Crypto services company Abra said Monday it is in the process of launching Abra Bank, a U.S. state-chartered institution and, potentially, the crypto industry's first regulated bank.
If successful, Abra Bank would allow customers in the U.S. to deposit and bank digital assets while also offering valuable access to fiat on- and off-ramps.
“Abra Bank will be the first fully regulated depository institution for cryptocurrency in the United States,” said Abra CEO Bill Barhydt during the SALT New York conference. “There are several trusts operating today in the U.S., but no operational bank.”
Abra also plans to launch Abra International, a fully regulated digital asset business that will deliver similar banking services for its customers outside the US. According to a statement, Abra Bank is expected to launch in 2023, while Abra International is expected to launch in late 2022.
“The biggest banks in the world in 20 years are going to be crypto-centric banks,” said Barhydt.
Abra also announced it would launch "Abra Boost" in October, a product that allows qualified investors to deposit and earn interest on digital assets. The company said it would be transitioning customers of its existing lending product, Abra Earn, to the new Abra Boost.
Abra has been rounding out both its retail and institutional offerings in recent years. In March 2021, Abra’s app enabled crypto lending and borrowing capabilities, allowing users to borrow fiat using crypto collateral. Last year, Abra raised $55 million to develop new investment, trading and payments offerings for high-net-worth and institutional clients.
More recently, Abra formed Abra Capital Management, which provides high-net-worth clients access to structured products and actively managed investment funds.
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