Ray Youssef, the CEO at Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin marketplace and money translator service, recently shared his views and insights about the importance of providing quality financial services to the world’s unbanked (and underbanked) population.
Youssef, a history graduate from Baruch College and experienced software engineer, helped us understand how his platform, Paxful is contributing to the rapidly evolving decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. He also explained why education is very important, and what his organization is doing to help more people learn.
Crowdfund Insider: What are the main services that Paxful currently provides?
Ray Youssef: “The Paxful Wallet is an online wallet that offers best-in-class security features and the convenience of having bitcoin be available to users 24/7 from any device.
In addition, Paxful is the only peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace with an official app – the Paxful Bitcoin Wallet App – that makes it more convenient to trade peer-to-peer through the app.
Finally, the Paxful Marketplace allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin using over 300 payment methods, including bank transfer, credit and debit cards, and other payment methods.”
Crowdfund Insider: What are Paxful’s main short-term and long-term goals?
Ray Youssef: “Short-term is to keep updating our existing products based on customer feedback and to release new products aimed to give people access to the global financial industry using bitcoin and peer-to-peer finance.
Long-term is to build and sustain a community that will help in growing the peer-to-peer economy which can give financial freedom to all.”
Crowdfund Insider: Providing equal access to the financial system will significantly improve the global economy. What are some of the major problems with the existing system?
Ray Youssef: “There are capital controls and hyperinflation, in addition to the unequal distribution of resources.
This brings about unequal distribution in opportunities to be involved in a global financial ecosystem.
To put simply, a person from Ghana does not have the resources necessary to be able to make transactions as easily as someone from the United States.”
Crowdfund Insider: You mentioned during our interview that education is very important. Please explain what Paxful is doing to help out in this area.
Ray Youssef: “To start, we launched the #BuiltWithBitcoin initiative with the goal to build 100 schools, water wells, and community gardens for sustainable agriculture funded entirely by bitcoin across emerging countries.
To date, the initiative has built two schools (a nursery, and a primary school in Rwanda), provided scholarships to Afghan refugees and gave donations to the GROW with Educare Centres project in South Africa.
Earlier this year we started the #PaxfulCampusTour at universities in South Africa and Kenya.
The workshops provided key practical insights with each attendee also receiving free bitcoin to start them on their journey. Over 1000 students have attended the events across South Africa/Kenya.”
Crowdfund Insider: Tell us about Paxful’s ambassador program.
Ray Youssef: “We are observing a new generation of young African graduates and professionals making use of peer-to-peer finance as a way to better engage the global financial system.
Earlier this year we did our first university education drive to expose students to the true use cases of bitcoin, highlight how to avoid falling prey to bad actors in the crypto-space, and counter the over-emphasis on bitcoin speculation.
We’re following it up with the Paxful Ambassador Program that is made up of a series of workshops that educates and empowers those who are interested in entering the crypto-economy and encourages entrepreneurship in the crypto-sector.
Students who participate in the initiative are financially incentivized to educate their peers about the Bitcoin economy.”