Čvc 01

New Coinbase Pro Platform Off to a Rocky Start Amid Flurry of Criticism

Digital currency exchange Coinbase shuttered GDAX on June 29th and transitioned to Coinbase Pro. The new interface is marketed as an upgrade but has received a lot of initial criticism.  


Coinbase has been very busy over the last few days. Responding to criticism about failures with their customer service, the exchange said on Thursday how they are planning to open a new office in Portland Oregon.

An official announcement from the company says the new location will be hiring for roles based on “customer support, finance, compliance, IT, and HR.” The news comes a few weeks after the exchange officially opened an office in Japan to help “accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency.”

Yesterday, Coinbase officially said goodbye to GDAX and invited people to start using the new Coinbase Pro. A company blog post said gdax.com would not be accessible after June 29th, but part of it still apparently lives on, as the design team has emulated GDAX’s interface in one of Coinbase Pro’s color themes.

Hello Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro General Manager David Farmer wrote in a blog post how the new interface was built on top of the GDAX trading engine. After June 29th, all GDAX balances and trading history are now automatically seen on Coinbase Pro.

Farmer said GDAX’s API would be functioning until December 31st, 2018 and encouraged those on Coinbase Pro to migrate their API usage away from GDAX.

Coinbase has been advertising the purported upgrades and advantages of Coinbase Pro over the last couple months. A company blog post from May said the platform is “completely dedicated” to the needs of the cryptocurrency trader.

Along with the automatic migration of transactions and balances, Coinbase Pro features a new design that is intended to make “the trading experience easier and more intuitive.” The company says it also has a simplified deposit and withdraw process, better charts for users trying to find historical data, and a new portfolio “that lets customers easily see an overview of their account orders and balances.”

Coinbase Pro touts a variety of benefits on their homepage, including an “industry-leading API”, FDIC insurance protection for USD balances up to $250,000 per customer, and 0% maker fees.

The company said their vision is to give users the ability to “interact with digital assets in new and unique ways,” including through services like staking and protocol voting.

‘This Does Not Look Good’

Coinbase Pro said in a June 29th tweet how a number of customer feedback suggestions from the previous two weeks were live on the platform. This included layout optimizations, more theme options, and a bigger market selector.

But many of the early reactions to the new Coinbase Pro have been negative, and a growing number of people seem to be taking to the internet to try and problem-solve through issues.

Criticism started to emerge on Coinbase Pro’s official Twitter announcement. One user commented and said the new platform is “not a step for the better” and questioned if the team’s “UI or UX designers quit?”

Another said the platform’s GUI was slowing down their computer, pointing out how their utilization was above 25% “the moment the switch to pro occurred.”

Reddit community /r/coinbase experienced a flurry of activity after launch, and a lot of the commentary was not positive.

One user posting on June 30th called for a “Coinbase Pro boycott” after noting they had not seen a “single positive response to Coinbase Pro.” They said they would consider trying to get used to the new platform since Coinbase offered “relative safety” with holding funds, but said it was otherwise “complete garbage.”

Some users said the ability to zoom and scroll back on charts was a positive, but others mentioned how some features were not really usable on mobile devices. One user asked how they can get the GDAX page layout back and questioned if the new platform was even tested before being rolled out. Another simply said the new design was “two steps backwards.”

A couple of people seemed to take things into their own hands and posted ideas and suggestions in response to criticisms about Coinbase Pro.

One user recommended people make their own dashboard with the API in order to customize the platform to avoid issues. Another posted a “fix” for Coinbase Pro’s apparent lagging for high volume traders, which included minimizing browser width to “make the site usable again.”

Since Coinbase Pro is so new, team members are assuredly working on smoothing out any issues and figuring out what needs to be changed. But only time will tell about how many the initial complaints and criticisms will be addressed in future updates.

What are your thoughts on the new Coinbase Pro? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter 

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Čvn 29

Indian Exchange Says Women More Bullish on Cryptocurrency Than Men

Women in India are making larger individual investments in cryptocurrencies compared to men, according to one local exchange. However, men are leading the charge when it comes to sheer numbers.


Women are Bigger Spenders

Women have turned out to be the bigger spenders in India when it comes to cryptocurrency investments, according to a recent survey conducted by BuyUcoin – a local cryptocurrency exchange. The average female trader invests more than RS 1.4 lakh (roughly around $2,000) in virtual currencies, double the amount their male counterparts invest.

