TOP > Cryptocurrency > Using Abra to Buy Bitcoins in the Philippines
October 31, 2019 Updated

Abra is another method of buying Bitcoin & cryptocurrency in the Philippines. With the ability to facilitate offline transactions, learn how to use the app here!

Abra Wallet is one of the many available cryptocurrency wallets in the country. It is headquartered in Silicon Valley and also has an office in Metro Manila. Its aim is to make cryptocurrency investing simple by using its Abra app that can also act as a wallet and an exchange.

This article is heavily modified on September 18, 2018 with a minor update on October 2, 2018.

In the Philippines, Abra wallet users can use bank transfers using their bank account in Union Bank and available Abra tellers nationwide to cash in.

What is Abra?

Although it has the same name as one of the provinces in northern Luzon, Philippines, how Abra works, of course, is a different story. It is a cryptocurrency app, fiat app, stocks app, and exchange fund app. When it first launched, Abra used distributed ledger technology to offer a slew of products other than cryptocurrencies.

Abra is a non-custodial wallet from tech and venture capital entrepreneur Bill Barhydt  and doesn’t have any access to Abra users’ funds. This means users are fully responsible for the funds in the wallet. Because of this reason, it is highly recommended that you secure and store the app’s given recovery phrase just in case you need to recover your account.

For the latest articles on Abra, check out the following:

When the app first came out in the Philippines in 2016, it has native support for fiat and Bitcoin (BTC). A natively supported cryptocurrency means users are able to do a direct deposit and withdrawal. In March 2018, it added 20 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies that users can exchange within the app. In May 2018, it added litecoin as its new natively supported crypto along with an additional five new cryptocurrencies to the app. By September 2018 and with Bitcoin and litecoin, it also put Bitcoin cash (BCH) as its third natively supported cryptocurrency.

  • Download Abra here! (It will ask for your mobile number where Abra will send the code to download. Start your mobile number with 63.)

As of September 2019, Abra supports 30 cryptocurrencies,

Users who want to buy and sell digital assets may use the app. Cashing in or making a deposit can be from bank transfers, Abra tellers (only in the Philippines, not available for users in the United States and other countries), credit or debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express), Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, or litecoin.

Abra-Supported Cryptocurrencies:

List of Stocks You Can Buy in Abra

  • AAPL Apple
  • AMZN Amazon
  • BA Boeing
  • BABA Alibaba
  • FB Facebook
  • GE General Electric
  • GOOG Alphabet
  • JNJ Johnson & Johnson
  • JPM JPMorgan Chase
  • KO Coca-Cola
  • MSFT Microsoft
  • NFLX Netflix
  • LYFT Lyft
  • NKE Nike
  • PG Procter & Gamble
  • TSLA Tesla
  • UPS United Parcel Service
  • V Visa
  • VZ Verizon
  • WMT Walmart
  • XOM Exxon Mobil
  • AXP American Express
  • BRK.B Berkshire Hathaway (Class B)
  • LYFT Lyft
  • PINS Pinterest
  • PD PagerDuty
  • JMIA Jumia
  • ZM Zoom
  • UBER Uber
  • SPOT Spotify
  • ZION Zions Bankcorporation
  • FDEF First Defiance Financial Corp
  • COG Cabot Oil & Gas Corp
  • DB Deutsche Bank AG

List of Currencies you can buy in Abra

Country Currency Name Currency Code
Argentina Argentine Peso ARS
Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands) Aruban guilder AWG
Australia Australian dollar AUD
Bahamas Bahamian dollar BSD
Barbados Barbados dollar BBD
Brazil Brazilian real BRL
Bulgaria Bulgarian lev BGN
Canada Canadian dollar CAD
Chile Chilean peso CLP
China Chinese yuan renminbi CNY
Colombia Colombian peso COP
Costa Rica Costa Rican colon CRC
Croatia Croatian kuna HRK
Curacao (Netherland Antilles) Netherlands Antillean guilder ANG
Czech Republic Czech koruna CZK
Denmark Danish krone DKK
Dominican Republic Dominican peso DOP
Eurozone (various countries) Euro EUR
Grenada/Saint Vincent and the Grenadines East Caribbean dollar XCD
Guatemala Guatemala quetzal GTQ
Haiti Haitian gourde HTG
Honduras Honduran lempira HNL
Hong Kong Hong Kong dollar HKD
Hungary Hungarian forint HUF
Iceland Icelandic króna ISK
India Indian rupee INR
Indonesia Indonesian rupiah IDR
Israel Israeli new shekel ILS
Jamaica Jamaican dollar JMD
Japan Japanese yen JPY
Malaysia Malaysian ringgit MYR
Mexico Mexican peso MXN
New Zealand New Zeland dollar NZD
Nicaragua Nicarguan córdova NIO
Norway Norwegian krone NOK
Paraguay Paraguay guaraní PYG
Peru Peruvian nuevo sol PEN
Philipppines Philippine peso PHP
Poland Polish zloty PLN
Romania Romanian new Leu RON
Saint Lucia East Caribbean dollar XCD
Singapore Singapore dollar SGD
South Africa South African rand ZAR
South Korea South Korean won KRW
Sweden Swedish krona SEK
Switzerland Swiss franc CHF
Taiwan New Taiwan dollar TWD
Thailand Thai baht THB
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad dollar TTD
Turkey Turkish lira TRY
United Arab Emirates UAE dirham AED
United Kingdom Pound sterling GBP
United States US dollar USD
Vietnam Vietnamese đồng VND

