Africa is a unique case study when it comes to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption.
Unlike in the USA and Europe, where Bitcoin is mainly used as a store of value and wealth, Africans are finding real uses for the king of crypto.
And this has led to the success of certain companies.
Bitcoin-based companies that took time to understand the unique nature of the African market have been able to compete more favourably in the continent. Companies such as Paxful, Localbitcoins, and Bitpesa have experienced massive success within the African continent.
A December 2018 article reported that Paxful had experienced a 20% growth during the year, with much of this growth being driven by increasing African users.
This begs the question, what is Paxful doing that other exchanges aren’t doing?
In this article, we delve into how Paxful is helping to promote Bitcoin Adoption in Africa.
Let’s dig in.
African Expatriates Love Paxful, Here’s Why
You got lucky and landed a job in a foreign country—one with better economic conditions than your home country. After receiving your first cheque, you decide to send some money home.
However, none of your family members have a bank account. The only way to send money is either through expensive money transfer services or a courier whom you may not even trust.
This is the case for many Africans working in foreign countries. Sending money home is always a headache. If it’s not the high prices for sending money—as high as 39% in some countries, it’s the stress that comes with worrying if the courier will deliver the cash to your family back home.
Companies like Paxful have, however, made the situation easier for these Africans. With Paxful, African expatriates can send money home without worrying about high transaction fees or loss of their money.
This feature is one of the main reasons Paxful has achieved so much growth in Africa; especially in West Africa. In 2018, the Ghanaian Paxful userbase almost tripled. Interestingly, most of these new users were not Ghanaians, but expatriate Nigerians looking to send money home through Paxful.
Through Paxful, many Africans, even those working in the middle east, Europe, or USA, can send money to their relatives conveniently and at lower rates.
Paxful is Promoting Entrepreneurship in Africa, Here’s How
“Bitcoin will achieve mainstream adoption when people start using it for everyday uses.”
Africans are doing just that.
They’re using Bitcoin to do businesses that they wouldn’t be able to conduct using fiat. By being one of the most trusted and widely used wallets in the continent, Paxful is helping promote this entrepreneurial revolution.
In some Africans countries, banks have set limits on the amount of money that one can use for online transactions.
Let’s take Nigeria as an example; banks allow people to use up to $100 for online transactions per month. This limitation prevents many Nigerians from being able to buy certain goods from online marketplaces. However, through peer to peer exchanges such as Paxful, Nigerians can be able to exchange Bitcoin for dollars then use these dollars to purchase goods on online marketplaces.
Paxful is also helping many Africans get through restrictive government policies and conduct business.
In countries facing high inflation, central banks limit the conversion of the local currency to dollars. You’re not allowed to send high amounts of money outside your country. However, in a continent where some businesses thrive on selling used goods from the USA and Europe, this limitation negatively affects many companies.
Africans are taking advantage of the uncontrollable nature of bitcoin to conduct import businesses. Using exchanges such as Paxful, African entrepreneurs can sell Bitcoins and use the money to buy the used goods for resale in their countries.
Freelances Are Also Part of the Increasing User Base
Africa is budding with talent.
Be it writers, software developers, or designers, Africa is filled with talented individuals. Some companies and individuals in developed countries have discovered this fact and are hiring Africans in large numbers.
By outsourcing work to Africa, these companies are taking advantage of cheap labour. Africans, on the other hand, are benefiting from these online jobs as they are a source of employment. Rather than going out to look for a job that pays peanuts, African youths are opting to work online.
In certain countries, payment methods such as PayPal don’t work, which leaves many of these online freelances with limited payment options.
In looking for an alternative, some online workers in Africa are now accepting Bitcoin as a payment method.
And the Paxful wallet is making it possible for them to do so.
Much of the reason many African freelancers have decided to work with Paxful is because of the reason below.
Paxful is Extremely Convenient
What’s more convenient than being able to send and receive money through your mobile phone?
It’s why mobile money is big business in Africa.
Any financial or e-commerce company looking to succeed in the continent must integrate mobile money as a payment option. The same goes for Bitcoin. If Bitcoin is going to be mainstream in Africa, Bitcoin-powered companies and wallets need to integrate with mobile money services.
Paxful have done just that.
The Paxful wallet has gained popularity because it offers a mobile money transfer option. Users can exchange their Bitcoins for local currencies through mobile money services such as M-Pesa
Users can easily convert bitcoins to fiat or fiat to Bitcoin in minutes, which has promoted both increased adoption and use of bitcoin in Africa.
Even Children and Youth Are Benefitting from Paxful
Many Africans still don’t understand Bitcoin. Some consider it a scam, while some have never heard of it.
Paxful is working to change this.
Through education initiatives targeting youths in different African countries, Paxful is promoting bitcoin awareness in the continent. The company has already held workshops in South Africa and Kenya (this is where I learned about Paxful and started using its wallet as a payment method).
During these workshops, the Paxful team introduced university students to bitcoin and the various ways it can help many of us Africans improve our lives. Paxful also awarded the attendees with $15 worth of bitcoin sent to their Paxful wallet—You learn, and you get paid, how awesome is that.
Paxful is also spearheading the #BuiltWithBitcoin campaign, which is looking to build 100 schools in Africa. All funded with cryptocurrencies
So far, the company has already built two schools in Rwanda and are currently planning to construct a third school. The company also hopes to build schools in Uganda, Kenya, and Columbia.
By using Bitcoin for social good, Paxful is proving that Bitcoin is not a scam, but if used right can be a tool for social change.
Paxful and BitMart in Emerging Markets
Promoting the growth of cryptocurrency adoption in emerging markets such as Africa is a key objective for Paxful. This is evidenced by the announcement that it has integrated with global digital asset trading platform, BitMart. The collaboration aims to increase liquidity and scalability in the cryptocurrency industry.
The partnership with Paxful brings the BitMart platform into the peer-to-peer financial ecosystem, making it one of the only exchanges to enter into the sector. In addition, users of the platform will be able to make payments via Paxful.
Commenting on the collaboration, Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful said:
We’re excited to integrate with BitMart in efforts to bring more trading options to emerging markets. It has always been our mission to provide financial freedom worldwide and we see this as the next big step in the financial revolution
Check out our vlog to dig deeper into the story:
Why Paxful Is Leading the Race in Bitcoin Adoption in Africa: Final Thoughts
A great mentor of mine once said, “If you want to be successful, you have to be exceptional, and do the unexpected.”
This is what Paxful has done on the African continent. Despite being based in the USA, the company took the time to learn how the African market operates and developed solutions that met the need of the African people.
Other than that, the company is actually giving back to the community through its different initiatives.
By being exceptional and doing more than expected Paxful will continue to be a leading figure for Bitcoin adoption in Africa.