How Decentralized Finance Makes Investing Accessible
Historically, global financial markets have been restricted to those with exactly the right contacts, in the right locations, and with vast amounts of wealth already at their disposal. Investing for the general population, however, was typically expensive, cumbersome, and inaccessible.
Fortunately, today’s infographic from Abra demonstrates how the decentralized financial market has brought about solutions to these hurdles.
Why Investing Should be More Accessible
Many factors such as theft, inflation, and political or economic shifts can erode personal wealth over time.
Being able to invest in the global financial market offers a hedge against these risks, and yet for those with modest resources and limited connections, investing has typically been out of reach.
Consider several well-known platforms or funds:
- Etrade ─ $500
- T. Rowe Price ─ $2,500
- Vanguard S&P Mid-Cap 400 Index Fund ─ $5,000,000
Investment minimums range from several hundred to several million dollars—making any hope of investing impossible for most.
This is especially urgent for the global middle class, which is expected to swell 180% by 2040. Having access to more avenues to build and protect wealth will be key to sustainable economic growth for a growing majority worldwide.
But how can people actually start investing if much of the current market is still too expensive?
Fractional Investing Offers Better Access
In the past, brokers were limited to buying and selling stocks as whole units.
Fractional investing, however, allows investors with a lower net worth to access valuable, expensive stocks. It also attracts investors that are less likely to buy and sell on a whim and instead focus on long-term growth.
Blockchain technology has been a key component in this democratization of global wealth—much like fractional investing—because people are no longer restricted by their resources, location, or lack of connections.
A New Wave of Investing
Decentralized finance is:
Users no longer need a third-party to verify their transactions.
Users can access decentralized financial markets from anywhere using their smart devices.
Every transaction is made publically viewable.
No one can make arbitrary changes or cause system-wide shutdowns.
Anyone can customize smart contracts based on regional and technical requirements.
Decentralized financial tools, using blockchain and cryptocurrencies, are providing excellent alternatives to building wealth by offering smaller investment minimums, lower fees, and faster transaction times.
The rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies introduced the world to the simple concept of fractional investing—owning extremely small fractions of digital currencies.
Now, investors can also own fractions of high-priced stocks, ETFs, fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, and stable coins, through Abra’s novel platform.
Abra: the Blockchain-based Investment App
Abra is the world’s first global investment app that uses the Bitcoin blockchain to make investing more accessible. Abra makes it fast and easy to manage your investments—all from one app.
- Simple: Easy to use and globally available, Abra’s app makes investing a breeze.
- Secure: Abra is secure and private—backed by blockchain and smart-contract technology—giving investors full control of their funds through non-custodial wallets.
- Fractionalized: Invest in partial shares of traditional and digital assets, starting at $5.
- Global: Trade, store value, and invest in a range of fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and stocks from 154 countries.
The Future of Investing
Historically, investing in equities has been a key to building personal wealth, and Abra’s technology allows more people around the world to access the same types of investments, no matter their location or income.
A survey of Abra users shows the democratization of investing in action:
Affordability: Most Abra users have roughly US$50 in their portfolios.
Security: Abra users enjoy privacy of information and full control of their assets.
Accessibility: A top priority for Abra users, they are able to invest in financial markets and expensive equities worldwide.
With its intuitive, global platform, Abra has introduced the future of investing for everyone.
“For the first time, we can truly democratize access to investment opportunities at global scale.”
—Bill Barhydt, CEO of Abra
Ranked: Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities
Roughly 25% of all GHG emissions come from electricity production. See how the top 30 IOUs rank by emissions per capita.
Emissions per Capita of the Top 30 U.S. Investor-Owned Utilities
Approximately 25% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) come from electricity generation.
Subsequently, this means investor-owned utilities (IOUs) will have a crucial role to play around carbon reduction initiatives. This is particularly true for the top 30 IOUs, where almost 75% of utility customers get their electricity from.
This infographic from the National Public Utilities Council ranks the largest IOUs by emissions per capita. By accounting for the varying customer bases they serve, we get a more accurate look at their green energy practices. Here’s how they line up.
Per Capita Rankings
The emissions per capita rankings for the top 30 investor-owned utilities have large disparities from one another.
Totals range from a high of 25.8 tons of CO2 per customer annually to a low of 0.5 tons.
|Utility||Emissions Per Capita (CO2 tons per year)||Total Emissions (M)|
|Berkshire Hathaway Energy||14.0||57.2|
|American Electric Power||9.2||50.9|
|Florida Power and Light||8.0||41.0|
|Portland General Electric||7.6||6.9|
|Pacific Gas and Electric||0.5||2.6|
|Next Era Energy Resources||0||1.1|
PNM Resources data is from 2019, all other data is as of 2020
Let’s start by looking at the higher scoring IOUs.
