Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace that aims to bring financial inclusion and access to the under-banked and unbanked in developing countries, has joined forces with OKEx, one of the world’s largest and most diverse cryptocurrency spot and derivatives exchanges.
In a statement made available to Financial Street, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Paxful, Ray Youssef, noted that the strategic partnership would offer several payment methods for new and existing OKEx users to buy bitcoin with over 160 fiat currencies through Paxful’s Kiosk.
Youssef and Artur Schaback founded New York-based Paxful in 2015.
Users will have access to in-demand payment methods such as bank transfer, gift cards, online wallets, and many more.
Overall, the partnership will integrate over 100m users allowing them the freedom to utilise Paxful’s existing infrastructure and payment options while enjoying the benefits of OKEx’s advanced technology and diversified product suite.
“To help grow the crypto community, industry businesses are increasingly collaborating to uplift each other in providing more options for their users. We admire OKEx’s work and know that our values and strategy are aligned. With this partnership, not only do we open new opportunities for customers on both platforms and increase functionality, but we jointly contribute towards strengthening the overall ecosystem and help make crypto more accessible as a real-world payment method by expanding to different geographic markets,” said Youssef.
As a result of the new integration, Paxful and OKEx provide easier access to the global cryptocurrency market specifically in South Africa and Nigeria. Kenya, Vietnam, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand, United Kingdom, India, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Korea, Germany, France, Japan, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela will also benefit.
“We’re delighted to partner with Paxful and share very similar goals about onboarding more people to cryptocurrency. Through this partnership, we can reach more users in developing regions using Paxful’s existing infrastructure and payment options, and give them exposure to the benefits of OKEx’s advanced technology and diversified product suite. This is a great step forward for us and the crypto space in general,” said the CEO of OKEx, Jay Hao.
With an unbanked population of more than 60 per cent, Africa is a major focus for both Paxful and OKEx. In addition, the continent is also spearheading cryptocurrency adoption around the globe with key drivers being high inflation rates, weak national currencies, inadequate financial infrastructure and growing economic uncertainty stemming from the Coronavirus Disease. All these conditions are combined with a growing population that is largely young and digital-oriented.
As bitcoin offers more convenient, and fast alternatives for financial transactions, use, and ownership of the cryptocurrency are significantly increasing amongst African consumers.
“Aside being a decentralised, efficient and a borderless payment method, one of the most striking features of bitcoin is that it’s considered to be an excellent means of preserving wealth in many countries, especially in uncertain times. It’s often compared to precious metals, specifically gold, in terms of storing value,” Youssef added.
A recent report identifies that bitcoin is of keen interest to many in Africa. Kenya topped the list with 94.7 per cent of all cryptocurrency-related searches attributed to bitcoin, while Nigeria and South Africa had high percentages of 89.4 per cent and 89 per cent, respectively.