We have come a long way since the creation of the Bitcoin white paper in 2008. And it’s fair to say that the core meaning of the paper, like all original teachings, has been lost. In this case, institutional investment, derivatives and bitcoin ETFs, high profile investors, corporate interest, profit-taking, and market manipulators have obscured the fundamental essence of decentralized currencies, which is about empowering individuals to make their own choices. But while much has been lost in a price seeking frenzy, Paxful and other companies still embody the original purpose for the creation of cryptocurrencies.
The Paxful story
Paxful is run by six people and first came to prominence in 2015. The p2p platform has been steadily growing since and is a serious contender in the marketplace. Paxful is built around the concept of crypto for social good. In this context, it means enabling access to finance for those who are disadvantaged by the traditional banking sector. In many ways, it is a form of “banking the unbanked,” a slogan advertised by numerous cryptocurrencies but very rarely delivered. Paxful is not limited to a single location but has assisted people in Europe, the USA, Africa, and Asia. It is especially popular in Nigeria.
One of the reasons the company has been so successful is because it is user-friendly. This has been a focus of Paxful, and many are still not using cryptocurrency because it is too complex and counter-intuitive in some respects. There is also a hard-nosed ethos in the cryptocurrency community which indicates that people should know better in instances when sending crypto to a wrong address or selecting a fee that is too low. It is not a customer-orientated approach, and Paxful capitalized with a much friendlier process.
Ray Youssef and Artur Schaback
Paxful was formed by Ray Youssef (CEO) and Artur Schaback. The two met at a bitcoin conference and, after a failed joint venture, Paxful was created which has been a massive success. The idea was simple and brilliant. People who had money but who were not allowed to utilize it via traditional banking channels could buy or sell bitcoin in return for gift cards. It was essentially an easy workaround for people disadvantaged by banks, as well as providing a means of exchange for people who had no bank account, which is a far larger figure than most realize. While bitcoin was not accepted in many outlets, gift cards could be used on multiple sites and exchanged.
Ray Youssef spent three months where he was homeless, even sleeping some nights on park benches. He ‘figured out’ where the best restaurants threw their garbage and “never went hungry.” When the gift card idea came to pass, the money started to come in, and Youssef is (presumably) now frequenting the restaurants and not the garbage heaps.
Paxful – a huge success and the embodiment of bitcoin principals
Pax is Latin for peace (Paxful meaning peaceful). Paxful call themselves the “people’s Wall Street” and the “Uber of Bitcoin.” They are making tremendous inroads in changing the lives of third world citizens and the Western underclass. Additionally, the company is using corporate profits to build schools and initiatives in Africa. Today, the p2p platform serves over 1.5 million customers. Paxful and the team seem very much aligned with the bitcoin white paper at a time when most have completely forgotten. As per Twitter –
“Real talk here. @paxful is working 24/7 to keep #p2pfinance honest and clean. Our vendors are the lifeblood of p2p finance and we work to protect them and everyone on the platform. It is a job that banks gave up on but we must win to achieve the original mission of #bitcoin.“
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.