Paxful, a global peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, has unveiled its plans to scale up in Kenya and the broader East African region as part of the company’s wider vision of facilitating financial inclusion to the unbanked and underbanked across Africa.
Established in 2015, Paxful enables users to buy bitcoin with each other using more than 300 payment methods, including M-Pesa, bank transfer, and PayPal, among other channels. The platform is one of the world’s largest peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplaces, with more than 2 million users globally and an average weekly trading volume of over US $20 million.
Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful said: “Bitcoin is helping individuals have access to global financial services and participate in a new financial system where traditional banking is no longer required. Customers can pay for items that are in foreign markets such as China, Europe or the US using bitcoin. It is for this reason that Paxful gives priority to providing education and awareness on bitcoin and the opportunities it provides.”
Through its operations in Kenya, Paxful aims to partner with innovation centers, learning institutions and other stakeholders in Kenya and across the region to educate the public on bitcoin and peer-to-peer finance.
“During the first half of 2019, Paxful’s new users in Kenya more than doubled and our number of trades increased by 400% compared to the same period last year. We have also recorded a marked increase in bitcoin trading in other East African markets and are therefore optimistic about our prospects in this region, as we plan to further deepen our presence”, added Youssef.
At present, 45 percent of the active users of Paxful are from Africa. Paxful trade volumes in Kenya shillings are significantly higher than usual, reaching Kshs 14 million traded in July 2019.
Launched in 2015, Paxful aims to bring financial inclusion to the underbanked and unbanked through peer-to-peer finance. Every user gets a free digital wallet that enables them to send, receive, and store bitcoin. By cutting out the middleman with its secure escrow service, Paxful provides help to users with a 24/7 customer support system. The firm has over 100 employees in different locations globally.