List of ETFs you can buy in Abra

  • AAXJ iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex-Japan
  • AGG iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond
  • EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets
  • EFA iShares MSCI EAFE
  • EWA iShares MSCI Australia
  • EWJ iShares MSCI Japan
  • EWU iShares MSCI United Kingdom
  • EWW iShares MSCI Mexico
  • EWZ iShares MSCI Brazil
  • FXI iShares China Large-Cap
  • GLD SPDR Gold Trust
  • GOVT iShares U.S. Treasury Bond
  • GSG iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust
  • INDA iShares MSCI India
  • IWM iShares Russell 2000
  • QQQ Invesco QQQ
  • RSX VanEck Vectors Russia
  • SPY SPDR S&P 500
  • TIP iShares TIPS Bond
  • USO United States Oil Fund
  • VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets
  • VEU Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US
  • VGK Vanguard FTSE Europe
  • VNQ Vanguard Real Estate
  • VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market
  • VTV Vanguard Value
  • VUG Vanguard Growth
  • VWO Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets
  • VYM Vanguard High Dividend Yield
  • XLF SPDR Select Sector Fund – Financial
  • XLK SPDR Select Sector Fund – Technology
  • XLV SPDR Select Sector Fund – Health Care

How to Use Abra

In order to use Abra, you will first need to download its app on Google Play or iOS App Store. Complete the necessary information needed including an active mobile number. After that, Abra will use this to verify your account.

  • Download Abra here! (It will ask for your mobile number where Abra will send the code to download. Start your mobile number with 63.)

Don’t forget to keep your recovery phrase. This is because you will need this just in case you change phones or for other security purposes. We suggest writing it down and keeping it somewhere safe.

Cash in / Deposit

Abra has different ways to cash in or deposit funds in your account. You can do a bank transfer. Next, via an Abra Teller. Lastly,  you can deposit funds via Visa or Mastercard, Bitcoin, litecoin, or Bitcoin cash.

For bank transfer in the Philippines, as of this update, Abra is partnered with Union Bank. If you have a Union Bank account, you can log in to the bank’s website then select Bill Pay. You need to enroll Abra as a biller and then pay Abra the amount you want to deposit. Make sure to put your Abra phone number as the reference/subscriber number. The entire process may take 1-2 business days.

Read More: Use UnionBank to Cash In and Cash Out to and from Crypto Wallets Like Coins.ph and Abra

You can choose Cash or Abra Teller. In the Philippines, the company has partnered with pawnshops and charges a fee for every transaction. Its major Abra teller is Tambunting that charges 1.50% on top of the bitcoin price.

If you want to use your Visa/Mastercard debit or credit card to purchase Bitcoin, you can go to Abra’s official website: https://www.abra.com/buyBitcoin/. It is powered by simplex and charges an 8% fee.

The three natively supported cryptocurrency Bitcoin, litecoin, and Bitcoin cash, you can deposit all three to your wallet by using the address provided for each.

Exchanging to Cryptocurrency

Once you have your account funded with either fiat or cryptocurrency, now you can choose and purchase from its 28 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies it carries. All you need to do is Tap on Exchange that you will see at the bottom of the app, choose the fiat or crypto that you want to use to purchase, change it to a new currency, and then choose the currency you want to buy.

Don’t forget that you can add your “newly bought cryptocurrency” on your home screen by tapping on Add Currencies. This option will let you see its PHP price in real time.