The exchange surveyed more than 60,000 respondents between March and June of this year. According to the BuyUcoin CEO Shivam Thakral, the increased amount of money women invest is tied to their average age:

Usually, woman investors who are buying or trading are over 40 years of age. Therefore, typically these mature investors are able to put in more money. […] On the other hand, more men start investing at an early age with the average age for this investor group being 30.

Nevertheless, in terms of pure numbers, men are leading the charts, with over 90% of the investors being male across the entire country.

The Local Cryptocurrency Environment

In April the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) officially ordered regulated financial entities to refrain from providing their services to all businesses involved in cryptocurrency-related dealings. This move prompted an uproar within the community which resulted in swift counteractions from numerous companies involved in the field.

In May the country’s Supreme Court declined an interim injunction against the ban, responding to a coalition of petitioners comprised of startup companies and four cryptocurrency exchanges. At the time, RBI stated that the Supreme Court cannot interfere with the economic policies of the country.

Nevertheless, those affected by the cryptocurrency ban will challenge RBI’s decision on July 20. The bank has continued to receive mounting criticism over its anti-crypto stance. Local lawyer Varun Sethi, however, laid down the bank’s justification on the matter:

The RBI also responded that no committee was ever formed for analyzing the concept of blockchain before the decision.

This gives confidence to local lawyers currently representing the industry. Rashmi Deshpande, associate partner at Khaitan & Co said of Sethi’s information that the justification of the bank cements the arguments which the cryptocurrency industry is making on the matter:

The grounds on which our writ petition has been filed is that the RBI has not done enough research to ban a business completely.

What do you think of the cryptocurrency situation in India? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, The Atlas

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Čvn 25

UK’s Cryptocurrency Task Force Concerned Over Recent Exchange Hacks

The latest hacks in the cryptocurrency industry have had some British MPs questioning whether customers’ funds are safe.


The word “hack” has the ability to send fear into the hearts of many a cryptocurrency holder. Were you affected? Are your funds safe? Will you be compensated if you’re a victim? These are thoughts that run with frightening speed through your mind until you get confirmation.

However, in today’s age of regulation, holders are not the only people on alert. Authorities with their eye on virtual currencies are always ready to ask questions when things go south, as was the case with the recent security breaches of both Bithumb and Coinrail.

Cold Storage is Required

According to Stuff, Iqbal Gandham, the chairman of CryptoUK, sought to reassure authorities by providing some insight. The self-regulating agency represents a range of cryptocurrency trading websites including eToro, Coinbase, and Coinfloor. Gandham has stated that they request that all of their members store at least 90% of their virtual funds offline in an effort to protect them against hacks. He added that “security is improving.”

Iqbal Gandham

Lack of Institutional Support

Even though regulation is the name of the game, solid and clear frameworks are still hard to come by. In fact, Gandham believes that this lack of decisive action has made traditional banks wary of working with cryptocurrency exchanges. This, in turn, has resulted in said exchanges working with foreign banks. He explained:

99.9 per cent [of exchanges] have bank accounts in far-flung jurisdictions and UK consumers are sending their money to high-risk jurisdictions.

Gandham also hoped to allay fears of volatility by noting that although still unpredictable, cryptocurrency prices are not shifting as much as they used to. Regardless, the UK’s cryptocurrency task force will most likely still be keeping a close eye on the markets.

The Possible Impact of Hacks

These security breaches not only set aflutter the hearts of possible victims, but of traders in general as it was believed by many that the breaches led to price declines. This may have been the case with the Mt. Gox hack a few years ago, but according to CNBC’s Brian Kelly, today’s market appears to be too bullish to be substantially affected by breaches.

Two hacks in one month may have cryptocurrency holders wondering how they can protect their funds. The obvious choice is to follow CryptoUK’s lead and store their digital currencies in a cold storage wallet. While some exchanges are working towards improving their security features, this could be a way to retain your peace of mind as well as the possession of your cryptocurrencies if a breach does occur.

Do you agree with Gandham that security is improving in the cryptocurrency industry? Do you think that hacks drastically affect prices? Let us know in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of AdobeStock, Iqbal Gandham

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Čvn 09

South Korea Claims $28M Tax From Bithumb But Finds No ‘Illegal Activity’

· June 8, 2018 · 8:00 pm

South Korea’s National Tax Service (NTS) has requested $30 billion won ($28 million) in taxes from major cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb in a move which has gained positive feedback from the community.


