- Supporting over 50 Fiat Currencies
- Good Security
- Bitcoin Only
|Main Feature||Low Fees|
|Free Demo Account|
|Fee Info||Selling Fees-1%; Buying Fee-Free|
|Deposit Methods||300+ Methods Including Credit/Debit Card, PayPal and Amazon gift card|
|Withdrawal Methods||150+ Including Credit/Debit Card, Bank Transfer & PayPal|
|Account Currency||Local currencies-50+|
|US Traders Allowed|
- Platform is secured by BitGo which is known to be stable
- Easy to create and account
- Different payment methods allowed
- Fees are low
- Regulated and adheres to KYC and AML rules
- A lot of complaints from vendors about not being paid
- Reputation system only applies to certain select countries
- Their customer support is slow
- Buyers have no say on exchange rates as it is set by the seller
- Even though you can be fast and transfer funds promptly, it is the seller who approves coins transfer
PAXFUL REVIEW: BUY AND SELL BITCOINS INSTANTLY
With the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, efficiency and efficacy in service delivery is compulsory for exchange platforms and brokers. As it is these two are the main channels through which adopters can easily buy or sell cryptocurrencies which is hot property at the moment.
Even though there areother popular channels whereyou can easily subscribe to exchange fiat for Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin, some users see fees, need of independence, platform down time and even chances of hacks asprohibitive and rather seek for alternatives than be sorry. Because of that, Paxful is quickly becoming a preferred destination for users looking for reliability when they want to purchase Bitcoins.
All about Paxful
Paxful is a US-based company founded in 2015 whose platform is often referred to as the “EBay of Bitcoin”. This nickname couldn’t be far from the truth. The idea behind the platform was to create a market place where sellers and buyers can interact after posting their Bitcoins bids and offersin a simple to use and intuitive interface. In this regard, Paxful is simply a mediator offering escrow services to market participants interested in exchanging fiat for Bitcoins.
In a nutshell, Paxful is a peer to peer platform for buying and selling of Bitcoin using fiat dominated in different local currency all over the world. It works more like LocalBitcoins and in fact like LocalBitcoins, Paxful cannot operate in the State of New York because they don’t have Bitlicense.
This platform is made up of a web of Bitcoin buyers and sellers distributed all over the world. To purchase, willing buyers simply indicate the amount and the payment method they intend to use once they create an account. Paxful will do the leg work for them and present suitable Bitcoin sellers within their vicinity.
Figure 2: Exchange Platform
Paxful platform is simple, secure and easy to use. After launch, the site has grown in popularity not because of ease of transacting and meeting buyers or sellers but because of different ways in which transactions can be settled.
Figure 3: Payment Methods
You can buy Bitcoins through their 100+ payment channelsavailable supporting more than 20 different fiat currencies including Skrill, Bank transfer, cash deposits, Western Union or Money Gram, PayPal and Debit/Credit cards. Sellers or buyers wishing to exchange their coins for Amazon or iTunes vouchers are also accommodated in Paxful.
Creating an Account and Countries Supported
Setting up is simple and there are two ways through which this can be done. Before proceeding, users should ensure that their emails are not recorded in Paxful’s database. Often emails are stored during the checkout process after buying Bitcoins.
Figure 4: Create an Account
You can create a new account using your email address or by filling up a registration form in their website. Irrespective of the method, you will need to verify your email address by clicking on the link sent to your inbox.
For account security purposes, account holders are required to set two security questions. If users want an extra layer of security, they can proceed and verify their phone numbers. This way, they can be receiving SMS notification of important transactions done over the platform. However, even though you might activate email notifications, all communications are not encrypted.
Once you have created an account-and assuming you want to buy Bitcoins, you can proceed and login.
Note: Paxful has their presence in more than 100 countries except in these OFAC sanctioned countries.
