Paxful, a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace for Bitcoin, plans to enter Nigeria and leverage growing interest in the digital currency in Africa’s most populous country.
The new marketplace provides users with over 300 payment methods, including Paypayl, Western Union and Amazon Gift Cards, to instantly buy, sell and accept Bitcoin.
Though the level of transactions attributed to it is still low, Paxful is now being considered alongside LocalBitcoins and Bitsquare on coin.dance (which provides community-driven Bitcoin statistics and services) as the main marketplaces for the currency.
Interest in Bitcoin in Nigeria has grown rapidly in recent months. This is evident in Alexa’s current search ranking which shows that Nigeria has the highest number of visitors to the website of the leading Bitcoin marketplace, LocalBitcoins.
Recent figures also show that about US$1 million is now transacted weekly from Nigeria on the Finland-based platform.
“2017 is the year that bitcoin could solve a major geopolitical problem and come to the rescue of an entire nation. Nigeria’s 60 million dollar has been interrupted in the ongoing currency wars that have disrupted nations such as Venezuela, Argentina and Russia etc.,” says Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful. “While the nations themselves begin hoarding foreign currency such as dollars and Euros, they make it impossible for their citizens to purchase abroad by auto conversion, thus crushing the import markets for small entrepreneurs. Paxful is tailoring our platform to provide relief for these situations.”
A major way it is doing this is with the launch of its new widget that can be embedded within any website, blog, YouTube channel, mobile app, email subscriber list or a Facebook page.
Youssef explains that the widget allows anyone to instantly set up a Bitcoin kiosk to accept, buy or sell the digital currency and earn 2% commission from every sale made through it.
Taking advantage of the advancement in the digital currency’s recognition and use in developing countries, Paxful’s entrepreneurial approach could help strengthen Bitcoin’s image in Nigeria – especially as it claims that it will beat the high fees that current Bitcoin brokers charge.
The P2P marketplace also wants to help train people to become vendors by showing them the large margins on buying and selling Bitcoin as well as how to make the loop in Bitcoin-fiat-Bitcoin transactions.
Youssef adds: “Doing this for a single nation like Nigeria could substantially increase the value and liquidity of Bitcoin. Amazing things are coming as Bitcoin blossoms into a tool that will solve real world problems on the very highest level and we at Paxful are always listening and looking for ways to make a difference.”