Paxful is based in Wilmington, Delaware, in USA. Mohammed Ray Youssef and Artur Schaback are the co-founders of this exchange. It was launched in 2014 under the name ‘EasyBitz’, then in 2015 it was changed to Paxful. Paxful is popular for being a peer-to-peer network, as it does not store cryptocurrency on its own system. They invite users who want to buy or sell cryptocurrencies and they just act as middle-men, making the users interact and providing them with a platform where they can make a secure deal.
They give users the option to purchase Bitcoins using cash, and users are not required to share their identification details. Users have the freedom to be anonymous on Paxful, and deal in Bitcoins without a worry. But if you want to stay anonymous you have limited payment options. If you want to make payment using a credit or debit card, you’ll need to provide your ID and upload details so Paxful can verify your account and allow you to buy Bitcoins on their platform.
Advantages of Paxful
- Paxful allows people to trade in Bitcoin, by connecting buyers and sellers on their platform. They are not an exchange who store crypto-assets but rather simply provide an exchange platform.
- The interface is user-friendly and welcoming for beginners. Anyone who wants to buy crypto-assets using digital payments, can easily make the purchase. You do not need to spend time going around the website and learning about its functionality.
- The most lucrative part of Paxful is that it offers more than 300 payment options for its users. From cash payments to digital payments, users can choose any means to pay for their Bitcoins.
- Orders are processed quickly on Paxful. Their payment process is seamless and if you want to make a cash deposit to your Paxful account, you can do that easily too. Later you just need to upload your receipt, after which you will receive your Bitcoins in your wallet.
- Paxful is available worldwide without much problems or compliance issues. Paxful is only banned in the state of New York, but is available in many countries including USA, India, Russia, Nigeria etc.
- Users have the option to activate 2FA (two factor authentication) on their devices to add an extra layer of security. You can also verify your mobile numbers and email ID if you want to.
More advantages of Paxful
- Another upside of Paxful is that you can meet people in person if you want to make a cash payment in exchange for Bitcoins. And you can choose from the most reliable (and highly rated) locally-based people who want to sell Bitcoins.
- Because it’s widely available, Paxful has all fiat currencies available on its network. Right from USD (United States Dollars) to INR (Indian Rupees), you can exchange any currency for Bitcoins.
- They do not have any transaction fees. This is what makes Paxful an attractive platform for buyers. The website only charges 1% from the sellers and has zero fees for buyers.
- Users are free to register anonymously on Paxful and maintain their anonymity through to the end of the deal. No verification documents are required and you do not need to submit any kind of ID if the payment methods you choose do not require one! However, if you are buying Bitcoins using your debit cards, you might have to verify the bank account first and submit a valid ID too.
- The customer care is supportive and responsive. They have a live-chat option at the bottom-right corner of the website. It is definitely ‘not’ an instant chat option, because many times they might take more than 3 hours to reply. But it is better than hunting your query in FAQs for hours.
- Paxful employs an escrow service. Once the buyer and seller, both confirm that the payment has been successfully done, only then the Bitcoins are released. In this respect, it’s pretty safe and secure.
Disadvantages of Paxful
If there are advantages, there are disadvantages too. To keep the review unbaised and to present a clear picture of their operations and functioning, here are some downsides of Paxful –
- Paxful charges 1% fees from sellers. This prompts them to raise the fees of overall trade in order to bear the cut! Since only sellers are charged, so it is natural that the price of Bitcoin will always be higher than other exchanges.
- Paxful can be dangerous because of anonymity involved and in-person trades. You never know the kind of person sitting on the other side of the screen, selling you Bitcoins in your hometown is trustworthy or not. Paxful does not ‘guarantee’ that all their users are trustworthy, especially in the deals that happen outside the website. That is why users need to be careful while making in-person cash payments. The online forums and reviews are full of information about scams and accusations against Paxful.
- Paxful does not provide any other cryptocurrency apart from Bitcoin. If the users are looking to diversify their cryptocurrency portfolio, they should look elsewhere. Because on Paxful they will find only Bitcoin.
- Paxful is not for traders. Being a peer-to-peer exchange network, it is only for buyers and sellers. It is not for leverage or margin traders who want to trade in crypto-assets. Neither does it have complex graphs and charts showcased on their website with live-running information of crypto-market.
- Paxful is not praised on many online forums and platforms. In many discussion panels, users have accused Paxful of being a fraud or scam, because they lost their money/crypto-assets on it. Such reviews usually demotivate other users from making a trade on the website.
Paxful is known for its low fees. Paxful fees is a lucrative asset for users, as it does not charge anything from buyers. If you are a trade-maker and you want to buy Bitcoins, Paxful might be perfect, because not only do they provide more than 300 payment options to their users, but they also offer them the benefit of zero transaction fees. They do charge from sellers for complete trade. They charge 1% from sellers, which prompts them to include the fees in the price itself. Hence, the price of Bitcoin on Paxful might be higher than other exchanges, but then it is the only platform that provides you the freedom of exchanging cash with Bitcoins.
Signing up on Paxful is easy and a task of minutes for new users. Anyone can easily register, and you can even register even anonymously. They give you freedom of keeping your identity concealed, and they do not ask you to verify any ID either. Signing up is simple, and the security features are also good on Paxful. They have the option of 2FA (two factor authentication), available for users. They also give regular warnings to users from time to time. They ask users to be careful while dealing fiat currency in cash, for Bitcoins outside the network.
Paxful provides a good customer support, as they also give a widget for chat, where you can drop your messages and queries. Apart from their in-depth and detailed FAQ section, they provide support through chat and email as well. Some users claimed that they are slow, but almost every user has agreed that they received a response. It might be late, but it was there. The only thing that they need to improve is the speed on which their customer support functions.
The only other similar option for Paxful users is LocalBitcoins.
Paxful is a good platform overall, and certainly a new platform when it comes to peer-to-peer networks. Localbitcoins.com has a trust factor among users. Users can verify the sellers/buyers by the rating they receive o their profile. While with Paxful, the functioning is almost same, but the profiles are not much older. It also becomes a disadvantage for new-users, because the trust-factor associated with new profiles is lower than those who have been trading/dealing in Bitcoins since years now. Paxful has a bright future ahead, because apart from Paxful, there is only localbitcoins.com that provides peer-to-peer networking to users.
For other exchanges, see our list here.