The app will also let you manage Price Alerts. You can go to Portfolio then choose Price Alerts, and then Select Currency. Price Alerts will alert you every time its price went below or above your set price.

Withdrawing your Funds

How can you withdraw your funds? Easy, you can either choose to transfer to your bank that may take 2-4 business days, cash using an Abra teller, through your third-party Bitcoin, litecoin, or Bitcoin cash address.

Just in case you have your funds in another cryptocurrency and not in its natively supported crypto (BTC, LTC, BCH) you will need to exchange it first to either of the three or a fiat currency.

Abra Cash In Fees

Add funds via a US or PH bank (ACH) Free
Add funds via Wires (US only) Abra Wire Program
Add funds via an EU bank (SEPA) Coinify
Add funds via US-based AMEX card 4%
Add funds via Visa or MasterCard Simplex*
Add funds via teller (Philippines) Up to 2%***
Add funds via BTC, LTC, BCH, or ETH Free
Add funds via 7-Eleven Philippines 2% (minimum of Php 500)

*A flat fee of $10.00 will be applied on top any BTC purchase below $200. Once you purchase $201 and above of BTC a fee of 4% will be applied and deducted from your total amount.

Abra Cash Out Fees

Withdraw via US or PH bank Free*
Withdraw via teller (Philippines) Up to 2%***
Withdraw BTC, LTC, BCH, or ETH Network fee**
Withdraw Altcoins Network fee**

Other

Exchange between currencies
An exchange between any 2 currencies Free
Send funds
Send funds to another Abra wallet Free**

Abra Global Transaction Limits

 Transaction limits globally
US bank wires $500-$40,000k per wire, daily*.
Bank deposits and withdrawals* $2,000-$4,000 daily
$4,000-$8,000 weekly
$8,000-$16,000 monthly
(rolling cycle)
Credit card deposits (AMEX) $200 daily & 1,000 monthly
(rolling cycle)
Teller deposits & withdrawals Tellers may have their own limits-please check
Buy/Sell non BTC/LTC cryptocurrency (e.g. XRP) 5 btc, daily**
 Bitcoin deposits & withdrawals No limit
Litecoin deposits & withdrawals No limit
Bitcoin Cash deposits & withdrawals No limit
Ether deposits & withdrawals No limit
User send transactions No limit

What is the Advantage of Using Abra

One of the advantages of using the Abra app is its simplicity. You can have a direct access to 28 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies without needing to log in or sign up to any exchanges. All you need to do is to fund your account with fiat or any of the three natively supported crypto and you’re all set to purchase any fiat or crypto supported in the app.

It has a price alert. This feature will let you know if your set price of Above or Below the original price has been hit. It will let you know if it’s time to buy or sell. The price alert can only be set on any of the 28 cryptocurrencies.

If you purchased Bitcoin, litecoin, or Bitcoin cash through an exchange, you can use your Abra app to store your funds. It will give you your own corresponding address for each.

If you’re from the province and don’t have a Union Bank account or any other way to obtain a cryptocurrency, Abra is bringing to its partner pawnshops nationwide. You can easily fund your account through cash.

What is the Disadvantage of Using Abra

Some see Abra being a non-custodial wallet as its primary strengths. However, it is disadvantageous to those who are simply forgetful. If a crypto wallet is a non-custodial wallet, that means the wallet doesn’t actually hold your private keys on their servers. You have to keep the private keys written somewhere. If you lost that, you might lose your access to your Abra account. Therefore, while pundits like the idea of a non-custodial wallet, some do not, especially those has no experience with apps other than Coins.ph.

Overall

Above all, Abra is a simple cryptocurrency wallet and exchange that will let you keep 28 cryptocurrencies and 50 fiat currencies. If you’re not into signing up to cryptocurrency trading platforms, this app will help you do simplified trading. Please bear in mind that you can only withdraw Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, or litecoin. For the remaining 25 cryptocurrencies, you will need to exchange it to either of the three or to another fiat.

With its partnership with local pawnshops nationwide, Filipinos who don’t have access to banks and even convenience stores are now eligible to get their own cryptocurrency and other fiats. An example deposit of PHP 500 will only cost him around PHP 6.25 fee in order to buy his first crypto.*

*Remember that a Bitcoin transaction cannot be reversed so double-check the money you are sending and receiving.

Useful Resources:

Notes and Disclaimer:

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  • This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an investment advice. Your actions are solely your own responsibility. There is no substitute for doing your own research. This website is not responsible for any losses you may incur, nor will it claim attribution for your gains.

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