Paxful CEO: From Homeless in New York to Building Homes in Africa

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Bitcoin News has been following the fortunes of peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace Paxful since covering Africa in our Humanitarian Blockchain series published last year. One Crypto Briefing interviewer was lucky enough to catch up with company founder Ray Youssef to discuss the ups and downs of the company’s Africa project.

From co-founding the company in 2015 with Artur Shaback, after pushing Bitcoin as an alternative payment system on the back of classified advertising website Backpage’s successes as a crypto marketplace directory, to piloting numerous projects in Africa, the company has moved from strength to strength.

However, it wasn’t always like that as in the early days living in New York Youssef was made homeless after being unable to pay his rent. The company has had its dissenters too, just months ago coming under scrutiny after being accused of defrauding thousands of Nigerian clients of funds accumulated from online trade in digital currencies. Nigerians now using the platform has risen to over three million.

Youssef argues that Paxful, looking into cases of fraud on its platform at the time, was forced to freeze the related accounts of traders who were using the platform in order to scam users.

The company has gained popularity on the African continent, principally due to P2P becoming the preferred trading method and also the multitude of ways cryptocurrencies can be purchased on its platform. It is for Paxful’s humanitarian projects in building schools in Africa that the company has become known for.

Paxful has a busy 2019 ahead with numerous projects already in the pipeline. The company announced it wasn’t prepared to stop at its first BTC donation but now had plans to expand on the two completed schools in Rwanda to fund and build a further 100 schools across the African continent. With Bitcoin donations and academic scholarships the prize for socially supportive projects, Paxful is fast becoming a humanitarian face of blockchain.


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