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Abra CEO Blames Biased SEC Process for Bitcoin ETF Rejection

Bitcoin (BTC), Exchange-Traded Fund—While the crypto markets exhibit continued price volatility, the industry focus remains on how the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission will handle Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Funds going forward. While the SEC has thus far rejected all ETF proposals, the language in the rejection has given the industry some hope in the fact that the regulatory firm recognizes the growing potential of blockchain—just not the current iteration to produce an ETF. While analysts, industry forecasters and outside pundits weigh in on the reasoning for continued ETF denial, from the format of the proposal to the companies submitting them, Abra’s CEO Bill Barhydt has a different taken on the reasoning.

Abra, a cryptocurrency payment platform and app-based exchange, is not among the current crop of companies vying for the position as head of the first approved Bitcoin ETF. However its founder and CEO Bill Barhydt’s background on Wall Street has given him greater insight to the inner-workings of the SEC and led him to conclude that cryptocurrency is largely suffering from an image problem. Speaking in an interview with CNBC , Barhydt states that he does believe a Bitcoin ETF will reach approval stage by the SEC before year’s end, but the current holdup is being driven over a lack of familiarity between the regulatory group and crypto industry. Specifically, Barhydt cites that the cryptocurrency exchange leaders that are submitting applications for ETF-approval “don’t fit the mold” of the typical executive that the commission has historically dealt with.

As much as the SEC has given reasoning for rejecting thus-far submitted ETFs, which have all received similar language in the denial reply, Barhydt blames personality and industry profile for being at the heart of the problem. Essentially, the crypto industry does not fit the mold created by typical Wall Street interaction—a feature that could continue to cause delay in receiving approval,

“I think the issue with the SEC, quite frankly, is that the people who are doing the applications don’t fit mold of who the SEC is used to approving. I used to work for Goldman Sachs, but if you look at how I’m dressed you probably wouldn’t know it. So I probably, unfortunately, couldn’t go like I am here to a meeting at the SEC to say I’m applying for the ability to issue an ETF.”

In August, Gemini cryptocurrency exchange founders and high profile investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’s bid for a Bitcoin ETF was rejected along with several other applications. VanEck, which has been at forefront of the ETF process and is favored to be the first to receive approval, had its proposed application delayed until the end of this month. In all, the crypto markets took a massive hit in valuation following the delayed/rejected action of the SEC, with all of late July and early August’s positive price gains being eroded in the span of a week. While the current trend in market pricing looks to be making a small recovery, with BTC clinging to $7000, altcoins continue to make a major hit—leading some to conclude that the hope of an ETF approval is still driving most of the price interest.

However, not everyone has been pleased with the overwhelming shift in focus of the industry and investment base towards greater regulation. Andreas Antonopoulos, a mainstay figure and one of the most genuine supporters of blockchain and cryptocurrency, claims that the Bitcoin ETF will do more harm than good. Myopic investors, particularly those looking to cryptocurrency as a pathway to fast profit, are hanging on SEC approval of an ETF as the leverage needed to spur ‘institutional investors’: the big Wall Street firms that are waiting for a less murky landscape before they start pouring money in. Cryptocurrency purists see increased regulation as a diversion from the real use of cryptocurrency and adoption for the technology.

Regardless, Barhydt is confident ETF approval will happen sometime in the near future,

“It’s going to happen in the next year, I would actually make a bet on it. There is too much demand for it.”


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Bitcoin Purchase with Credit/Debit Cards on Abra

Abra, the multicoin cryptocurrency wallet platform has launched a new feature that allows users to purchase Bitcoin using their credit/debit cards. The company announced the move in a blog post on Thursday (July 12, 2018). Abra CEO, Bill Barhydt believes that BTC can reach $50,000.

Seamless Bitcoin Purchase

With the newly launched feature, Abra users now have an additional method of buying BTC. Abra inked a partnership deal with Simplex to provide the service. Before the launch, only users in the United States could use their credit/debit cards to purchase Bitcoin on the platform, via American Express.

By introducing this new feature, the platform aims to simplify the BTC purchase process, ensuring a seamless user experience. According to the company using a VISA or MasterCard to buy Bitcoin offers numerous advantages over other purchase options. The benefits range from faster processing time to enhanced availability.

BTC purchase on Abra via credit/debit card has a minimum and maximum limit of $50 and $20,000 respectively. The coins purchased can be kept on the platform or transferred to another wallet service.

The credit/debit card purchase feature is available to Abra users in more than 75 countries around the world. The coins purchased can be available in less than half an hour depending on the blockchain traffic at the time.

Abra CEO Predicts Bitcoin Price to Reach $50,000

In a related development, Bill Barhydt recently predicted that Bitcoin would one day reach the $50,000 milestone. Barhydt, however, didn’t provide any timeline for when BTC would achieve this high. The Abra chief also downplayed the bull rally of late 2017 saying that crypto enthusiasts “got way ahead of themselves.”

Barhydt didn’t provide any analysis to back his prediction. Macroeconomist, Peter Tchir believes that most BTC price predictions are made with specific motives in mind on behalf of the analyst. Writing recently for Forbes, Tchir encouraged traders to disregard predictions that didn’t have any empirical analysis to back the proclamation.

Presently, Bitcoin is in the midst of a sustained bear dip that has seen prices plummet by more than 60 percent since the start of 2018. BTC permabulls will be hoping for another price surge that can catapult the top-ranked crypto to a new all-time high.

