Abra to Add New Feature that Allows Users to Own Fractions of Stocks, ETF

Abra, a crypto startup based in the U.S., is adding a new feature to its blockchain-based app that will enable users to purchase fractions of traditional investment instruments.

Abra announced on Wednesday that the app will use the technology of bitcoin blockchain and smart contracts in order to allow fractional investments in stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The app already provides investment in more than 30 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies.

“Just as consumers can own a fraction of a bitcoin, they can soon use Abra to own fractions of high-priced stocks and ETFs,” the firm stated.

The said feature will be offered to investors in more than 155 countries, providing zero trading fees for the rest of 2019 on ETF and stock investments, with a minimum investment of $5, according to the firm. Those who are interested to have early access can sign up on the company’s website.

Abra informed the public that for the initial roll-out, 50 new investment assets will be offered, including stocks from big companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Netflix; ETFs like S&P 500 and Vanguard Growth; commodities like SDPR Gold Trust; and indexes like the Russell 2000.

The app is non-custodial, which means investors funds will not be stored by Abra. The funds are stored on the bitcoin blockchain instead, therefore making transactions “more secure and private than centralized databases used by most crypto exchanges and wallets,” the firm explained.

Having a system based on smart contracts and blockchain allows Abra to peg the value of “anything with a reliable price feed” to bitcoin’s price.

Bill Barhydt, the firm’s CEO, stated:

“We are building bitcoin-backed investing products because, for the first time, we can truly democratize access to investment opportunities at global scale. It shouldn’t matter where you live or how much you earn to be able to make investments and participate in capital markets.” 

Established in 2014, Abra is backed by well-known investors such as Arbor Ventures, America Express Ventures, and Foxconn Technology.

Last October, the company unveiled a new token, with the primary goal of providing investors more exposure to the cryptocurrency industry. The token monitors the top 10 digital currencies by market capitalization and effectively lets investors invest in all ten at once.