Bithumb ‘Will Not Object’ To Tax Bill

Local media reported on June 8 that Bithumb, which posted revenues of 427 billion won ($397 million) in 2017, will pay the bill following an audit from South Korea’s Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

As a result of the audit, which occurred in April, the IRS also confirmed that investigators had not found “any illegal activities such as tax evasion.”

An NTS official said:

The IRS has conducted a tax investigation against Bithumb for the 2014 to 2017 business years. […] We understand that Bithumb has decided to pay the related taxes without any objection to the imposed tax amount.

Cryptocurrency commentators received the news warmly on social media, noting that Bithumb getting the all-clear from regulators marked a positive step forward for South Korea’s exchange industry.

South Korea Stabilizes Crypto

Earlier this year, the government moved to clamp down on exchange operators, banning multiple accounts and forcing users to link their exchange account with their bank account. Foreign accounts were also halted, along with provisional warnings from authorities that exchanges would soon need to respond to tax obligations from the previous 2017-18 tax year.

The boon for Bithumb, meanwhile, comes as Seoul continues to consider reversing its previous ban on ICOs. A National Assembly committee dedicated to studying the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ recommended during a meeting on May 29 that it plans to “establish a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading, including permission of ICOs.”

Also among its recommendations was making “improvements” to the “transparency” of the local cryptocurrency industry, along with “establishing a healthy trade order,” local news outlet Business Korea reported.

What do you think about Bithumb’s tax bill? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of BigStockPhoto

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Kvě 19

eToro’s 9M Users Set To Increase with US Exchange & Wallet Launch

· May 18, 2018 · 8:00 pm

UK-based trading platform eToro has announced it will launch an international cryptocurrency exchange and mobile wallet, debuting in the US for the first time.


$100M Series E Funds Put To Work

As part of a keynote speech at the Consensus 2018 conference in New York which finished May 16, eToro CEO Yoni Assia confirmed the move, which will provide US traders with ten cryptocurrency pairs.

etoro

“U.S. crypto holders have a strong appetite for diversified portfolios,” he said quoted in an accompanying press release.

The platform’s ambitious plans come as little surprise on the back of a $100 million Series E funding round which it completed in March this year.

Prior to that, eToro had revealed it now counted nine million users on its books as it targeted international markets in Asia.

China Minsheng Capital was the major force behind the funding round, Bitcoinist reported at the time, with Japan’s SBI Group, Korea Investment Partners and World Wide Invest also among the contributors.

Ex-Samsung Executive Leads eToro USA

For the US, which is notorious for its patchwork regulatory landscape regarding trading, the company will create offshoot eToro USA, led by ex-Samsung director of innovation strategy Guy Hirsch.

“We know that there is a strong demand in the U.S. for crypto and we are excited to be able to offer U.S. investors the opportunity to learn about and invest across multiple cryptocurrencies,” Hirsch commented.

It is not yet known how the company will navigate obstacles such as New York’s BitLicense scheme, which has seen multiple cryptocurrency operators deny service to its residents.

The wallet and exchange will see a gradual rollout “over the coming months,” the former “eventually” being available for both Android and iOS devices.

In addition to standard functions, the wallet will also contain as yet unspecified “other features.”

Will eToro’s expansion move boost cryptocurrency trading in the US? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, eToro, Twitter

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Kvě 13

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Bans Cryptocurrency Trading, Financial Institutions Given 60 Days to Comply

· May 12, 2018 · 8:00 pm

The financial services regulator for the southern African country of Zimbabwe – the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) – has banned all financial services institutions in the country from all forms of cryptocurrency trading. The directive was shared in a circular on virtual currencies distributed to all institutions on Friday.


Cryptocurrency Trading Banned Through Banking Services

According to a news report, the circular which was signed by the RBZ registrar of banking institutions Norman Mataruka, the central bank has said that it is taking these measures to protect the public and safeguard the integrity, safety, and soundness of the country’s financial system.

All financial institutions in Zimbabwe which include commercial banks and mobile money service providers have been told to ensure to not use, trade, hold or transact in virtual currencies or provide banking services that would facilitate any individual or entity in dealing with or settling cryptocurrencies.

