The global nature of the cryptocurrency industry has truly changed the world: people who previously didn’t have access to financial services have found themselves with life-altering resources; companies and individuals have the open opportunity to access a global financial network that didn’t even exist ten years ago.
But the global nature of the crypto industry can also lead to some crossed wires. Mismatched regulations, miscommunications, and other kinds of mishaps can lead to trouble.
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Recently, Finance Magnates caught up with Ray Youssef, founder and CEO of the Estonia-based cryptocurrency exchange Paxful, to speak about the exchange’s current projects, future plans, and some recent controversy.
A Recent Bout of Bad Press
We asked Youssef to clear up some nasty claims that were made about the exchange earlier this month. A number of cryptocurrency-related news outlets published reports alleging that Paxful had blocked a number of its Nigerian users from accessing millions of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency that was stored inside the exchange.
The reports explained that the United Global Resolve for Pace, a Nigerian NGO, filed a petition to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, as well as several other government bodies, asking for action against Paxful.
“A few days ago, our organisation was approached by some Nigerians who complained bitterly that Paxful Incorporated, the company that owns the online cryptocurrency trading and exchange platform, ‘https://paxful.com’ has been ripping them of their life investment in cryptocurrency by suspending their accounts, deactivating their wallets and refusing to return the value in their accounts to them even after investigation and finding that they were not involved in any fraudulent activities,” reads the petition, which was filed on April 2, 2019 and signed by UGRP Executive Director, Shalom Olaseni.
“Paxful is doing and always will do what is in the best interest of our responsible customers.”
However, Youssef has vehemently denied the allegations made in the petition. “These claims are absolutely false,” he told Finance Magnates. “We recently identified indicia of potential activity in violation of our Terms of Service on our platform involving certain Nigerian accounts and we took appropriate action to rectify these issues.”
Tip: When two of your other accounts are banned because you have ignored all warnings, any new accounts will also be banned because YOU are banned. Marketplaces cannot survive with such bad actors. Any other accounts you make will forever be banned. Do not return please.
— Ray Youssef (@raypaxful) April 7, 2019
“The second school Paxful built is the first primary school in the entire area dedicated to students between the ages of 6-15. The school consists of 6 classrooms, 6 full-time teachers, a cafeteria, bathroom stalls, solar panels, and a 35,000L water well system. The curriculum and teachers are provided by educational officials at the local level.”
“We hope to also encourage the cryptocurrency sector to contribute more to humanitarian projects. The #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative is an example of bitcoin being used as more than a speculative tool but a testament to the usefulness of cryptocurrency.”
According to Youssef, Paxful’s charitable initiatives are very closely aligned with the exchange’s corporate mission. “At Paxful our goal has always been to bring financial inclusion to the underbanked and unbanked through peer-to-peer finance. We will continue this effort in conjunction with our mission to give people a simple, fair, and secure platform for trading bitcoin.”
“In addition, we have some exciting announcements coming up next month which will aide in our availability and visibility in Latin America, as well as a series of new products and product updates that we hope to share this summer,” he said, adding that “most immediately we will be announcing a partnership that will establish expansion into Latin America.” Stay tuned.