Staking claims: Abra’s CEO talks passive income

Bill Barhydt is the kind of smart person other smart people listen to. Before he was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs, he developed rocket simulations at NASA, the fancy term is computational fluid dynamics. He spent the dawn of the Internet Age at Netscape, leaving behind the high-paying Wall Street job. Long before anyone used the term “DeFi,” he was founder and CEO of Boom Financial, which realized his insight that brick-and-mortar banks don’t do anything that a smartphone can’t. Barhydt’s company and the iPhone both debuted in 2007, and, less than five years later, he gave the first TED Talk on Bitcoin – no doubt inspiring a few forward thinkers to invest $5 to buy one bitcoin.

In his current incarnation as founder and CEO of Abra — a global crypto platform that offers a popular brokerage for buying and selling cryptos combined with interest-bearing wallets – Barhydt gave CoinDesk Studios a bit of his time recently to answer our questions about how to draw passive income from digital holdings. The discussion has been edited for clarity and brevity, but you can listen to the entire 20-minute conversation here. A.

Abra combines CeFi – centralized finance – with DeFi (decentralized finance governed by smart contracts). In crypto, we can lend deposits to generate a return, and then – unlike a bank – most of those returns are given to the depositor. The way the CeFi piece of it works is simple: Institutional borrowers or retail borrowers deposit collateral, and depending on how much collateral they deposit, they can borrow a certain amount of dollars, or in the case of institutions, they can also borrow bitcoin or ethereum.

For example, if I want to borrow a million dollars and I want to do it for free, I would have to deposit […]

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