“Through this partnership, we can reach more users in developing regions using Paxful’s existing infrastructure and payment options and give them exposure to the benefits of OKEx’s advanced technology and diversified product suite,” Jay Hao, CEO of OKEx, said in a statement.
Individuals in primarily South Africa and Nigeria, but also in Kenya, Vietnam, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand, UK, India, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Korea, Germany, France, Japan, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela, will now be able to top up their OKEx account through Paxful’s virtual kiosks.
Anyone can sign up and set up a virtual kiosk on Paxful, allowing for payment through bank transfers, online wallets, gift cards, or even cash payments.
“To help grow the crypto community, industry businesses are increasingly collaborating to uplift each other in providing more options for their users,” said Ray Youssef, CEO and co-founder of Paxful, before adding:
“With this partnership, not only do we open new opportunities for customers on both platforms and increase functionality, but we jointly contribute towards strengthening the overall ecosystem and help make crypto more accessible as a real-world payment method by expanding to different geographic markets.”
Paxful’s aim is to bank the unbanked with a focus in Africa due to the continent lacking banking facilities.
They say Nigeria and South Africa are rising as hot spots, with Nigeria in particular seeing $35 million in peer to peer bitcoin trades between May and June, while South Africa saw $7 million.
“The surge in trade volume is attributed to various elements, including uncertainty in the ‘traditional’ economy, increasing education about the crypto-economy, and the emergence of various virtual currency marketplaces in Africa yielding more income-generating opportunities through bitcoin,” they say.
While Nigeria may be seen as a very poor country, it is actually somewhat comparable to Russia in economic terms.
Nigeria’s GDP has risen to now close to $1.3 trillion for a population of about 200 million people.
It is a middle income country verging on the upper middle and it is generally peaceful with some prosperous areas.
They have a growing population that is largely young and digital-oriented, making bitcoin a good way to access the internet economy if they don’t have a bank account as well as to preserve value.
“Aside from being a decentralized, efficient, and a borderless payment method, one of the most striking features of bitcoin is that it’s considered to be an excellent means of preserving wealth in many countries, especially in uncertain times. It’s often compared to precious metals, specifically gold, in terms of storing value,” Youssef said.
For South Africa bitcoin can facilitate more international trade as it is burdensome to move capital in and out of the country due to restrictive regulations.
Paxful thus provides the pipelines to move fiat in and out of bitcoin, with this partnership connecting 100 million users they say.