In an online podcast interview with the Kenyan Wallstreet, Ray Youssef, the co-founder and CEO of Paxful, shared his insights on what he believes to be the future of digital peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplaces in Africa.
Established in 2015, Paxful enables users to trade Bitcoin with each other using more than 355 payment methods including mobile money, bank transfers, and many more.
Currently, Paxful is one of the largest peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin marketplaces in the African continent, with some of its leading African markets being Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
Ray sees an incredible amount of potential in the African continent, particularly driven by the enthusiasm and innovation of the African youth when it comes to embracing new technologies and scaling them up rapidly.
“Four years ago, we visited some African countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya. We saw the potential of the place, the problems that people had and we saw the brilliance and drive of the entrepreneurs. We spent quite a bit of time in Nigeria. The Nigerian youth are amazing. They are so determined; they are on fire. They are ready to move forward – they are just looking for a path to start their own businesses and bring in new money; it’s all about opportunity. They latched on to Paxful with a fury that we had never seen. We gave them an open-ended peer-to-peer marketplace and their ingenuity truly won the day. With this experience, I became convinced that Africa is going to lead cryptocurrency adoption one day.”
Paxful has also been keen on improving the education gap in Africa. In 2017, Paxful launched the #BuiltWithBitcoin charitable initiative. The goal of the #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative is to build 100 schools, water wells, and community gardens for sustainable agriculture funded entirely by Bitcoin. The first of the three schools was completed in December 2017 in Rwanda, while the second was completed in 2018 and also in Rwanda. Currently, construction of the third school is underway right here in Kenya in Machakos county. The school will be designed for children aged 3-6 years.
In this episode, you’ll discover:
02:40 – The origins of Paxful; how Paxful came into being.
03:23 – The problem with money; how Paxful solves this problem.
09:31 – Paxful’s mission and vision.
10:43 – Paxful in Africa; why did Paxful choose Africa?
12:00 – Africa is going to lead cryptocurrency adoption.
12:58 – The mama mboga story.
13:10 – Ray makes a daring prediction: Peer-to-peer volumes will eclipse centralized exchange volumes within two years.
14:00 – African countries that Paxful is looking to expand into in coming years.
16:02 – Paxful in Kenya – The Kenyan people are some of the brightest people Ray has ever met.
19:12 – The #BuiltWithBitcoin schools initiative.
21:22 – Ray’s call to product developers – Open to collaborations any time.
Key Takeaways from the episode
Africa is at the heart of Paxful’s growth strategy, and Ray sees a tremendous amount of potential in the young continent. Among other countries, Kenya is set to be one of the pioneer markets driving this growth.
Important notes from this episode
Check out Paxful
Learn about the #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative
Connect with Ray on Twitter