TransAlta emits 25.8 tons of CO2 emissions per customer, the largest of any utility on a per capita basis. Altogether, the company’s 630,000 customers emit 16.3 million metric tons. On a recent earnings call, its management discussed clear intent to phase out coal and grow their renewables mix by doubling their renewables fleet. And so far it appears they’ve been making good on their promise, having shut down the Canadian Highvale coal mine recently.
Vistra had the highest total emissions at 97 million tons of CO2 per year and is almost exclusively a coal and gas generator. However, the company announced plans for 60% reductions in CO2 emissions by 2030 and is striving to be carbon neutral by 2050. As the highest total emitter, this transition would make a noticeable impact on total utility emissions if successful.
Currently, based on their 4.3 million customers, Vistra sees per capita emissions of 22.4 tons a year. The utility is a key electricity provider for Texas, ad here’s how their electricity mix compares to that of the state as a whole:
|Energy Source||Vistra||State of Texas|
Despite their ambitious green energy pledges, for now only 1% of Vistra’s electricity comes from renewables compared to 24% for Texas, where wind energy is prospering.
Based on those scores, the average customer from some of the highest emitting utility groups emit about the same as a customer from each of the bottom seven, who clearly have greener energy practices. Let’s take a closer look at emissions for some of the bottom scoring entities.
Utilities With The Greenest Energy Practices
Groups with the lowest carbon emission scores are in many ways leaders on the path towards a greener future.
Exelon emits only 3.8 tons of CO2 emissions per capita annually and is one of the top clean power generators across the Americas. In the last decade they’ve reduced their GHG emissions by 18 million metric tons, and have recently teamed up with the state of Illinois through the Clean Energy Jobs Act. Through this, Exelon will receive $700 million in subsidies as it phases out coal and gas plants to meet 2030 and 2045 targets.
Consolidated Edison serves nearly 4 million customers with a large chunk coming from New York state. Altogether, they emit 1.6 tons of CO2 emissions per capita from their electricity generation.
The utility group is making notable strides towards a sustainable future by expanding its renewable projects and testing higher capacity limits. In addition, they are often praised for their financial management and carry the title of dividend aristocrat, having increased their dividend for 47 years and counting. In fact, this is the longest out of any utility company in the S&P 500.
A Sustainable Tomorrow
Altogether, utilities will have a pivotal role to play in decarbonization efforts. This is particularly true for the top 30 U.S. IOUs, who serve millions of Americans.
Ultimately, this means a unique moment for utilities is emerging. As the transition toward cleaner energy continues and various groups push to achieve their goals, all eyes will be on utilities to deliver.
The National Public Utilities Council is the go-to resource to learn how utilities can lead in the path towards decarbonization.
The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet
The U.S. alone generates ∼12 million tons of asphalt shingles tear-off waste and installation scrap every year and more than 90% of it is dumped into landfills.
The Road to Decarbonization: How Asphalt is Affecting the Planet
Asphalt, also known as bitumen, has various applications in the modern economy, with annual demand reaching 110 million tons globally.
Until the 20th century, natural asphalt made from decomposed plants accounted for the majority of asphalt production. Today, most asphalt is refined from crude oil.
This graphic, sponsored by Northstar Clean Technologies, shows how new technologies to reuse and recycle asphalt can help protect the environment.
The Impact of Climate Change
Pollution from vehicles is expected to decline as electric vehicles replace internal combustion engines.
But pollution from asphalt could actually increase in the next decades because of rising temperatures in some parts of the Earth. When subjected to extreme temperatures, asphalt releases harmful greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere.
|Emissions from Road Construction (Source)||CO2 equivalent (%)|
|Excavators and Haulers||16%|
Asphalt paved surfaces and roofs make up approximately 45% and 20% of surfaces in U.S. cities, respectively. Furthermore, 75% of single-family detached homes in Canada and the U.S. have asphalt shingles on their roofs.
Reducing the Environmental Impact of Asphalt
Similar to roads, asphalt shingles have oil as the primary component, which is especially harmful to the environment.
Shingles do not decompose or biodegrade. The U.S. alone generates ∼12 million tons of asphalt shingles tear-off waste and installation scrap every year and more than 90% of it is dumped into landfills, the equivalent of 20 million barrels of oil.
But most of it can be reused, rather than taking up valuable landfill space.
Using technology, the primary components in shingles can be repurposed into liquid asphalt, aggregate, and fiber, for use in road construction, embankments, and new shingles.
Providing the construction industry with clean, sustainable processing solutions is also a big business opportunity. Canada alone is a $1.3 billion market for recovering and reprocessing shingles.
Northstar Clean Technologies is the only public company that repurposes 99% of asphalt shingles components that otherwise go to landfills.
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