Paxful Review: Complete Exchange Overview

Last updated: Mar 30, 2023
13 Min Read
AI Generated Summary
Leading Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Platform
Leading Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Platform
Leading Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Platform
Our Take :

Paxful is a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether with other users. The platform offers a simple sign-up process and allows users to pay for their crypto purchases using their choice of more than 350+ payment methods.

Leading Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Platform

Paxful is one of the leading online peer-to-peer marketplaces that connects Bitcoin buyers and sellers. The platform was established all the way back in 2015, making it one of the most well established methods to buy or sell Bitcoin.

The big question is whether Paxful is worth using.

In this review, we will attempt to answer just that. I’ll also give you some tips and tricks on how to get the most out of Paxful.

Paxful Overview

Paxful has been around since 2015 and now employs over 200 people with offices based in New York, Hong Kong, Tallinn (Estonia) and Manila. Like Ebay, the platform has two sides to it.

One empowers normal people like you and me to become merchants by creating your own listings and to sell Bitcoin online. The other side enables Bitcoin buyers to choose the offer they are interested in and to buy Bitcoin with over 300 payment methods.

So, what is the value of Paxful and why would you use it over a traditional exchange like Coinbase? Well, if you have been in crypto for a while, you will know that many exchanges have a huge number of blocked countries and a very limited number of payment options.

P2P Bitcoin Trading
Peer to Peer Crypto Trading With Paxful

Indeed, most crypto exchanges are commonly restricted to payment options like debit card, bank account or wire transfers. That means if you don’t have access to these payment methods or you want to use other payment options, you are going to have a hard time trying to buy Bitcoin.

This is where Paxful comes in by offering some truly crazy options like gift cards for World of Warcraft and Amazon, cash in the mail or even phone top-up cards! Over 100 e-wallets are also supported, including the likes of PayPal and WechatPay.

Yes, plain vanilla bank transfers are also supported. However, where Paxful stands apart from the crowd is by offering the ability to buy Bitcoin with the most exotic payment methods out there.

Buy BTC With PayPal & 300+ Other Methods

300+ plus methods to buy Bitcoin sounds mind-boggling. So, how exactly can you buy Bitcoin on Paxful?

Paxful Payment Methods
Payment Methods on Paxful
  1. Bank Transfer: There are five different bank transfer options available.
  2. Online Wallets: Buy Bitcoin using 137 different online wallets. These includes the likes of Alipay, PayPal, ApplePay, Skrill, Neteller and more.
  3. Gift Cards: Get your BTC using 117 different gift cards. Trade in those unwanted Christmas giftcards for the real gift of Bitcoin. A massive range of giftcards are supported such as Starbucks, Amazon iTunes, to high street stores like H & M to mobile top up cards.
  4. Cash Payments: 17 cash payment options are supported by Paxful. This includes Wesern Money Union, MoneyGram or even cash deposits at banks.
  5. Debit & Credit Cards: Yes, card payments may seem standard. However, twenty different card payment options are supported and this includes American Express. So, if you want to earn AmEx points whilst buying Bitcin, you can do just that.
  6. Crypto: Buy Bitcoin on Paxful using any of the supported 26 cryptocurrencies.
  7. Assets: Finally, you can trade assets or goods for Bitcoin. This could be anything from your house to that bar of gold you have hidden down the side of your sofa.

You should now get the point. Paxful simply offers the widest range of methods to buy Bitcoin out there.

Is Paxful Safe?

Paxful is trusted by over three million users around the globe and has an excellent reputation. However, one of the things to be aware of is that, because Paxful is a marketplace, the Bitcoin seller’s integrity should not be confused with the integrity of Paxful.

Paxful simply offers the marketplace; it is possible that there will be some bad actors using that platform. It’s a bit like how there can be some bad people using platforms like eBay. It does not necessarily mean that eBay is a scam.

