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Bill Barhydt on ‘Cutting the Cord’ from Traditional Banks

Bill Barhydt on ‘Cutting the Cord’ from Traditional Banks

Apr 20, 2021

Follow the White Rabbit podcastStart Listening

Bill Barhydt is reimagining the future of banking.

"I'd love to be in the position to shut off my bank accounts and have a crypto-centric bank, effectively," Bill said in the latest Follow the White Rabbit podcast. "If you have Hulu and Netflix, you can cut the cord. I don't pay for cable or satellite television anymore because I can pretty much get it all through my Internet connection. In banking, that's not possible right now -- and I think that's about to change."

To facilitate "cutting the cord" from banks, Bill founded Abra -- a peer-to-peer, decentralized, money-transfer app available that allows people to invest in cryptocurrency and carry out digital cash payments. Essentially, Abra aims to be a full-fledged banking service for cryptocurrency.

Bill created Abra after a career spanning centralized institutions and forward-looking tech companies alike. Bill's experience at the CIA, NASA, Goldman Sachs, and at Internet companies such as  Netscape, convinced him of the need for financial decentralization. "I never thought that they would all come together -- cryptography, fixed income trading, my work with Internet payments -- it's all come together with Abra," he said.

With Abra operating in over 150 countries, Bill experiences directly one of cryptocurrency's main benefits. Avoiding relying on central authorities is in many people's best financial interest -- especially in countries vulnerable to inflation. While some critics point to cryptocurrencies' volatility, many people are already used to instability in their native currencies, preferring to trust decentralized networks.

"Crypto represents a different perspective to people ... who don't trust the government to create sound money," Bill explained. 

Crypto's next step is to become more accessible. This means making the technology easier to use and currencies fungible -- cash-like and interchangeable. For people to cut the cord from their banks, they should feel comfortable using decentralized technology, and the technology should have the same traditional use cases.

"I worry about this a lot -- this idea of fungibility and privacy as it relates to money," Bill said. "We need to address this at the base protocol layer of the money itself -- and we will."

To hear more about Bill's banking revolution, follow us down the rabbit hole. Listen to the conversation here or on your favorite streaming service.


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