African consumers account for over R500 million in transactions per month on their platform. Half of these customers are under 30. 70% have a tertiary qualification or are studying towards a post-secondary school qualification with a 65% male, 35% female split, reports Paxful.
As per the Delaware based cryptocurrency marketplace, African virtual currency users are currently more likely to be male, under 30-years-old and a graduate, or studying towards a tertiary qualification. Sandton, Pretoria and Cape Town emerged as key markets for cryptocurrency, purchased primarily by bank transfers and gift cards.
On the African continent where millions of people still do not have convenient access to the traditional banking system, the continent is seeing more transactions involving the transfer of goods, services and money facilitated through their platform in Africa, compared to the ‘developed world’ where many trade digital currencies speculatively for profit.
Further, some Africans are buying cryptocurrencies as a hedge against constantly fluctuating local currencies in countries like Nigeria and Zimbabwe. There is also an emerging generation of Africans who are buying cryptocurrencies as investment vehicles into promising blockchain start-ups.
African consumers say that their interest in digital currency commerce is spurred by lower fees, increased transaction speed, safety and even currency stability. For entrepreneurs, crypto-powered merchant accounts have also eased their operational and exporting capabilities.
“We are on the verge of the peer-to-peer financial revolution and it is being led by Africa. When it comes to innovation in financial services, in many ways, Africa has an advantage over the so called ‘developed markets’; the continent has an expanding middle-class that has already embraced innovation in banking e.g. the rates of mobile banking users are already high here in comparison to other parts of the world. Bitcoin, Ethereum and other virtual currencies are just newer financial services instruments. Paxful’s growth on the continent reflects the tremendous appetite for innovation in Africa.” Ray Youssef Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer.
Paxful, which recently announced its African launch, is an open source peer-to-peer marketplace for bitcoin and blockchain technology that enables users to buy, sell and accept bitcoin instantly. The platform claims to have 1.7 million monthly active users globally, with 300+ payment methods.