Paxful a global a peer to peer Bitcoin marketplace connecting buyers with sellers, plans to increase access to the bitcoin economy in Africa through education.
This comes just as the company has seen significant growth in digital currency transactions on the African continent in recent years, driven largely by users under the age of 35.
Addressing delegates at a recent Johannesburg event, Benjamin Onuoha, Africa’s Regional Consultant for Paxful shared insights on the bitcoin and cryptocurrency economy and also presented use cases observed from Africa’s consumers.
Reflecting on Paxful’s experience in Africa and further afield, Onuoha added that three developments made the crypto-economy possible.
“First, the emergence of peer-to-peer electronic currency, bitcoin that is powered by the blockchain technology. The second and arguably the most important miracle is the human layer that connects everyone in the world making this peer-to-peer revolution powered by the people. And lastly, the third miracle is the sharing economy,” he said.
Onuoha listed grey markets, speculation, payments, e-commerce, remittance, wealth preservation, and social good as true use cases for Bitcoin.
He noted that many young Africans see bitcoin as an opportunity to develop entrepreneurship ventures, given that users set up side-hustles and their own businesses, which include remittance, as well as import and export enterprises, amongst others.
Demonstrating how the cryptocurrency community can contribute to social good, Paxful recently completed the building of the second school in Rwanda, as part of the group’s strategic commitment to education. Through its ‘Built with Bitcoin’ initiative, the group is in pursuit to build 100 schools across the continent.
With over 2.5 million users globally and Africa being the fastest-growing region, in 2018, Paxful disclosed it had seen a 200%-plus increase in users in Africa over the previous 12 months. Paxful is observing a new generation of young African graduates and professionals making use of peer-to-peer finance as a way to better engage the global financial system. Paxful launched its first university education drive to expose youth to the true use cases of bitcoin, highlight how to avoid falling prey to bad actors in the crypto-space, and counter the over-emphasis on bitcoin speculation.
Launched at universities in South Africa and Kenya, the Paxful workshops provide key, practical insights, with each attendee also receiving free bitcoin to start them on their journey. More than 1,000 youths have attended the events across South Africa and Kenya.
To date, Paxful’s Built with Bitcoin initiative has raised over R3 million ($205,000) for charities across Africa and the MIddle East. Paxful has donated over R13,000 ($888)worth of bitcoin to GROW with Educare Centres.
As a non-profit organisation, GROW with Educare Centres empowers qualified, passionate women to own and run successful high-quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, such as daycares and pre-schools, in low-income communities using the principles of social enterprise and micro franchising. With reading being an integral part of the Educare programme, the donation from Paxful will be used to purchase books for their various centres’ mini-libraries.
The GROW with Educare Centres project was incubated by a partnership between The Clothing Bank and Grow Learning Company and currently has 31 ECD centres running across Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
“This donation opens new opportunities for our organisation to engage the crypto-community in charitable giving. An investment in Early Learning is one of the greatest investments you can make since one teacher influences a generation of learners,” explained Helene Brand, Marketing and Fundraising Manager for GROW Educare Centres.
“We hope that Paxful will inspire others to do the same,” she said.