Paxful Records 25 Percent Increase on Trade Volumes
By Janeliza Malema
For the first time since its inception in 2015, Paxful, a peer-to-peer bitcon marketplace, has reported a global trade volume of $ 1.6 billion in 2019, caused largely due to a 25 percent trade volume year-on-year.
The news is a testament to the impact that virtual digital wallets in Africa such as Paxful are making on the continent, which according to a 2019 report by the World Population Prospects, which is authored by the United Nations, states that there are only six percent of Africans who make payments on mobile devices because of the skepticism that they are viewed with.
African trading volume on the Paxful platform grew by over 57 percent in 2019 and the company hopes to accelerate trading volumes further this year.
The Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Paxful, Mr Artur Schaback, states that the American-based company with a global presence, foresees itself as having a greater impact in the continent as it taps into the African population that is largely unbanked, standing at 95 million based on a 2018 report by the World Bank (WB).
“We are very, very bullish on Africa and believe it is critical to the future of the crypto-economy overall. While many parts of the developed world are fixated on speculative activity in the crypto economy, people in Africa are teaching us about the true use cases of bitcoin and the opportunity it presents for greater financial inclusion of the under-banked. As a company, we want to do what we can to ensure that our platform continues to be a bridge to the global economy for our customers” Says Mr Artur Schaback, Co-Founder and COO of Paxful.
Paxful hosts over three million wallets, 45 percent of which are from Africa.
While Paxful, has had success on the continent, it emphasises that its key goal is to learn from its customers and provide them with the best possible peer-to-peer market place. But it joins other cyrptocurrencies that have had a similar success in Africa, such as BitPesa, Golix, Wala and CentBee, states a review by Bitcoin Africa.
The presence that Paxful has had in Africa is in Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya.
But, it also expects to extend its customer base in many more markets where it is seeing a steady increase in trading volumes on the continent like Zambia and Uganda.
Reflecting on the rapid growth of the blockchain and bitcoin sector, research from the professional networking platform Linkedin shows that blockchain tops the list of most in-demand hard skills for 2020.
For this reason, another important consideration for Paxful is engaging talent in Africa. The company believes that Africa can become a leader in bitcoin skills development.
Paxful hopes to expand African participation in the company’s Global Peer Programme – an initiative to encourage bitcoin users around the world to educate each other about the opportunities offered by the crypto-economy.
In December 2019, Paxful and Binance, the leading global cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume and users, announced its strategic partnership in which Paxful serves as a fiat-to-cryptocurrency on-ramp for Binance, providing numerous payment methods for purchasing Bitcoin to Binance’s global user base.
Paxful has also partnered with many other strategic players in the crypto economy – including the likes of BitMart, BSpin, AirTM, and CoinLogiq – who offer a variety of complementary services to make it as possible for its users to take advantage of the power of P2P finance. Paxful hopes to work with African partners as well.
“Africa has tremendous potential and partnerships are essential in this pivotal time within the cryptocurrency industry. We are actively looking to join forces with African-born crypto players who share our passion and vision for the global crypto-economy and to join our efforts in bringing bitcoin to the unbanked masses across the continent to fundamentally help alleviate poverty, boost economies and create jobs,” says Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful.
“With bitcoin’s original mission of financial inclusion in mind, Paxful is committed to reaching as many people as possible to help them better understand the opportunities presented by the crypto-economy. With this in mind, education and social development will always be a priority for Paxful,” adds Youssef.
Last year, Paxful undertook an education drive focused on Universities. Beginning with Universities in East and Southern Africa, the initiative has reached over 1000 youths.
The education workshops provided key, practical insights to the true use cases of Bitcoin, how to avoid falling prey to bad actors in the crypto-space and served to counter the over-emphasis on Bitcoin speculation. This type of education will continue to reach the youth.
In the same year, the company also launched the aforementioned Paxful Peer Program, a platform encouraging users to educate and support each other as they navigate the bitcoin-economy. The Peer Program was trialed in South Africa and has been extended to include many other markets on the continent and Asia.
To support grassroots education, Paxful will continue to invest in its #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative which has demonstrated how the cryptocurrency community can contribute to social good.
Established in 2017, the initiative had raised over R 203, 007 million for charities across Africa and the Middle East by 2019. In January 2020, the company announced that they will be building a third school in its 100-school initiative to bring quality education centers to emerging countries throughout Africa.
The third school, which will come fully equipped with a state-of-the-art water well system, will be built in Machakos County, Kenya for children aged 3-6 years old and will kick off with over R27,067.6 donation from Paxful.
The first 2 schools were built in Rwanda.