The ban outlined a swathe of services that include maintaining accounts, registering, trading, clearing, collateral arrangements, remittances, payment and settlement accounts, giving loans against tokens, accepting tokens as collateral, opening accounts of cryptocurrencies exchanges and moving money in accounts relating to cryptocurrency trading.

The RBZ has also directed banks to terminate any existing relationships with virtual currency exchanges in sixty days to liquidate existing account balances.

Zimbabwe does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender and the country does not have a regulatory framework for virtual currencies or cryptocurrency trading. However, it has managed to effect a ban by directing financial institutions to keep their hands off all transaction and services related to cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency Trading Banned Through Banking Services

Exercising Caution and Choking an Industry at the Same Time

The stance that has been taken by Zimbabwe’s central bank isn’t new. The cryptocurrencies space is still facing a lot of scrutiny and regulators in other markets have taken a cautious approach, pushed by concerns around money laundering, tax evasion, fraud and in cases like Zimbabwe, the externalization of foreign currency in response to the country’s foreign currency challenges.

Countries like India and China have explored this route before and in Africa, Kenya’s regulator has also taken a hard stance against cryptocurrencies. They are all meant to be measures against potential risks in a new space.

However, such moves also have a negative impact on legal service providers including entities that solve some problems that affect the economy.

In Zimbabwe, a number of businesses that have emerged in this space over the past few years that include the local cryptocurrency exchanges like Golix as well as outfits that have been using cryptocurrencies to facilitate remittances such as Bitmari will be affected by the directive.

Do you think that regulators that put restrictions on cryptocurrency activities because of the risk of crimes like money laundering are justified? Please let us know in the comments below. 


Image courtesy of AAAB, Shutterstock

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Coinmarketcap Launches iOS Mobile App

· May 2, 2018 · 7:00 pm

Coinmarketcap (CMC) has released its first-ever mobile app. The cryptocurrency price and market capitalization website announced the release of the app on April 30. The launch of the app is part of CMC’s five-year anniversary celebration.


The Coinmarketcap App for iPhones

The new CMC mobile app is compatible with the iOS smartphone platform. It enables users to view crypto price, market cap and 24-hour price changes on the go. App users can select from a variety of filter options to see all tokens, the top 100 tokens or their watchlist tokens.

Watchlist tokens are specific cryptos that the users have selected. To include a cryptocurrency in the watchlist, users have to push the star-shaped icon on the token page. The app also uses tokens so people can record save and sync their watchlist between different devices.

The new app doesn’t appear to bring any novel feature. Many crypto traders already use different platforms to monitor price movements in the market.

Commenting on this observation, a spokesperson for CMC told TechCrunch that:

Are there other places where people can get the data and do we have copycats? Sure. However, we are the only site that you can guarantee is sourcing, gathering, and verifying the data itself, and we pride ourselves on being the first and best regarded within the industry.

Five Years in the Business

May 1, 2018, made it five years of CMC being in the business. The platform has grown tremendously to become the 175th most visited website in the world, according to Alexa rankings. Also, more than 60 million people have visited the site so far in 2018. The CMC Twitter account currently has 425,000 followers.

When CMC began, it was reportedly tracking seven cryptos and a few exchange platforms that amounted to about $1.6 billion in market cap. Presently, the website monitors over 1,600 cryptocurrencies and 200 exchange platforms that amount to more than $400 billion in market capitalization. In January 2018, a decision by the site to delist South Korean cryptocurrency exchange platforms caused a wave of massive panic selloffs.

Rebranding the Coinmarketcap Platform

The website has also made some changes to its brand image with a new logo, color scheme, and font. The new Coinmarketcap logo contains the CMC initials and a wavy design that depicts the volatile nature of the crypto market. CMC has also made changes to the website API. The website still plans to release a new commercial API that includes historical data.

A statement by CMC commenting on these latest developments said that:

We pay close attention to the needs of our users and always encourage people to leave us feedback. We are hard at work to bring you more features that will give you more control over your experience while exploring our data.

Do you think the Coinmarketcap mobile app will be as popular as the website? Please share your views in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of Coinmarketcap and Twitter.

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Dub 15

Hong-Kong Based Exchange OKEx Plans to Move to Malta

· April 15, 2018 · 4:00 pm

OKEx, one of the largest exchanges in the world, has announced plans to move to the European island, Malta. This announcement came quickly after a similar announcement made by Binance, one of OKEx’s main competitors.


