Paxful, a people-powered global marketplace for money transfers, says African crypto economy is on the rise despite the challenging economic climate
This year has shaken many industries, but crypto has actually seen immense growth and investor interest since the outbreak of COVID-19. With Bitcoin hitting a new all-time high of nearly $20,000 crypto remains one of the few industries that managed to thrive in the economic downturn the pandemic has brought.
While the virtual coin has previously recorded big gains followed by steep declines, experts argue that this time may be different, as the currency not just broke key resistance levels, but has also sparked interest among corporations, investors, and financial institutions, giving Bitcoin a further boost. More than ever before, it has become common to hear major financial institutions warming up to Bitcoin and start embracing it.
More so, the regulatory discussions around digital currency are a clear sign that economies are preparing to adopt digital currency as complementary to fiat currency. Recently, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission announced it will regulate trade in certain digital currencies to provide protection for investors and to ensure transparency. The decision to regulate the sector highlights the country’s recognition of the potential of cryptocurrency.
Nigeria has continued to witness a huge rise in the adoption of digital money as a means to store value, preserve wealth, trade, and settle day-to-day payments. Another great use case for crypto, popular with the local traders and businesses in Nigeria, is helping them hedge against weak naira partially caused by the shortage of US Dollars in the country.
Paxful in Nigeria
Since launching 5 years ago, global transactions on the Paxful platform have grown by over 25% from October 2019 to October 2020. A large proportion of the transactions is attributed to the African market, with Nigeria leading the pack.
With over 620,000 active Nigerian users on its platform, the company says Nigerians traded around 15 million USD worth of Bitcoin in April alone, making Nigeria the undoubtful leader in the African region.
“Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa are our main markets in Africa. There’s no question that emerging markets are the future of the crypto economy. That’s been clear to us for some time, as we see on a daily basis how tech-savvy Africans are using Bitcoin to invest, trade, send money abroad and accumulate wealth. Bitcoin helps improve lives and gives opportunities for personal and entrepreneurial development. Paxful is all about bringing financial inclusion to the emerging world and we’re ecstatic to help so many people with limited access to the traditional financial services,” Paxful CEO and co-founder Ray Youssef remarks.
In an effort to consolidate its wins in the Nigerian market, the company employed local industry experts dedicated to the Nigerian market and became a premium member of Nigeria’s FinTech Association. The partnership will help Paxful deepen its integration in the country’s crypto industry, become an important part of the local financial ecosystem, and protect its Nigerian users better.
Recent data from Paxful reveal that Nigeria leads Africa in peer-to-peer trading in 2020, posting monthly volumes of over $66 million in 2020, followed by Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa respectively.
Strengthening the market with expansive payment methods
Committed to providing users with a cost-efficient, accessible trading system on its platform, Paxful is strengthening Nigeria’s crypto market with varied payment methods that meet the needs of users. The company currently has over 300 payment methods all geared to meet users’ needs and includes a variety of local payment options, including BuyCoins, Bitsika, and Carbon.
Moreover, Naira Token, another stablecoin, was recently introduced as a payment method to the platform as part of the company’s localization efforts. With the Naira Token users can perform fast, publicly-verifiable, borderless transactions with a fiat equivalent.
With the growing demand for stable digital currencies amidst fears of economic recession and the high volatility of traditional crypto assets, Paxful added USDT (Tether) to its platform. The addition came with a hedging option, allowing users to instantly convert BTC to USDT and vice versa, helping the users protect their funds during Bitcoin price fluctuations – a feature that was well accepted in Nigeria.
Paxful: Harnessing the Power of Crypto for Social Good
With a goal to build 100 schools, with access to water wells and community gardens for sustainable agriculture, Paxful’s #BuiltwithBitcoin initiative has become a testament to the power of cryptocurrency to improve and impact lives.
This year, the company built the fourth school with Bitcoin in Nigeria. The school located in the Ankara Nandu community of Sanga Local in Kaduna state will serve an estimated 100–120 children between the ages of three and six years old, and double as an adult education center in the evenings.
The city is home to 4,000 people, and currently has just one school providing both primary and secondary education.
“We chose this particular community because of the lack of necessary resources and limited school infrastructure. They are in dire need of quality learning spaces and this school is an honest representation of the impact Bitcoin can have on societies as a whole, and more specifically, how it can enhance education,” Ray Youssef remarked.
As with all schools built as part of the initiative, the new facility will come with a state of the art solar power panels and a water filtration system.