Abra, the cryptocurrency wallet and exchange service with a simple-to-use smartphone app, is expanding. Starting Tuesday, users will be able to buy, sell, invest, and hold five new cryptocurrencies alongside the 20 existing coins and the 50 fiat currencies on offer. The cryptocurrencies are joining a service that’s seen big growth since it launched its redesigned app in March, and Monero’s lead developer has declared the announcement “really an exciting development.”
“Abra has experienced explosive growth in our service offering over the past couple of months,” Bill Barhydt, founder and CEO of Abra, tells Inverse. “We now have active users in over 75 countries and are growing transaction processing volume at over 25 percent per week over that time period.”
The service offers price-stabilized cryptocurrencies through a combination of Bitcoin and Litecoin smart contracts. What this means is assets are traded more like how gold exchange-traded funds run off the United States dollar, meaning the service can support a range of assets just through supporting these smart contracts. In the future, this could mean supporting other assets like commodities or stocks.
The five new cryptocurrencies joining the service are Monero, NEM, NEO, Lisk, and Verge. They join the 20 already listed on the service: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Golem, Litecoin, OmiseGO, Qtum, Ripple, Vertcoin, Zcash, Bitcoin Gold, Stellar Lumens, DigiByte, Augur, Status, Stratis, and 0x.
The service has the potential to boost these cryptocurrencies. Coinbase, another app that offers cryptocurrency buying and selling through a simple interface, has the potential to send prices soaring just through the mention of expanded support, like when Ripple jumped 20 percent earlier this month. Although it shot to the top of the iOS App Store during Bitcoin’s rise past $19,000 in December, the service only supports three cryptocurrencies. Abra’s expanded support, combined with ease of use, could boost adoption.
Here’s why you should be excited about the five joining the existing 20:
The 13th-largest cryptocurrency has a market cap of $3.8 billion and a price per coin of $237.65. The project focuses on privacy as a key selling point.
“The increased liquidity and awareness for Monero that the Abra service will generate is really an exciting development for the Monero community,” Riccardo “fluffypony” Spagni, lead developer and head of the Monero Project, said in a statement.
While this protects user information from snoopers, its name has featured in cryptojacking scandals a number of times. Spagni denounced illegal uses like these in a Financial Times interview this month.
The 14th-largest cryptocurrency has a market cap of $3.59 billion and a price of $0.399 per token. NEM focuses on scale and speed, encouraging developers to use the smart asset system to power projects like logistics tracking or document notarization. The cryptocurrency made headlines when around $400 million worth of XEM tokens were lost in a hack of the Coincheck exchange in January.
NEO is the 10th-largest cryptocurrency with a price of $81.42 per token. It has a market cap of $5.29 billion, placing it just past IOTA to hit the top 10. Launched by Da Hongfei in 2014, it’s rapidly expanded into a major Chinese cryptocurrency. Its developers aim to power a “smart economy” and digitize assets using a distributed network. The project is similar to Ethereum, but it reduces the emphasis of using distributed apps over the top of the blockchain.
Verge is the 23rd-largest cryptocurrency. It has a market cap of $1.2 billion and a price per token of eight cents. It aims to improve on the original Bitcoin blockchain and uses anonymity-centric networks like Tor to hide identities. One of the biggest adopters of Verge is Pornhub.
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