In an attempt to gain an understanding of the political climate around cryptocurrencies in Malta, OKEx’s executives met with the Maltese government. While many EU countries are taking a standoff-ish, if not downright hostile, approach to cryptocurrency, Malta – which aims to become a ‘global pioneer’ for cryptocurrency – has proven to be extremely welcoming to crypto and blockchain businesses.

Currently, OKEx only offers crypto to crypto trading along with a futures market. OKEx is currently based in Hong Kong, which has probably made it difficult for the exchange to obtain the required licenses to allow for a fiat gateway to be opened in collaboration with banking systems.  However, some suspect that with the move to Malta, that the exchange will open fiat to crypto trading, which will become an essential part of any successful exchange in the near future. 

OKEx CEO Chris Lee stated:

We look forward to working with the Malta government as it is forward thinking and shares many of our same values: the most important of which are protection of traders and the general public, compliance with Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer standards, and recognition of the innovation and importance of continued development in the Blockchain ecosystem.

Malta – a Global Pioneer for All Things Crypto

Since the rise of the cryptocurrency industry, Malta has been continually open to accepting companies who are looking for a bit more wiggle room with regard to regulations. As a result of this, Malta has established itself as the crypto and blockchain ‘go to’ locale as more startups and exchanges flock to the country.

Malta - a Global Pioneer for All Things Crypto

Earlier in 2018, Malta’s government announced their plans for a new segment of the government called the Digital Innovation Authority which aims to provide full legitimacy for blockchain and cryptocurrency companies alike.

It is unlikely that Malta will be averse to any legitimate cryptocurrency or blockchain company in the future as their policy plans indicate that they are willing to keep cryptocurrency rules minimal.

OKEx Chief Risk Officer and Head of Government Relations noted:

Malta’s Virtual Financial Asset Act is a solid foundation for the industry and the government to work together in fostering the nascent blockchain/digital asset industry. More specifically, Malta’s sound risk-based approach will help cultivate a responsible, compliant, and healthy ecosystem.

Do you think that the cryptocurrency and related technology industry will flourish in Malta? If not, where else? Let us know in the comments!


Images Courtesy of  AdobeStock, iStockPhoto

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Bře 30

South Korean Exchange YouBit’s $2.8 Million Insurance Claim Denied

· March 30, 2018 · 2:30 pm

The Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange Youbit has seen its insurance claim denied by a South Korean insurance company following a high-profile cyber attack in December.


Rejected!

Youbit was hacked twice in 2017. The first cyber attack on the little-known exchange took place in April and saw 4000 BTC covertly liberated from Youbit’s stores. The exchange never fully recovered before it was hacked again in December, losing an estimated 17 percent of its total assets.

Youbit is operated by Yapian Corp. According to The Wall Street Journal, the operators filed a claim with DB Insurance Co. – one of South Korea’s largest property-and-casualty insurance companies. Notes the report, the policy “had taken effect just weeks before,” and “covered up to $2.8 million in damages for an annual premium of about $244,400.”

On Thursday, DB Insurance confirmed its rejection of Yapian’s claim in February. The company was seeking the maximum $2.8 million. No reason for the denial was provided.

Going Broke

In December, Bitcoinist reported on Youbit’s announcement that it has filed for bankruptcy following the second hack. Read the announcement:

I am very sorry to inform you again with the sad news. After the accident in April, we made every effort to strengthen security, recruit personnel, and reduce hot wallet storage… In the meantime, due to the hacking of our company at 4:35 in the morning, funds have been lost from your wallet.

Youbit claimed it would go through a formal bankruptcy procedure to minimize customer fallout, but that balances would still auto-adjust to a fraction of their former worth, with the aim to refund once formal proceedings are over. Said the exchange:

Through various measures such as the sale of cyber comprehensive insurance (3 billion [won]) and the operating rights of the company, the loss to members is expected to be lower than 17%… I will make every effort to minimize this.

DB Insurance’s denial of Yapian’s claim will certainly not help matters.

