in emerging markets."

Bitcoin is a less traditional industry. Even Amex CEO expressed scepticism in this business in the past, reported PYMTS. Now, Amex has invested in the Bitcoin industry through Abra, which is about to open up in the US and in the Philippines.

"Blockchain," is the technology that powers Bitcoin, and it is one of the major factors that attract more investors in the industry. Sanghi said, "blockchain" could play an important role in the fast evolving money transfer service as well as the constantly advancing commerce.

Abra's major service as it expands is to allow users to conveniently send money via their phone to another phone. Abra's app lets users store money digitally in their mobile phones. They can then send that money to any other phone in the world, using Abra's network of tellers and bank routes.

And then the person who received the money on their phone can exchange it for cash. Abra came up with an index that maps phone numbers to public addresses on the Bitcoin blockchain. Individuals must have the app to be able to conduct this transaction.

If the receiver of the money doesn't have the app, that person will receive a message asking him or her to install the app.

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