Paxful, a global marketplace for bitcoin, recently unveiled Blockchain and Cryptotalk, Ray Youssef, CEO, in this interview with Chinyere Okeke, gives insight on the business. Excerpt:
What is this programme about?
We are here today to educate people about an amazing opportunity where everyone in the world can learn and take advantage of especially the African people and especially the Nigerian people. It is absolutely amazing to learn how we can use bitcoin and paxcon to solve enormous financial problems and all limits that have been imposed by the government. So in one sense it is the celebration of the entrepreneurialism of the Nigerian people which is very impressive. It is also another way to educate them on how they can take it to the next level and bring more people into it so that we can really take the financial revolution that Nigerian people have started to the next level.
What impact does this have on the Nigerian economy?
It’s going to have an amazing impact on amazing people and ordinary people in their day to day lives. For example, we had Nigerians who did business outside the country but there was payment constraint. They had to have someone abroad who has an account over there to help them receive the money and turn it into Naira and send it over to Nigeria. That was just too much process. But now with paxful bitcoin, it is easier to make transaction locally and internationally. All that is needed is to open up a paxful account, go to the website and collect the bitcoin, keep your profits in bitcoin,. Instead of one to lose profits because of the low value of Naira’s worth, you will make more profit. This is a platform for young entrepreneurs to make tremendous profits in their businesses.
There are a lot of Nigerians who buy cars in America and sells it for 600 percent profit but once the Nigerian central bank stops doing the money conversions they couldn’t do that anymore. So their importing power got destroyed. But now, with the use of paxon bitcoin, they can restore their importing power and import cars even though Nigerian banks won’t convert naira to Euros or dollar anymore. They can do it themselves with bitcoin and paxon. The Small medium size entrepreneur can do many more with the flexibility of bitcoin and paxon.
What is the difference between bitcoin and cryptocurrency?
Well bitcoin is a crypto currency. There different types of crypto currency out there. You can even make a crypto currency right now if you want to. Anyone can. With bitcoin and crypto currency it so amazing they can solve their own problems. So imagine, you have got a bank card be it master card or the likes, how much do they limit you a month? The withdrawals, the online purchase, and all the other bank charges? Isn’t that horrible and so painful; anyone from America will not be able to live like that. But now with paxful bitcoin, Nigerians don’t have to live like that anymore. Anyone in Africa doesn’t have to live with those limits anymore. Paxful basically solve those problems. Nigerian people are very entrepreneurial. Bitcoin and paxful gives them the courage to be able to live above limitations.
Do you think that this business will thrive in Nigeria being that it is not yet regulated?
In the whole of AFRICA, Nigeria is our second biggest market and I can say its number one. Even if it is not yet regulated the Nigeria people have still embraced it and are teaching us how to use it. The key factor here is education. A lot of people in Nigeria are afraid of losing online what we want to do is educate people on how people can use the crypto currency. We will get a big space, fill it up and it will be a place basically to educate people here in Lagos. Nigeria will lead the world with crypto currency. I believe we will be regularized and legalized.
What are the requirements for subscribing to this platform?
Anyone can have a bitcoin wallet, it’s very easy. All you need is an email address, you can transfer money through your paxful bitcoin wallet. There are so many ways. If you do not have a bank account you can buy a gift card, change it into bitcoin. You can also use moneygram, naira in your local bank account you can use anything you want to add money to this system and then you can see it anytime.
So there are no barriers to its entry. Go to the website which is paxful.com which basically means peaceful, put in your email and you are started.
Has there been any challenge starting up this business?
The first challenge is understanding what the customer wants. Trying to figure out why Nigerians want so much bitcoin and their currency has gone down by 90% in 2 years, so their money is on limit. They have limits on their banking cards and only 20% of them have bank accounts and then there is all these laws and limitations on how they can spend their money, they can’t send their money out of the country anymore. It’s like their international passport have been taken away from them. So we saw that. So the Nigerians are showing us how to do this. We just look at what they do, and make it easier for them. That is the first step, you have to educate yourself by listening to the consumer , to the producers, to the Nigeria people. Once we do that then we can make the system easier to use, break those barriers. And reach out to more people. The first part is already done, where the Nigerian people had to educate us, so now, we are going to open the paxful app, when it is out we are going to let you know. Right now the paxful app is not out. We will get back to you when the paxful app is out. I also want to warn those who have any bitcoin account anywhere, always use a 2 factor authentication. The coin that is your money is basically on your computer. So you need more than a password to guide it. so open up a paxful account, it will change your life because young people make thirty thousand dollar profit every month selling bitcoin. We are showing people how they can start their own business or restoring their business. We are building a school in Ruanda, in all of Africa, it is in a small village in Rwanda where the genocide happened. We want to open 99 more schools. Nigeria will be next.
What are your plans to expand the business?
I respect the Nigerian people, because they are forward thinking and smart. They are expanding the business for us to use. We are going to be educating a lot of people. Anyone, notwithstanding the age can come in as long as they have their smart phone. You must not be young and tech minded before you can own a paxful account. We are focusing on the education aspect, educating them on how to properly use it.
Where do you see yourself in the future? What are your plans of expansion?
In the next five years, its going to be a hundred million. The united nation, should have given everyone a bitcoin wallet. But they didn’t. So we are going to do it. We are going to give them the tools they need to use it to solve their problem and that of their neighbour.
So, first I want to advice all the Nigerian out there be very careful if you want to invest, because of the scam. Some people may want to take advantage of other people.