Silicon Cape
29 May 2018
Paxful, a leading global peer-to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace, reports that African virtual currency users are currently more likely to be male, under 30-years-old and a graduate, or studying towards a tertiary qualification.
According to Paxful, African consumers account for over R500 million in transactions per month on their platform. Half of these customers are under 30. 70% have a tertiary qualification or are studying towards a post-secondary school qualification with a 65% male, 35% female split. Cryptocurrencies are purchased primarily by bank transfers and gift cards.
A 21st century solution for Africa’s underbanked
Paxful, whose leadership team recently visited South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana for further insight into their rapidly expanding African consumer base, also notes that another unique characteristic of Africa’s relationship with cryptocurrency technology lies in use. On the African continent where millions of people still do not have convenient access to the traditional banking system, Paxful is seeing more transactions involving the transfer of goods, services and money facilitated through their platform in Africa, compared to the ‘developed world’ where many trade digital currencies speculatively for profit. Further, some Africans are buying cryptocurrencies as a hedge against constantly fluctuating local currencies in countries like Nigeria and Zimbabwe. There is also an emerging generation of Africans who are buying cryptocurrencies as investment vehicles into promising blockchain start-ups.
Paxful’s African consumers say that their interest in digital currency commerce is spurred by lower fees, increased transaction speed, safety and even currency stability. For entrepreneurs, crypto-powered merchant accounts have also eased their operational and exporting capabilities.
“We are on the verge of the peer-to-peer financial revolution and it is being led by Africa. When it comes to innovation in financial services, in many ways, Africa has an advantage over the so called ‘developed markets’; the continent has an expanding middle-class that has already embraced innovation in banking e.g. the rates of mobile banking users are already high here in comparison to other parts of the world. Bitcoin, Ethereum and other virtual currencies are just newer financial services instruments. Paxful’s growth on the continent reflects the tremendous appetite for innovation in Africa.” Ray Youssef Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Paxful opens an African office
Founded in 2015, by tech entrepreneur’s Ray Youssef and Artur Schaback, Paxful is the biggest peer- to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace in the US and Africa and one of the fastest-growing brands in Europe and Asia. To meet the needs of their customers in Africa, Paxful has recently appointed Chuta Chimezie as the Regional Director. Based in Nigeria, he will be responsible for conducting business operations, facilitating local and international brand awareness, creating educational content on behalf of Paxful, recruitment and overseeing day-to-day operations for the new Paxful Nigeria incubator set to launch end 2018.
Africa is a priority for Paxful
Paxful is deeply committed to the development of the blockchain and crypto-focused economy on the continent. The company has already sponsored blockchain industry events in West Africa and plans to support similar initiatives across the continent.
Paxful will also grow its #BuiltwithBitcoin charitable program to encourage the cryptocurrency sector to contribute funds for humanitarian projects. With the help of non-profit organization ZamZamWater, Paxful launched the #BuiltwithBitcoin initiative in 2017 by donating R600 000 in bitcoin for the construction of a new Rwandan nursery school in the country’s Bugesera District.
Paxful is committed to real change in the developing world. We were first drawn to Bitcoin because of its promise to help the unbanked in emerging nations; we will never forget that. This first school in Africa is just a small step to building a real template for sustainable change across the world. We invite the entire cryptocurrency industry to join us and show the world that this time, things really will change.” Artur Schaback, Chief Technology Officer.