Buying and selling of Bitcoin
Thereafter, you can choose the amount of Bitcoins you want, your preferred payment method denominated in your local currency. The moment you fill in these information, the amount of BTC you will receive will be automatically displayed as per the current exchange rate and accounting for Paxful mark up.
From there, the buyer can search for Bitcoin sellers. Different types of sellers are available depending on the currency and the payment method they prefer and which you are willing to pay using.
Other selection criteria also include thing like the lower or upper limits through which they are willing to transfer funds, their account history-this is a must especially if you want to transact large amounts of coins and their account ratings.
Figure 5: Buy Bitcoins
The moment you identify a seller, click on the “buy” button. Here a chat and an escrow service will automatically open. This is crucial because it is from here where other details about the transaction can be discussed before the whole transaction is settled.
It is highly recommended that any received BTC be transferred to a third party specialist web wallet service or off line for security purposes. Remember once the transfer begins the amount of Bitcoins agreed on will be moved from the seller’s Bitcoin wallet to Paxful’s escrow account and only the buyer can cancel a transaction. You are allowed to buy a minimum of 0.001BTC at any time.
Besides that, once a transaction has been settled-that is payment made and BTC transferred, ensure that you check it as complete. Failure to do so and the coins will be transferred back to the sellers especially if no payment was processed.
From this, it is evident that buying Bitcoins is easy and secure regardless of the location of market participants.
Regardless of your device, you will note that the screen is not cluttered, is clean and adapts to any screen size. There is nothing out of place and Paxful perfectly employs a minimalistic menu with all the essential buttons well laid out for buyers to see.
Paxful also makes it easier for buyers to filter through the many sellers courtesy of their in house reputation system. Even though this system is limited to sellers from select countries as the US, Canada, Australia and Europe, the system is very effective in rewarding honest and reputable sellers. To qualify, a sellers should have completed more than 50 trades with 20 different partners provided her overall score is more than 33% and highly responsive. From there he/she can apply for verification which typically takes more than 7 days.
All a buyer has to do is to follow the simple and clear laid down procedure on the platform. Transaction between the two market participants is also secure because of the escrow feature.
Buyers are not charged any fees by the platform but by the Bitcoin seller. The fees charged will largely depend on the amount of Bitcoins and the payment method chosen by the buyers. A buyer who decides to pay using PayPal for example will pay less than that who wants to settle using Amazon gift vouchers.
The platform charges 1% on all sell trades and this is the amount that will be automatically sent to the escrow account the moment the transaction is initiated. Besides that, the seller foots mining fee-currently set at 0.0008 BTC deducted from his/her account when sending Bitcoins to the buyer’s wallet.
Paxful Security Features
Given the popularity of the platform, security of user funds is important and during sign up you notice that account holders are urged to set up a two-step verification method. It’s not compulsory but to prevent hacks, this added security layer-on top of the SMS notifications is essential.
There are provisions for that but this depends on how often you use the platform and if you are a buyer or sellers. Given the frequency and sometimes volumes involved, it is recommended that sellers set up a 2FA using Google Authenticator on top of the added SMS notifications.
Paxful acts as aconduit with an escrow account where Bitcoins are transferred to before all transactions are settled. For protect against attacks, they have forged a partnership with BitGo and made it a multi-signature account.
Even though we cannot say their customer care support is perfect, the platform has a 24/7 live chat and a support forum. From reviews, it will take time before your issue is addressed by a customer care agent. They will take anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes to attend to your issues and once in the loop, response is slow.
If it’s not an urgent problem, users are advised to check out their FAQ section. It’s on the top bar on the “Help” drop down menu. Paxful also maintain a social media presence at YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others.
The platform is really convenient, simple to use and has more than 100 payment methods all over the world. Bitcoin buyers need not to worry about fees because all they will pay for is the miner’s fee which also fluctuates. I will only recommend using all other convenient methods of payment and avoid using vouchers as sellers can raise fees. Their reputation system helps to weed out scammers from the network and even before that happens, their escrow services can safeguard transactions.