Cryptocurrency, digital currency, fintech, Bitcoin trading

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Part 3 of The Tech Panda´s ten-part crypto series this month. Do check out Part 1 and Part 2. Keep watching this space to learn more about this burgeoning fintech tool.

This peer to peer (P2P) crypto organization is committed to expanding financial inclusion in the world through crypto trading.

Cryptocurrencies came into existence with the purpose of creating a financial system apart from what exists right now. While the crypto space has many critics, if we try to look at it from a perspective other than that of expensive fiat currencies like the dollar, the pound, and the euro, we might start to see how some poorer countries could see a glimmer of hope in a currency that a government can´t manipulate.


Read more: 73%+ Argentines Prefer Crypto Investments Amid Rising Inflation: Paxful Survey


According to the World Bank, nearly two billion people in the world have limited or no access to traditional financial services. The African continent has up to 95 million unbanked adults, for example, two of every ten Kenyan adults are unbanked.

Some crypto organizations are trying to help people in such countries through cryptocurrencies. Paxful, a leading global P2P Bitcoin marketplace that has recently expanded operations in India, has a similar mission.

The platform promotes financial inclusion in emerging economies where people often lack access to traditional banking and face inflation, weak currency, corruption, central bank restrictions, or other issues. The platform also allows them to take control of their finances by offering local payment methods that can be accessed through their local currency.

The Tech Panda spoke to Ray Youssef, the CEO of Paxful, about their vision.

Ray Youssef

Our mission is to empower the forgotten billions of unbanked and underbanked around the world to give them control of their money using peer-to-peer transactions

“Our mission is to empower the forgotten billions of unbanked and underbanked around the world to give them control of their money using peer-to-peer transactions. We’re also giving people access to the global financial ecosystem,” he says.

As part of their mission, the company also launched #BuiltWithBitcoin, a social initiative with the goal of building 100 schools funded entirely by Bitcoin all across emerging markets.

“Where people don’t have access to banks for whatever reason, they don’t have access to the global economy, and we’re changing that,” he adds passionately.

A People-Powered Marketplace

Paxful is a people-powered marketplace for money transfers with anyone, anywhere, at any time. It claims to be the only crypto marketplace offering more than 300 payment methods, including M-Pesa, bank transfer, PayPal, credit/debit cards and other methods that are easily accessible in countries like Kenya and other African countries.

Already, some entrepreneurs in Kenya have used Bitcoin payments to purchase from global markets items that are critical to their businesses

It also offers 153 currencies, so anyone can find a suitable payment method to invest, buy Bitcoin or Tether, send money abroad, and much more. The platform also offers users a digital wallet that they can use to securely send, receive and, store Bitcoin. The wallet can also be used to make Bitcoin payments for goods and services from all over the world.

“Already, some entrepreneurs in Kenya have used Bitcoin payments to purchase from global markets items that are critical to their businesses,” Youssef informs.

Paxful Origin

Paxful was co-founded in 2015 by Youssef and Artur Schaback, who is the COO. Youssef launched several startups in the early 2000s. A dozen failed startups led him to become homeless. When trying to post his motorcycle for sale on an internet forum, he found a poster suggesting payment in Bitcoin. This started his crypto journey.

Where people don’t have access to banks for whatever reason, they don’t have access to the global economy, and we’re changing that

After some research, he launched EasyBitz, a payment provider for small businesses designed to make it easy for them to accept Bitcoin, with Schaback. In the early days, they faced the challenge of a lack of users. They even gave away Bitcoin in pre-made wallets.

Things picked up when Youssef left his personal mobile number on the website for people to call. A woman in need of Bitcoins called him at four in the morning asking for help. She had US$13 to her name. Youssef was able to help her. That is the day Paxful was born, he says. He realized the power that gift cards could have in a Bitcoin marketplace.

The Paxful Wallet

The Paxful Wallet is an online wallet that offers best-in-class security features and the convenience of having Bitcoin available to users 24/7 from any device. It allows users to access funds anywhere, without any third party intermediaries, so users can control their Bitcoin their way.

Moreover, it gives users access to a global economy by connecting buyers to hundreds of vendors, and vice versa.

Growth Story

The numbers speak for Paxful´s success so far. Since its launch in 2015, it has more than 2.8 million Bitcoin wallets created. It has enabled 800,000+ users to successfully purchase Bitcoins. With over 320,000 monthly active users, over 8,900 trusted vendors, Paxful has had more than 500,000 Bitcoins bought so far and more than US$ $1.9 billion dollars traded with Bitcoins.

“We have processed more than US$30 million in Bitcoin transactions per week for 2019,” Youssef says proudly.

#BuiltWithBitcoin

Paxful launched the #BuiltWithBitcoin charitable initiative in 2017 with the goal to build 100 schools, water wells, and community gardens for sustainable agriculture funded entirely by Bitcoin all across emerging countries. The initiative showcases the capability of charity and philanthropy within the crypto industry.

To date, the initiative has built two schools – a nursery, and a primary school in Rwanda, provided scholarships to Afghan refugees, and given donations to the GROW with Educare Centres project.

Everyone has a right to quality education, clean water, and crisis aid. #BuiltwithBitcoin does just that

“Everyone has a right to quality education, clean water, and crisis aid. #BuiltwithBitcoin does just that. It’s a charitable initiative that Paxful created to help those who need it the most using the power of Bitcoin,” Youssef explains.

#BuiltWithBitcoin remains a passionate mission for Paxful’s co-founders to provide quality education and build sustainable and essential projects for communities in need.

“We are working to empower and give back to the communities. The initiative has built schools and water wells, funded scholarships, and provided much-needed aid to those in need during a crisis,” he says.

Paxful’s Sustainability Initiatives

They have also launched the Africa fund in response to the COVID-19 crisis, supplying essentials like food and PPE to South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.

“But we won’t be stopping there. India is actually one of those markets we consider expanding the initiative to,” Youssef informs.

Paxful is observing a new generation of young African graduates and professionals making use of peer-to-peer finance as a way to better engage the global financial system. To this end, the organization launched its first university education drive in 2019 to expose youth to the true use cases of Bitcoin, highlighting how to avoid falling prey to bad actors in the crypto-space, and counter the over-emphasis on Bitcoin speculation.

Launched at universities in South Africa and Kenya, the workshops provide key, practical insights. Each attendee also receives free Bitcoin to start them on their journey. Over 1000 youths have attended the events across South Africa/Kenya.


Read more: Cryptonized: OroPocket Launches India’s First Gold-Backed Token on Tezos


With over 150 employees in different locations across the globe, the Paxful team is committed to building a global P2P marketplace for people around the world to access their finances their way. While cryptocurrencies are spreading their wings in most parts of the world, countries like Kenya and Nigeria might benefit from them in revolutionary ways.

As India´s crypto space opens up, many organizations are looking to invest in it. India too could leverage the pluses of crypto if it ventures into the space with caution.

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