Abra CEO explains the benefits of a fully regulated bank for digital assets

Episode 107 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded live with The Block's Frank Chaparro and Abra Co-Founder & CEO, Bill Barhydt.

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Full-service crypto platform Abra announced plans in September to establish the first fully regulated bank for digital assets in the U.S.

Abra Bank is expected to go live in early 2023 and it will enable U.S. citizens to deposit their digital assets in a U.S.-regulated manner similar to traditional banking.

In this episode of The Scoop, Abra Co-Founder and CEO Bill Barhydt explains the advantage crypto banks have over traditional banks and how Abra Bank will enable fully regulated, interest-bearing accounts in the U.S.

Whereas traditional banking services are available only during specific hours, Abra Bank will allow customers to interact with their assets at any point in time.

“We fundamentally believe in this mantra of ‘not your keys, not your crypto.’ The irony of that in running a bank is not lost on me, but the point is that we are 100% committed to saying, ‘Okay, if it's your stuff and you want to move it to a Trezor or Ledger on Sunday at 2 a.m., please do it right now’” said Barhydt.


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In addition to giving customers full control over their assets at any point in time, the fact that Abra Bank will be a U.S. state-charted institution means that it will be able to provide interest-bearing accounts. According to Barhydt,

“Abra Boost, which is going to be our new offering for paying interest going forward, will be for accredited users, and then the goal is to make it available to retail once the bank fully launches.”

During this episode, Chaparro and Barhydt also discuss:

  • The SEC and crypto regulation;
  • Macro headwinds and market liquidity;
  • Why bitcoin could one day be an inflation hedge.

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Tron, Ledn

About Tron
TRON is dedicated to accelerating the decentralization of the internet via blockchain technology and decentralized applications (dApps). Founded in September 2017 by H.E. Justin Sun, the TRON network has continued to deliver impressive achievements since MainNet launch in May 2018. July 2018 also marked the ecosystem integration of BitTorrent, a pioneer in decentralized web3 services boasting over 100 million monthly active users. The TRON network completed full decentralization in December 2021 and is now a community-governed DAO. | TRONDAO | Twitter | Discord |

About Ledn
Ledn was founded on the unshakeable conviction that digital assets have the power to democratize access to the global economy. We help you to experience the real life benefits of your Bitcoin without having to sell it. Start a savings account, take out a loan, or double your Bitcoin. For more information visit Ledn.io

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Authors

Davis Quinton is the Director of Podcasts at The Block and runs our flagship podcast called The Scoop, hosted by Frank Chaparro. Since joining The Block as an 'intern' in early 2022, he has worked closely with leaders across departments to translate The Block's written content into engaging multimedia formats. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].


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