Paxful is a cryptocurrency marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers in a similar fashion to Localbitcoins, albeit with a far more advanced interface. In this review of Paxful.com we will take a look at all the key points needed for you to make an informed decision as to whether or not use this site.

The platform’s main selling point is that it supports over 300 methods of payment, including various gift cards and vouchers. This, combined with an appealing and easy-to-use website, makes it a very useful tool in the cryptocurrency market.

Customers begin the process by choosing how much Bitcoin they wish to purchase (in their local currency) and the type of payment method. Once the amount and payment method is confirmed, a customer can browse and select a suitable vendor and then simply click ‘Buy’.

Summary

– Good peer-to-peer platform for buyers and sellers to get in direct contact

– Huge variety of payment methods

– The peer-to-peer nature increases the potential risk of getting scammed

– Currently only deals in the sale and purchase of Bitcoin

History

Paxful was launched in 2015 in the United States as a way to put Bitcoin buyers and sellers in contact. It has grown since into a company with over 100 employees and promotes itself unofficially as the ‘Uber’ of the crypto community.

It provides an alternative to traditional crypto exchanges which are often restricted by certain regulations and have limited payment options. The peer-to-peer trading method makes the platform more decentralized and inline with the ethos of cryptocurrency.

Interface

When customers visit the Paxful website they are presented with two boxes – one to select a payment method and one to input how much BTC they would like to buy or how much money they would like to spend.

They are then presented with a selection of vendors that best match their preferences. After one is selected, the page takes the customer to a trading page where they can communicate directly with the seller.

The interface is modern, intuitive and appealing to even the least technical of users. It doesn’t require a detailed understanding of cryptocurrency or blockchain technology but users should be at least proficient enough to spot suspicious vendors.

Customer Safety

Paxful users are automtically provided with a digital wallet that is protected with two-factor authentication (2FA) to complete transactions.

Just like eBay or any other online marketplace, Paxful attracts a small amount of scammers trying to make a quick buck. To combat this, the site features an escrow service which holds the vendors assets until the transaction is confirmed by both parties. This makes it very difficult to cheat the system but many still attempt to.

While Paxful does its best to moderate the site and keep unscrupulous users away, there are cases where a buyer or seller might get ripped off. If this happens, the transaction can be disputed and the Paxful team will do its best to investigate and resolve the matter.

In addition, all registered users have a reputation score that is based on feedback from previous interactions. This helps to ensure that all users interact in a fair and honest manner.

When using Paxful to buy Bitcoin, try follow these guidelines:

– If possible, always try use one of the recommended sellers that Paxful offers when browsing for vendors.

– Ensure that your chosen vendor is online before you place an order otherwise it might expire.

– Never enter into negotiations outside of the Paxful website. In the event of dispute, all communication needs to be documented.

– For vendors, never release your Bitcoin from escrow until you have full confirmation that payment has been completed.

Payment Methods

The variety of payment methods on offer is one of Paxful‘s more impressive features. Buyers can choose from all the traditional methods such as credit/debit card, cash deposits and Paypal and more unconventional options like gift cards and vouchers.

Some payment methods include:

  • Credit/Debit Card
  • Bank Transfer
  • Cash Deposit
  • Paypal
  • Payoneer
  • MoneyGram
  • Western Union
  • Amazon Vouchers
  • Apple Gift Cards

Customer Support

The Paxful website features an instant chat service where users will be able to speak directly with a support agent. In the unlikely event that an agent is not available, queries will be answered later via email.

Users can also contact customer support via phone, email or various social media platforms.

The site also features a detailed FAQ section and associated documentation to assisst with any queries. In addition, there is a very lively forum where users can interact and offer each other support.

Paxful Affiliate Service

Customers can also use the Paxful service through a plugin which is featured on many of its affiliates websites. The plugin offers full functionality via a virtual connection to the Paxful site. Any cryptocurrency sold via the plugin earns the affiliate a two percent ‘finders fee’.

Charges and Fees

Paxful itself does not charge fees for customers looking to buy Bitcoin but indiividual vendors may set fees depending on the payment method. Payments made via untraditional methods, such as Apple gift cards or Amazon vouchers, usually attract the highest fees.

All vendors are charged a 1 percent fee on completed sales. The usual transaction fees associated with sending Bitcoin between two addresses also apply.

Restrictions

Paxful’s online marketplace is available to users across the globe except in the following countries and regions:

Burundi, Central African Republic, Cuba, Crimea, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Darfur, Syria and Yemen.

Conclusion

Paxful is a very well-designed and intuitive digital marketplace that provides a fast and simple method for buyers and dealers to interact.

To me it feels like a more refined and upgraded version of Localbitcoins, with a wider variety of options and better customer support.

However, it has come under scrutiny in the past for the amount of potential scams operating on the site. From what I understand, this has improved recently but as always, both buyers and sellers should exercise caution.