News Bitcoin exchange Paxful eyes expansion through new ‘peer program’

Bitcoin exchange Paxful eyes expansion through new ‘peer program’

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In places such as Africa and India, where it’s hard to buy cryptocurrency, peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange Paxful sees opportunity.

Paxful yesterday announced a new “entrepreneurship program” called the Paxful Peer Program,  which pays successful applicants for spreading the good word Paxful to anyone who’ll listen. The goal of the program is to grow its Bitcoin exchange in new markets, particularly those which have previously been difficult to penetrate.

Tugba Abadan, Paxful’s Head of Community tells Decrypt that the company wants to have Peers from each corner of the globe, but, “marketing-wise, we are focusing on South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and India until the end of this year.” 

There are vacancies for three types of positions in the Paxful Peer Program. The grunts—Paxful Peers—will promote Paxful on social media, moderate online groups, and submit feedback on Paxful features. Impress El Jefe Paxful, and you’ll rise through the ranks to the salaried position of Ambassador—essentially a content creator and meetup organizer. 

Occupying the highest rank among Paxful Peers are Associates, who’ll train other peers, focus on expanding the entrepreneurship program, or defend the network against malicious actors, such as hackers.

The recruitment drive thus sees Paxful double down on its expansion into developing markets. According to a press statement, 45 percent of Paxful’s active users are from Africa, and that its African user base doubled in 2018. Paxful’s Kenyan user-base doubled in the first half of this year, and the amount of trades quadrupled compared to the first half of 2018. Trading in Kenya and India alone hit around $100 million last month.

Artur Schaback, Paxful’s Co-Founder & COO, told Decrypt last month that growth in these regions is due to “arbitrage”: cryptocurrencies can be difficult to buy in African and Indian markets, so customers in these markets often buy their crypto directly from Europeans and Americans, who find it relatively easy to buy cryptocurrencies. 

As regulators and high fees keep traders in developing countries away from large exchanges, Paxful—a platform where you can trade Bitcoin for hundreds of currencies, including Xbox Live gift-cards or vouchers for Applebees—has become a hit. 

The Paxful Peer Program ramps up Paxful’s previous education initiatives. Head office has already partnered with African universities and schools to push the platform, and teach communities the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies. 

Paxful’s head of community, Abadan, says that the exchange would would like to keep the structure for its Peer Program the same for every country, but minor adjustments will be made for different markets. “For instance, in some countries, face-to-face communication is very important to build trust. In those markets, Paxful peers will still moderate online communities but they will be organizing more in-person events.”

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