Abra is an application that allows users to buy, store, and send more than twenty types of cryptocurrency. Founded by Bill Barhydt in 2013, the company initially set out to create a seamless way for people to send money anywhere in the world, without relying on financial intermediaries. Barhydt saw an opportunity in the decentralized peer-to-peer model for an electronic cash system first implemented by Bitcoin. Because Bitcoin relied on a distributed network of computers to validate transactions, it was uniquely capable of processing the transfer of small amounts of money between countries - something that was costly and inefficient using traditional banks and services like Western Union and Moneygram. One particularly strong use case was sending remittances - money earned by workers living in abroad that is transferred on a regular basis to families living in another country. This insight led the company to test its initial product in the Philippines before global launch. This case focuses on Abra in March 2017, examining the origins of the company, and its market position during a critical moment in time and a significant inflection point for the cryptocurrency space.
(1) Understanding the key components of a sustainable business model. (2) Promoting clear thinking about disruptive innovation. (3) Imagining the future of mobility, and the implications of decentralized, distributed systems on many existing industries.
Pub Date: Jun 30, 2018
Subjects: Startup financing, Finance, Money, International business, Entrepreneurship, Decentralization
Product #: B5920-PDF-ENG
Industry: Technology, Finance & insurance
Geography: United States, Philippines
Length: 17 page(s)
Berkeley Haas Case SeriesFollowThe Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.