Paxful is a US-based P2P cryptocurrency exchange where clients can buy and sell bitcoins for fiat currency between each other. The service is similar to that of Local Bitcoins.
The platform accepts clients globally, but it is worth noting that it dose not accept clients from the state of New York, as it does not have the relevant BitLicense, introduced by the state.
According to its own estimates, on the platform have changed hands over 40 000 bitcoins, between 55 125 customers.
In 2015 Paxful gained notoriety by allegedly serving clients of the site Backpage, which was running paid export ads, but got in trouble with Visa and MasterCard who refused to process its payments.
– Payment methods. Perhaps the biggest advantage of Paxful are the numerous payment methods available. Most platforms have a very limited set of options, that often do not include credit cards, for example, but in Paxful’s case the payment options are provided by the sellers. On Paxful’s site as payment options are listed bank transfers, Western Union, MoneyGram, SEPA, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, OkPay, Visa, MasterCard, AmEx.
– Fees. The fee for sellers in 1%, which is a bit on the high end for the industry, but the sellers usually charge higher prices and the transfer fees are covered by the buyer.
– Fiat currencies. In theory one can buy bitcoin for whatever fiat currency they like, as long as there is a seller offering it. In practice, naturally, there are no offers for some of the more “rare” currencies. Our experience shows that in some cases even not-so-rare combinations such as buy bitcoin for euro via cash deposit in bank, cannot be found.
– Escrow. Similarly to other P2P bitcoin exchanges, Paxful keeps the bitcoins subject to the deal in escrow, until the payment is confirmed. This is done with the purpose of preventing fraud. Still, there is the risk of chargeback.
– Anonymity. Due to the nature of the service offered by Paxful, the clients can remain fully anonymous, if they so wish and depending on the payment method. Obviously, the bank transfers and credit card payments cannot be anonymous, nor can the Western Union transfers, for example, but payments through gift vouchers or cash in person, can. Also, some users can set their own rules regarding client identification and required government ID photo.
– Leverage. Quite naturally, Paxful does not offer leveraged trading, due to the nature of its service and platform. There are some exchanges, though, who offer trading on margin, such as Kraken, bitFlyer and CexIo. There are also a large number of forex brokers – regulated and unregulated – who have included cryptocurrency CFDs in their portfolio.
– Wallet. For the convenience of its users, Paxful provides a free bitcoin wallet, which is created automatically with the creation of an account. From the wallet users can send and receive bitcoins.
– Platform. Similarly to other P2P cryptocurrency exchanges, Paxful allows the placing of two types of orders. In the first buy option one can set the fiat currency and the payment method of choice and click on the “Give me the best” button. In the second – one can view the available offers and select one that suits them. The sell option works in a similar way. There is also the chat option where buyer and seller can chat with each other.
The client can also set a number of rules and requirements laid out below the offer. They can include ID verification, place of residence, minimum and maximum order limit, etc.
– Reputation rankings. Paxful has introduced reputation rankings for its users, which can be useful in deciding whether to take the offer or not. There are also the “trusted vendors” who offer fast and reliable services.
– Mobile app. Paxful offers a mobile application for Android and iOS devices where users can buy and sell bitcoin and use it as a wallet. The instant chat option is also available.
– Registration. The registration at Paxful’s platform is simple and straightforward and one only needs a working e-mail address for verification.
– Price. Generally, the prices offered by Paxful users are higher than the average that can be found on other exchanges. But, convenience comes at a price.
– Payment fees. The payment fees are covered by the buyer and are set by the seller. In some cases they can be quite high, particularly for “exotic” payment methods like the various gift vouchers (Amazon, Walmart, etc.)
– Fraud. As we have already mentioned, despite the efforts of Paxful to prevent fraud, dishonest users can find their way around the system.
– Coins. For the time being, only bitcoins can be traded on Paxful’s platform, but this is quite understandable, considering that bitcoin is still the most popular cryptocurrency and in the minds of many is the only cryptocurrency. There is also the option to pay for bitcoin in ether, but at the time of writing this article, there were no offers.
Paxful offers a service very similar to that of Local Bitcoins and several other P2P crypto platforms. Its biggest advantage are the numerous payment options and the biggest disadvantage are the higher prices.
Another major convenience of Paxful is the mobile application that rolls the trading platform and the wallet into one and can be used on the go.
When dealing with private persons, one can have in mind the risk of fraud, despite the security measures implemented by Paxful and perhaps the safest option is to seek verified vendors and do business with them.
Paxful Review Conclusion
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