Global Cryptocurrency Marketplace Giant, Paxful, Sees Surge in African Users

University students increasingly lead use of digital currencies in Africa. Sandton, Pretoria and Cape Town emerge as key markets for cryptocurrency transactions.

Cryptocurrency physical colored bitcoin coins. Pink bitcoin, blue bitcoin and yellow bitcoin
Cryptocurrency physical colored bitcoin coins. Pink bitcoin, blue bitcoin and yellow bitcoin (Photo Credit:

Paxful, a global peer-to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace, reports that African virtual currency users are currently more likely to be male, under 30-years-old and a graduate, or studying towards a tertiary qualification.

According to Paxful, African consumers account for over R500 million in transactions per month on their platform.

Half of these customers are under 30. 70% have a tertiary qualification or are studying towards a post-secondary school qualification with a 65% male, 35% female split.

Cryptocurrencies are purchased primarily by bank transfers and gift cards.

A 21st century solution for Africa’s underbanked

Paxful, whose leadership team recently visited South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana for further insight into their rapidly expanding African consumer base, also notes that another unique characteristic of Africa’s relationship with cryptocurrency technology lies in use.

Founded in 2015, by tech entrepreneur’s Ray Youssef and Artur Schaback, Paxful is the biggest peer- to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace in the US and Africa and one of the fastest-growing brands in Europe and Asia.

On the African continent where millions of people still do not have convenient access to the traditional banking system, Paxful is seeing more transactions involving the transfer of goods, services and money facilitated through their platform in Africa, compared to the ‘developed world’ where many trade digital currencies speculatively for profit.

Paxful’s African consumers say that their interest in digital currency commerce is spurred by lower fees, increased transaction speed, safety and even currency stability.

For entrepreneurs, crypto-powered merchant accounts have also eased their operational and exporting capabilities.

“We are on the verge of the peer-to-peer financial revolution and it is being led by Africa. When it comes to innovation in financial services, in many ways, Africa has an advantage over the so called ‘developed markets’; the continent has an expanding middle-class that has already embraced innovation in banking e.g. the rates of mobile banking users are already high here in comparison to other parts of the world,” says Ray Youssef co-founder and CEO.

“Bitcoin, Ethereum and other virtual currencies are just newer financial services instruments. Paxful’s growth on the continent reflects the tremendous appetite for innovation in Africa.”


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