Bill Barhydt is the Founder and CEO of Abra, the world’s first global, peer-to-peer digital cash transfer network. Abra enables US dollars to be stored digitally, directly on any smartphone, transferred to any phone number in the world and then transferred back to cash using a global network of shared smartphones acting as human-ATM machines, called “Abra Tellers.” Abra’s mission is to replace bank driven financial inclusion with consumer driven financial inclusion by making cash mobile for the 4 billion cash consumers in the middle of the global income pyramid.
Bill’s passion is information technology and how it can be used to improve lives. He is as an advisor and investor to many companies in the payments, telecom and consumer Internet sectors. Bill is known as having given the first-ever TED talk on Bitcoin in 2012. He has also consulted to federal and international regulators on the impact of digital currencies and decentralized transaction systems. Barhydt was an early employee of Netscape, where he designed hosted systems for telecom companies and retail banks. He worked for Goldman Sachs designing trading systems and was a research engineer for NASA and the CIA. In 2000, Barhydt received the Technology Pioneer Award from the World Economic Forum for his work in online collaboration at WebSentric, the world’s first online meeting service.