What do you think about the credit/debit card BTC purchase feature on the Abra platform? What are your thoughts concerning the Abra CEO’s BTC prediction of $50,000? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.


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Litecoin (LTC) Is Not Dead, Abra To The Rescue

Litepay, the payment settlement platform that was meant to send Litecoin (LTC) to the stratosphere, first suffered an indefinite postponement for launch and then was later cancelled completely. Charlie Lee, the Founder of Litecoin, would later issue a public apology stating that the team had gotten a bit over excited with the Litepay project and had ignored some due diligence processes.

The cancellation of Litepay and the apology by Charlie Lee, left many fans and owners of Litecoin (LTC) wondering what next? Some suggestions had been put forth for Litecoin to continue with the Litepay project but with a different approach. Others had simply resigned to the idea that it would be business as usual for Litecoin without a revolutionary platform for cryptocurrency to fiat use for reall life transactions.

But this only lasted a few days for Abra CEO, Bill Barhydt, was quick to declare that Litecoin would be its platform of choice for smart contracts moving forward. Bill was earlier noted as predicting that as soon as the current market conditions improve, All Hell Will Break Loose in the crypto-markets as the big investors move in. He was quick to point out that the current dips in the market, are seen as opportunities by the said big investors.

With regards to Litecoin, Bill was quick to explain in a Reddit post, why Abra had decided to pick Litecoin as their primary asset moving forward, for the company’s smart contract investing solution. He is quoted as saying:

‘We went with Litecoin as the second asset class, after bitcoin, for our smart contract investing solution for 3 primary reasons: 1. commitment to bitcoin compatibility: core roadmap, p2sh support, lightning support, etc; 2. slightly better scalability than bitcoin in short term (block size and block times); 3. mining fees which are primarily a function of #2 although this is more of a short term benefit as mining fees would likely sky rocket if we’re successful anyway!’

With Bill’s statements, it is safe to say that Litecoin  is not dead. The fact that Abra have chosen the Litecoin Smart contract aspect, rather than Ethereum, means that the coin has a bright future. Bill goes ahead to explain how Abra will use Litecoin moving forward.

‘Abra is not meant to be a trading platform like binance or gdax. Abra is mean to be a simple app for retails investors to get exposure to hard to access assets. We enable this investment exposure using a synthetic cfd like model based on p2sh multi-sig scripts on the litecoin and bitcoin blockchains. Our goal is to open this up to different asset classes over time, not just the top 20 cryptos and fiat but even stocks, commodities, etc. An example of this vision that we hope to bring to market in the future is for someone in Ghana to buy exposure to Apple or someone in Indonesia to buy exposure to Alibaba and simply collect their winnings (or give up their losses) in litecoin. All using the same app you’re able to download today from the app store.’

In conclusion, the crypto-verse continues to amaze us with developments even as a shaky Bitcoin that is again below $7,000, causes some ‘normal’ turbulence in the markets. Market analysis of LTC puts it at $120 with a current support level estimated at around $110.

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Total Market Recovery on the Start of the Weekend – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple

Could that have been the bottom? Countless crypto-enthusiasts and traders are asking themselves if the prices that were experienced the past week were the lowest that the digital currency assets against the US Dollar will be touching.

All the leading coins did plunge throughout the violent sellout breaking below many important supporting levels with no stop. Bitcoin [BTC] – the leading crypto with a market capitalization of $120 billion [per all-time high $333 bil] broke below the $7,000 for a day now, which has happened only once since November 12 2017.

BTC against the US Dollar

Source: coinmarketcap

The afternoon however, is looking very differently on the short-term manner as all the leading cryptos in the top-20 position by market capitalization are being hoisted by the bulls [except for TRON which is still on the red because of its heavy losses the last days.]

The pair BTC/USD is trading at $7,081.49 per time of writing with 4.15 percent positive change [24h] while Ethereum follows in the same manner making it above the major $400.00 level [$403.11] with 6.47 percent increase in the last 24-hours. The third largest and very famous for having a unique marketing strategy Ripple is battling hard to keep its head above the $0.5100 level and not declining lower.

As long as the above mentioned marks are not cleared out again and the buyers can hold position against bears for a couple of days, a reversal on prices could take place within a short time.

On standard patterns, all the other cryptocurrencies follow Bitcoin and its market development majorly, however today the first to step on the green zone was Stellar Lumens as IBM did declare to be using its infrastructure for cross-border payments while taking the solutions and approach very seriously:

At the time of the announcement [and our team writings] Stellar XLM/USD was trading just above 4% increase for the last 24-hours. However, as prices in a global-scale did break below important supports [BTC $6,740] traders used the opportunity to step in and turned Saturday a very welcoming mark on the week for the community. Now Stellar XLM is trading at $0.2136 with 16.02% upward movement in the last day.

A boost in confidence was given birth by Abra’s CEO Bill Barhydt towards the community as he believes strongly in the bulls to return in the near future and the same end of 2017 hype of crypto to be present again. The reason to support his opinion is that billion-dollar hedge funds and institutional investor have still not stepped in but did decide that the asset is very worth investing and their time.

“I talk to hedge funds, high net worth individuals, even commodity speculators. They look at the volatility in the crypto markets and they see it as a huge opportunity. Once that happens, all hell will break loose. He added: “Once the floodgates are opened, they’re opened.”

Read: Soon Bulls To Return: Upward Price Jump Predicted By Abra CEO

Trade safely and do not overtrade!