What do you think about DB Insurance’s denial of Yapian’s claim for $2.8 million in damages? Do you think that cyber attacks against cryptocurrency exchanges will continue to increase? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Pixabay

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Bře 18

Gift Cards and Paxful Offer Economic Options to the Global Unbanked

· March 18, 2018 · 1:00 pm

The global unbanked have been frozen out of most economic ecosystems, but Paxful is changing this through the selling of gift cards on their cryptocurrency exchange.


The rich and elite have a lot of options when it comes to economic decisions. They can invest in gold, stocks, bonds, precious gems, artwork, real estate, automobiles, and cryptocurrency. The only snag they face is the wait to convert the value of one asset into another, but such a problem is a minor one indeed. By contrast, the unbanked are essentially locked out of most economic ecosystems due to having to physically hand over fiat for goods and services. Even getting involved in cryptocurrency is an issue for the unbanked, but Paxful is offering an unexpected gateway: gift cards.

Even Cryptocurrency Has Obstacles for the Unbanked

The number of individuals with a bank account has increased over the last few years, but the problems facing the unbanked and underbanked still exist. In the United States alone, there are 10 million households that are either underbanked or unbanked. Worldwide, the total number of the unbanked is two billion souls. As such, they do not have access to a financial institution in any manner.

As one can imagine, this puts severe limitations on an individual’s economic freedom. All transactions have to be made face-to-face and in cash. This situation puts the unbanked at the mercy of those who would economically exploit them as they have no other options. What good is it to know that an item costs 60% less online if you’re unable to purchase anything online?

Cryptocurrency is viewed as an outlet of economic freedom for people, but even this has some obstacles for the unbanked to face. Almost every cryptocurrency exchange requires the use of a financial account (checking account, debit card, credit card, etc.) as well as identifying documents in order to use it. The unbanked do not have access to these items, which means they would normally be locked out of engaging in the cryptocurrency sphere. Fortunately, Paxful is working hard to make a difference by offering the unbanked hundreds of options to engage in the virtual currency sphere without the need of a bank account.

iTunes gift cards

Gift Cards Offer Economic Access

The humble gift card that a person can buy at any small shop or gas station offers access to the global economy via cryptocurrency. Paxful hosts the fourth busiest Bitcoin wallet by volume, but their status is often ignored due to the low amount of their transactions. People aren’t normally sending hundreds or thousands of dollars per transaction on Paxful, but the p2p network embraces this reality as their goal is to offer an economic lifeline to the developing world.

The number one gift card used by the unbanked on Paxful is iTunes. Last week, a total of $6,635,517 was converted into cryptocurrency via iTunes gift cards, with an average transaction amount of $97. The second most traded card on the Paxful platform is the Amazon gift card. This card featured an average amount of $84 per transaction, and the total volume for the last week was almost $2.5 million. Rounding out the top five payment methods on Paxful are the eBay gift card, the Walmart gift card, and the Best Buy gift card.

Why does Paxful allow so many different gift cards to be used on their cryptocurrency exchange? The answer is that it fulfills their goal of offering economic choices and freedom to people throughout the world, especially in regions that often lack stable financial structures. An unbanked person can easily venture into the crypto sphere and take full advantage of the global economic system just by wandering into a corner store, buying a popular gift card, and then exchanging it on the Paxful platform.

gift cards

Keeping Opportunity Alive

Gift cards are the doorways to a new economic reality for millions and millions of people across the globe. This is why Paxful works hard to keep them available for conversion on the platform, despite any difficulties they may bring. A particular case is the iTunes gift card. This card chews up a lot of the support staff’s time due to some issues, but Paxful refuses to drop it. As Ray Youssef, the co-founder of Paxful, notes:

We are the only p2p crypto service that deals with iTunes gift cards, why? All the others stopped supporting them because of the absolutely massive headache and near impossibility of proving proper account balances on iTunes gift cards. We have chosen to keep iTunes gift card support because it is still how the unbanked of Africa get their bitcoins. We refuse to abandon these unbanked users as the whole idea of bitcoin and Paxful is to help them.

In the end, it’s often the little things in life that make a big difference. Such is the case with the humble gift card. Paxful allows the selling of such cards on their platform as a means of allowing those with no access to the global financial network a way in. Allowing the unbanked to retain their dignity while allowing them to explore financial opportunities is a tremendous gift.

What do you think about Paxful enabling the unbanked to use gift cards to access the cryptocurrency market? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Flickr/@401(K) 2012, YouTube/@Paxful, Pixabay, and Flickr/@arvind grover.

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