Paxful shutdown hits Nigeria harder than the rest of the world, here’s why

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The shutdown of the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace Paxful has left its worldwide community in search of alternatives, but it appears to have especially affected the Nigerian Paxful community. 

On April 4th, Paxful declared that it would halt its operations. The reason for this decision, according to the founder and CEO Ray Youssef’s blog, was due to “key staff departures” and the regulatory environment.

According to a study by Chainalysis’ 2020 Cryptocurrency Geography Report, Nigeria ranked eighth in terms of crypto adoption and usage rate among 154 countries included in the study. The acceptance and usage of crypto in Nigeria have not always been so until Paxful pioneered the use of peer-to-peer (P2P), helping the expansion of the crypto industry in the country.

A Nigerian crypto user, Emmanuel Susegh, told Cointelegraph that the shutdown of Paxful feels like “the death of a loved one,” as the exchange helped him make his first $100,000. Susegh went on to say that Paxful was the go-to platform he used to trade gift cards from Amazon and Apple for Bitcoin as far back as 2015.

Another member of the Paxful Nigerian community, data analyst Obinna Uzoije, mentioned that in the early days of his career, he used Paxful to exchange the dollars he received from his employers as pay for naira. Uzoije explained that this shutdown leaves a lot of other crypto enthusiasts in Nigeria wondering what the future holds for crypto marketplaces.

Related: Paxful to return lost Celsius funds to Earn users

Over-the-counter (OTC) vendor Akeem Abdullahi expressed that a generation of OTC vendors was created by the existence of Paxful’s escrow service. The vendors were able to buy gift cards from individuals who wanted to sell and were not literate enough to use the platform.

Some community members took to Twitter to express their worry about users getting their funds back. However, Youssef has assured users in a tweet that the Paxful team is working on clearing users’ send-outs.

Magazine: Journeys in Blockchain: Ray Youssef of Paxful