With that fearmongering out of the way, here are a few tip and tricks to keep you safe whilst using Paxful:

Seller Reputation

Pay attention to the sellers reputation and put that above the exchange rate you are offered. Put simply, the more happy customers a seller has, the more thumbs up they have.

Seller Reputation Strong
Make Sure Seller Reputation is Strong

You can also click into the seller’s profile to see what past buyers had to say about them. If you see a few people complaining about the Bitcoin seller, then it is best to avoid them. However, if you see pages of happy Bitcoin buyers and little, if any, negative feedback then the chances are you are looking at a top notch Bitcoin seller.

Seller Feedback Paxful
Checking Feedback of Sellers

Remain on Paxful

Make sure you keep all communication on Paxful and under no circumstances move the discussion off platform. The reason why is that if there is a dispute, the Paxful moderators will help you out. If you move things over to Telegram or Whatsapp, then you will miss out on this protection.

Check Online Status

Avoid disappointment by making sure that the person you are wanting to trade with is online. Orders will automatically cancel in 15 minutes and if the user is offline then the chances are you’ll be wasting your time.

Check Online Status

Avoid disappointment by making sure that the person you are wanting to trade with is online. Orders will automatically cancel in 15 minutes and if the user is offline then the chances are you’ll be wasting your time.

Make Sure Payment Received

Only release payments from escrow once you have had your payment fully confirmed. Make sure you don’t release Bitcoin from escrow if the payment is pending.

How to Setup a Paxful Account?

To get started on Paxful simply:

👊 Head over to Paxful using the link here. You’ll then be taken to Paxful and will then see a ‘create account’ button. Click that little guy.

Creating Account at Paxful
Create Account at Paxful

Enter your email and select a password.

Signup Paxful
Signing Up at Paxful

You will then be sent a verification email with a link. Just smash that ‘verify email’ button.

Confirm Registration
Confirming Registration at Paxful

Next you will be taken to your account settings page where you can fill in your account particulars. Note that you’ll have to verify your phone number and identity to trade on Paxful.

Account Information Paxful
Filling Out Account information

Next, click the ‘Verification’ tab and enter your details for your government issued ID.

Paxful ID Verification
ID Verification at Paxful

That’s about it. You should now be good to go to get your Bitcoin on Paxful.

How To Buy Bitcoin On Paxful?

Buying BTC on Paxful is pretty straight forward. Firstly, make sure our on the Paxful homepage, select the payment method you want to use and key in the amount you want to spend and be sure to select the currency of your choice. Then just tap that ‘search for offers’ button.

Search offers Paxful
Searching for Offers on Paxful

You’ll then see all the offers available on the Paxful marketplace which match your search query. Select the seller that you want to buy from by clicking the ‘Buy’ button.

Finding Paxful Users
Finding users on Paxful Marketplace

Key in the amount of money you want to spend.

Purchase Amount Paxful
Choosing the purchase amount on Paxful

You will then be taken to a chat page where payment instructions will be given.

Escrow with Paxful

Paxful provides a secure escrow service for Bitcoin transactions. Once you have selected a seller you want to use and the offer is accepted by the Bitcoin seller, the Bitcoin are automatically moved into escrow.

This means that the seller can no longer cancel the trade and that the buyer has a set amount of time to make the payment. If the payment is made within the timelimit, then the Bitcoin is transferred to the buyer.

Sometimes buyers do not execute the trade within the timeframe. If this is the case, then all that happens is that the seller gets their Bitcoijn returned to their wallet.

In the case the transaction is confirmed by both the buyer and the seller, then the swap is completed. Also, you should know you can open up a dispute if you feel there is something wrong and this will be looked at by Paxful, who will act as the moderator and award the bitcoin to whoever is in the right.

Paxful Fees

The first thing to know here is that Bitcoin buyers on Paxful do not pay any fees at all. Instead, fees are charged to Bitcoin sellers.

