A global peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, Paxful, is making inroads into Africa with its platform for bitcoin trading which has achieved widespread acceptance in other parts of the world.
Paxful, which has over two million users and facilitated the trading of almost 500,000 bitcoins in their platform since its inception, believes that the success of its business model and impressive track record provide a strong platform for achieving greater financial inclusion in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Paxful was launched in 2015 with the goal of bringing more financial inclusion to the unbanked and underbanked populations through decentralised, peer-to-peer access of bitcoin.
According to a statement, since then, the platform has gained popularity, particularly in African countries. “Paxful connects bitcoin buyers and sellers on its platform, and users are able to buy and sell bitcoin using over 300 different payment methods ranging from bank transfers, debit and credit cards, and cash payments,” the statement added.
According to the World Bank, nearly two billion people in the world have little or no access to traditional financial services. In Africa, the statistics are ever grimmer: an overwhelming percentage of adults on the continent are underbanked.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy, reflects this trend.
The World Bank had estimated the number of unbanked Nigerian adults at about 100 million.
According to The Global Findex Database 2017, only 40 per cent of Nigerian adults have an account with a financial institution or a mobile money provider.
Paxful sees this as an opportunity to grow its business and reduce this huge gap which has very negative implications for the development of African nations.
The marketplace has seen significant growth in digital currency transactions on the African continent in recent years, with the surge largely spearheaded by students and graduates under 25.
“Africa leap-frogged to the forefront of peer-to-peer finance adaptation. In 2018, our user base in Africa doubled, with most customers being between 18 and 24,” the COO and co-founder of Paxful, Artur Schaback said.
To increase access to the bitcoin economy for many more youths on the African continent, Paxful is launching a series of educational workshops across Africa in 2019.
This education initiative kicked off in South Africa and Kenya in May, with Nigeria and Ghana in the cards for later in the year. The workshops will cover the very basics about bitcoin for novices and also further expand on innovative use cases and business applications observed around the world for more experienced attendees.
“As a values-driven company, we want to make the bitcoin economy accessible for everyone, especially the underbanked.
“To this end, we would like to reach as many young people as possible to help them understand the digital currency market and transact safely and with confidence.
“Our aim is to continue to partner with customers and other key stakeholders to ensure they are well informed about the opportunities presented by peer-to-peer finance,” the CEO, and co-founder of Paxful, Ray Youssef added.