TOP > Cryptocurrency > Using Abra to Buy Bitcoins in the Philippines
May 14, 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 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 and fiat currency wallet and exchange app. When it first launched, it used bitcoin’s underlying blockchain technology but it recently switched to litecoin network’s smart contract.

It is a non-custodial wallet and doesn’t have any access to a user’s funds. This means its users are fully responsible for the funds in the wallet. Because of this reason, it is highly recommended to secure and store the app’s given recovery phrase just in case an account needs to be recovered.

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 in its exchange. By September 2018 and with bitcoin and litecoin, it also put bitcoin cash (BCH) as its third natively supported cryptocurrency. As of this update (September 17, 2018), the app now has 28 cryptocurrencies, 50 fiat currencies, with three natively supported crypto.

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.

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. 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. 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, Abra teller, 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.

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%.

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 Limits and Fees

Transaction Limits
Sending Transactions and Payment Requests No Limit
Bank Deposits and Withdrawals up to $1,000 – $2,000 (daily)
up to $2,000 – $4,000 (weekly)
up to $4,000 – $8,000 (monthly)
* note, the amount is fixed in USD so just convert it to PHP at the going exchange rate.
Credit Card Deposits (American Express) $200 (daily)
$1,000 (monthly)
Teller Deposits and Withdrawals This depends on the Abra Teller
Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin Deposits and Withdrawals No Limit
Fees
What would you like to do? Fees
Send money or request payment Free
Add/Withdraw funds via bank 0 – 0.25%
Add/Withdraw funds via Abra Teller Small fee – starting at 1.15%
Add funds via Credit/Debit Cards 4 – 8%
Add funds via bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin Free
Withdraw funds via bitcoin Network fee***
Pay a merchant Free

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

One of the biggest disadvantages of using Abra, especially if you live in the Metro or city is its convenience. Unlike other cryptocurrency wallets such as Coins.ph or Bitbit.cash, you can easily fund your account through 7-Eleven convenient stores. Abra’s cash in option is either through Union Bank, another BTC LTC or BCH address, or through an affiliated pawnshop.

List of Available Cryptocurrencies

Overall

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.

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  • Invest in bitcoins (or in any altcoins) only the amount you can afford to lose!
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  • Before investing in any cryptocurrency, check the people behind it, its mission, and other details to ensure that they are worth investing for. Don’t invest in something you don’t know.
  • 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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