Paxful, a peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace that aims to bring financial inclusion and access to the underbanked and unbanked in developing countries, has joined forces with OKEx, a major cryptocurrency spot and derivatives exchanges.
The strategic partnership will offer several payment methods for new and existing OKEx users to buy bitcoin with over 160 fiat currencies through Paxful’s Kiosk. Users will have access to in-demand payment methods such as bank transfer, gift cards, online wallets, and many more. Overall, the partnership will integrate over 100 million users allowing them the freedom to utilize Paxful’s existing infrastructure and payment options while enjoying the benefits of OKEx’s advanced technology and diversified product suite.
“To help grow the crypto community, industry businesses are increasingly collaborating to uplift each other in providing more options for their users. We admire OKEx’s work and know that our values and strategy are aligned. With this partnership, not only do we open new opportunities for customers on both platforms and increase functionality, but we jointly contribute towards strengthening the overall ecosystem and help make crypto more accessible as a real-world payment method by expanding to different geographic markets,” commented Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful.
As a result of the new integration, Paxful and OKEx provide easier access to the global cryptocurrency market specifically in the regions of South Africa, and Nigeria, but also in Kenya, Vietnam, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand, UK, India, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Korea, Germany, France, Japan, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
“We’re delighted to partner with Paxful and share very similar goals about onboarding more people to cryptocurrency. Through this partnership, we can reach more users in developing regions using Paxful’s existing infrastructure and payment options and give them exposure to the benefits of OKEx’s advanced technology and diversified product suite. This is a great step forward for us and the crypto space in general,” said Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx.
Removing borders and limitations
With an unbanked population of more than 60%, Africa is a major focus for both Paxful and OKEx. In addition, the continent is also spearheading cryptocurrency adoption around the globe with key drivers being high inflation rates, weak national currencies, inadequate financial infrastructures, and growing economic uncertainty stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. All these conditions are combined with a growing population that is largely young and digital-oriented.
As bitcoin offers more convenient, and fast alternatives for financial transactions, use, and ownership of the cryptocurrency are significantly increasing amongst African consumers.
“Aside from being a decentralized, efficient, and a borderless payment method, one of the most striking features of bitcoin is that it’s considered to be an excellent means of preserving wealth in many countries, especially in uncertain times. It’s often compared to precious metals, specifically gold, in terms of storing value,” Youssef added.
A recent report identifies that bitcoin is of keen interest to many in Africa. Kenya topped the list with 94.7% of all cryptocurrency-related searches attributed to bitcoin, while Nigeria and South Africa had high percentages of 89.4% and 89%, respectively.
Nigeria and South Africa increasing trade volumes
Nigeria and South Africa are emerging as key hubs of the crypto economy on the continent. Nigeria’s use of bitcoin has surged exponentially with recent statistics showing that between May and June this year, the country recorded more than $35 million (R604,136,750) in peer-to-peer bitcoin trades, while rival South Africa saw a transactional value of $7 million (R120,827,350).
The surge in trade volume is attributed to various elements, including uncertainty in the ‘traditional’ economy, increasing education about the crypto-economy, and the emergence of various virtual currency marketplaces in Africa yielding more income-generating opportunities through bitcoin.
For South Africa, Africa’s most advanced economy: overall, the year-on-year increase in trading volume for bitcoin currently stands at 994%. The trading volume for bitcoin was approximately $14,483.48 (R250,000) for the week of June 22, 2019, compared to the trading volume of almost $434,504.27 (R7.5 million) recorded for the same period this year, equating to a year-on-year increase of more than 2,800% trading volume for the week.
Paxful is a people-powered marketplace for money transfers with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Their mission is to empower the forgotten four billion unbanked and underbanked around the world to have control of their money using peer-to-peer transactions. The company, founded in 2015, has over 3 million customers globally who can instantly buy and sell bitcoin using over 300 different payment methods.
As part of CSR, Paxful also launched #BuiltWithBitcoin with the goal of building 100 schools funded entirely by bitcoin all across emerging markets. Paxful was co-founded in 2015 by Ray Youssef, the CEO, and Artur Schaback, Chief Operating Officer.
OKEx is where global crypto traders, miners, and institutional investors come to manage crypto assets, enhance investment opportunities, and hedge risks. OKEx provides spot and derivatives trading, including futures, perpetual swap, and options, of major cryptocurrencies, offering investors great flexibility in formulating their strategies to maximize gains and mitigate risks.