Bitcoin exchange Paxful marches on as Africa provides the impetus
Well, 2018 has come to a close and the bull run of 2017 seems really far, far away. The dizzying heights that Bitcoin reached in December of 2017 failed to push the cryptocurrency industry forward and 2018 was all about the bearish trend that ruled the market for the most part of the year. Bitcoin is going to end 2018 with an 80 percent price drop from its all-time high. But things are not as gloomy as they seem on the surface. There is every chance that 2019 will be much better in every aspect as compared to 2018 and this optimism might not be ill-placed.
Even the bears have not been able to tone down the curiosity and enigma surrounding cryptocurrency and mainly Bitcoin. The flagbearer of the crypto world has been able to catch the imagination of people all across the globe and Africa is no different.
One such case which might lift the gloom a bit, Paxful, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange has increased its transaction volume by 130 percent since the start of January 2018 with an average of $21 million a week, compared to $8.5 million in 2017, according to a report by CoinDesk.
This phenomenal growth has been achieved mainly because of the increase in user base in Ghana and Nigeria.
According to Paxful CEO Ray Youssef, African Bitcoin traders constituted a big chunk of the pie, with about 41 percent of the new users being from Africa, which speaks volumes in itself. African users now constitute for nearly 35 percent of accounts on Paxful.
This is not a case in isolation, with the rival exchange LocalBitcoins also registering significant growth in 2018, albeit without sudden peaks like the market boom brought in December 2017.
This surge in interest in Africa for Bitcoin is amply demonstrated by the revealing Google Trends tally of global internet searches for Bitcoin. Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa lead the list and were among the top 5 nations with most interest in the leading cryptocurrency in 2018.
Paxful is all set to expand its footprint in Eastern and Southern Africa, where it has a lesser audience. Speaking to CoinDesk, Youssef said that Paxful is looking to hire aggressively in 2019 and establish offices in East Africa, West Africa, and Southern Africa.
Well, so things are not that bad after all. It’s more like a consolidation phase for bigger things ahead and 2019 might turn out as the turning point for the crypto world which would propel them in the mainstream consciousness.
Image via Shutterstock
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