Bitcoin payment startup Abra has announced the addition of Visa and Mastercard payment options for buying bitcoin on its platform. The new payment option is in partnership with fintech company Simplex, per the company’s blog post.
Up until today, users who wanted to purchase cryptocurrencies were limited to a few options that included bank deposits and wire transfers. In addition to these, the company also offers a means of buying altcoins using either bitcoin or litecoin for countries where bank wires and deposit options are unavailable.
The addition of Visa and Mastercard debit/credit card options makes it cheaper and faster to purchase cryptocurrencies on the platform. The new payment options are accessible via the website and the app.
Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, Abra CEO Bill Barhydt stated, “Today we have users from over 70 countries, but the majority of these users who are outside the U.S. could only fund their Abra wallet using bitcoin. With this launch, we can now offer a simple way for customers globally to use Abra to buy their first bitcoin using any Visa or Mastercard and then start investing in any of the other 24 cryptocurrencies we support today.”
The new payment options come with increased buy limits, faster processing times and more accessibility. Users who purchase bitcoin with their Visa or Mastercard will now be allowed to buy up to $20,000 worth of bitcoin at a time — which is a step above the $2,000 limit placed on bank deposits.
Users will also be able to store purchased bitcoin into any supported wallet. The company says processing time would be shorter, as new bitcoins should be available in digital wallets 30 minutes after purchase.
Abra is one of the few cryptocurrency platforms that hasn’t embraced KYC/AML regulations in their entirety. In an email sent to its customers last month, the company said users were not mandated to provide “any form of identification” to use its platform. Barhydt has said that Abra is able to avoid “all these complexities” because it doesn’t hold customers’ funds.
The company, however, requires American customers to submit their ID to increase funding limits via bank transfer options.