Paxful Fees
Fees on Paxful. Image via Shutterstock
  • Bank Transfers: 0.5%
  • Credit/Debit Cards: 1%
  • Crypto: 1%
  • Online Wallets: 1%
  • Cash: 1%
  • Gift Cards: 3% or 5% for iTune and Google Play.

Buying Limits on Paxful

The platform has four different verifcation levels and each one opens up different buying limits:

  • Level 1: Is gained by email and phone verification | Limit $1.5K.
  • Level 2: ID verification + level 1 requirements | Limit $10K.
  • Level 3: Address verification + level 2 requirements | Limit $10K per trade.
  • Level 4: Enhanced due diligence + level 3 requirements | No limits.

Paxful & Crypto Adoption

Paxful may just seem to be a marketplace with a staggering number of payment methods. However, a Paxful press release at the end of 2019 revealed that 45% of Paxful users were based in Africa. That may surprise a lot of you who might have thought most users were based in developed markets.

However, it does make sense when you consider that the vast majority of people in Africa are unbanked. The key thing here is that many of these people may still participate in e-commerce thanks to cheap smartphones and increasing access to the internet.

The big problem for many is how they are paid for their work if they don’t have a bank account? As many of us will know, the answer is Bitcoin and the incredible thing about Paxful is that this is precisely what seems to be happening on Paxful.

Yes, it may seem cool that you can buy bitcoin with gift cards, mobile top up cards or more. However, if you scratch the surface, what this means is that a person without a bank account can go into a store and buy a mobile topup card then use this to buy Bitcoin on Paxful. With almost any other crypto exchange, this sort of person is excluded from buying Bitcoin.

Paxful Adoption
Hyperinflation and Crypto's Store of Value. Image via Shutterstock

So, Paxful can really be seen as democratizing crypto and widening access to an ever growing number of people. Yes, we love the idea of using unwanted giftcards to get Bitcoin, but Paxful has far more potential than that.

We imagine that many of you would agree that the benefits of bitcoin should not be the preserve of those with access to bank accounts. To drive this point home, Union Bank in the Phillipines will only allow locals to open up an account if they deposit at least 100,000 pesos, which is around $2,000.

However, the average monthly income is less than $500. That means that access to banking in the Phillipines is tremendously low, whilst at the same time being home to the largest virtual assistant workforce in the world. Just take a look at OnlineJobs.PH and you’ll see nearly 30,000 Filipinos trying to find work online.

Most will end up working for entrepreneurs located throughout the world and these freelancers still need to be paid even though some won’t have a bank account. That’s where peer-to-peer marketplaces like Paxful can help to make Bitcoin more usable as an international transfer of value and help power online business.

Another really cool thing about Paxful is that the company is aware that many people in developing countries do not have access to conventional forms of ID. That is why the platform now accepts alternative forms of identification like the Nigerian BVN code, which is a form of biometric ID.

Final Thoughts

In summary, we really like the Paxful peer-to-peer marketplace due to the astonishing range of payment options it supports to buy Bitcoin. In the developed world, the core value proposition is being able to buy BTC with the likes of PayPal, Skrill or converting those giftcards sitting in a sock drawer into Bitcoin.

We also think that the marketplace is super easy, simple to use and we love how the platform also offers an intuitive app for iOS and Android to make it easy to send, receive and trade Bitcoin on the go.

One key drawback of Paxful is that those looking to use a particularly exotic payment method are unlikely to have many sellers to choose from. We do hope that things improve on this front as more and more people use the marketplace.

All that being said, if you’re looking for a no nonsense way to buy Bitcoin with practically any payment method, then you should definitely check out Paxful and see if it is the right option for you. After all, can three million users be wrong?

👉 Create a Paxful account now!

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

Tom Alford

Tom is a cryptocurrency investor from Edinburgh, United Kingdom. He believes in long-term projects rather than any short term gains, and is a strong believer in the future of blockchain technology and the great social benefit potential of cryptocurrency.

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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