At the inaugural Africa Bitcoin Conference (ABC) that took place in Accra, Ghana, we had a chat with Ray Youssef, the co-founder and CEO of Paxful, the peer-to-peer global finance platform with over seven million users. We talked about Bitcoin adoption in Africa, the impact of FTX collapse on adoption in Africa and the potential of Bitcoin adoption in Africa. Ray Youssef says Bitcoin has the potential to unite the 54 countries of Africa and pave the way to tremendous prosperity.
Bitcoin Adoption in Africa
Asked about his general view on crypto adoption in Africa, Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful, says that Africa has grown to lead Bitcoin and crypto adoption globally. He says that most of the trades in Africa happen off-platforms like Paxful and on platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram due to the nature of peer-to-peer transactions. He thinks that we haven’t even scratched the surface of what Bitcoin adoption looks like in Africa and that peer-to-peer is the future for the entire industry.
“On Paxful, we have seen over 100% growth year after year in Africa, which is much higher than the rest of the world. Additionally, the amount of transactions that average African users do is many times more than your average global user. People in Africa need Bitcoin and they understand peer-to-peer, making it Africa’s leading means of adoption.” says Ray.
Asked whether the collapse of FTX could significantly affect the rate of crypto adoption in Africa, Youssef believes that it could affect the rate of adoption of crypto as some people got hurt due to the collapse of FTX. However, he also thinks that this event showed the world that crypto as an industry is not the right path. He believes that Bitcoin is very different from crypto, as it is built on trade and has real use cases by real people every single day.
Ray Youssef’s view on crypto regulation in Africa
Youssef believes that regulation will be important in as much as it’s in a controlled way. He thinks that regulation is not the enemy, the scammers are the enemy. He believes that Paxful will work with regulators to introduce innovation in a friendly way, showing regulators the real value of Bitcoin.
What is Youssef’s view on the crypto market in Kenya?
Youssef believes that Kenya has amazing people and that the country is the gateway to all of the Eastern Africa region, which has 400 million people.
“Kenya is one of the fastest-growing Bitcoin markets in the world for Paxful, with users increasing by 130% year after year.” says Youssef.
Additionally, he thinks that there is immense demand for Bitcoin in Kenya, which cannot be satisfied. Youssef thinks that there are some amazing things that are possible in Kenya, including helping Arbitrage Traders on the ground and getting more Bitcoin into the market.