Web: American Express invests in bitcoin venture Abra

October 2015 by: From The Web

In a world where bank transfers take two to three days and even seemingly immediate payment apps like Venmo actually aren’t, Bitcoin technology makes it possible to transfer money instantaneously and securely from person to person. It is inspiring startups to make such transactions an everyday reality — and many of them are choosing to do so without marketing themselves as Bitcoin companies.


Wednesday, Abra, one such company, announced that it will soon be available to all registered users in the United States and Philippines and will also now offer services enabling merchants to accept digital cash from consumers using its app. Additionally, it added strategic investments to its $12 million Series A round,announced in September, from American Express and Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, the holding company of Indian conglomerate Tata. Amex’s participation in particular adds yet another financial institution to the list of those, including Nasdaq, Visa, Goldman Sachs, and the New York Stock Exchange, that have put money into Bitcoin startups.


“As people and businesses transact more globally, there’s a need for more convenient and affordable ways to move money, and we think the blockchain could play an important role in the evolution of money transfer and commerce, especially in emerging markets,” said Harshul Sanghi, American Express Ventures managing partner, in a statement, using the shorthand term “blockchain” to refer to the technology that powers Bitcoin.


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