Abra CEO Bill Barhydt’s Simple Theory for What Caused 2017’s Bitcoin Boom


Bill Barhydt is the CEO of Abra, which is a “crypto bank” built on a system of Bitcoin and Litecoin smart contracts that allows users to hold pretty much any fiat currency as digital cash on their smartphones. In a recent, wide-ranging interview with angel investor Jason Calacanis on This Week in Startups, Barhydt was asked for his opinion on 2017’s cryptoasset frenzy. In his response, the Abra CEO touched on the importance of government approval of bitcoin in Japan and the hysteria in the initial coin offering (ICO) market. In Barhydt’s view, the hysteria around bitcoin and other cryptoassets in 2017 was kicked off by the Japanese government’s approval of this new technology. “My take is the price went up because the Japanese government basically gave a blessing to the institutional investors that says, ‘We support this,’” said Barhydt. “In Japan culturally, that has a different meaning than in the U.S. That was like a blessing that says, ‘Go forth and prosper.’ It’s almost like a blessing of ‘please do this’ — [in] the way that it was accepted by the market.”

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