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Paxful is a leading Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchange that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrency quickly and securely. But is Paxful still the best Peer-to-Peer exchange? Throughout our Paxful review, we explore the platform's features, covering its fees, security, and usability.
UPDATE: Paxful has currently suspended its P2P marketplace. Opening a new account has been disabled. Here's a list of alternative P2P exchanges to consider.
Paxful is a cost-effective Peer-to-Peer cryptocurrency exchange that is secure and easy to use. However, while the platform supports trading Bitcoins, USDC, and USDT, other assets like Ethereum are unavailable. As such, while Paxful is a great platform for buying crypto with cash using hundreds of payment methods, those looking to purchase alternative coins will need to find another platform such as Binance P2P or even ByBit.
- Decentralized peer-to-peer crypto platform that is available in most countries
- Suitable for many investors with hundreds of payment methods
- Free escrow services and no buyers fee
- Well-designed mobile app to manage P2P trades 24/7
- Fees for Sellers Range from 1% to 5% which is expensive
- Verification is required for larger crypto purchases
- High wallet transfer fees
- Not as user-friendly as centralized crypto platforms
Paxful At A Glance
Since its 2015 launch, Paxful has grown significantly. Now serving around 10 million users, Paxful has become a favorite of privacy-conscious crypto enthusiasts thanks to its vast range of payment methods and secure escrow service. Paxful is a premium P2P crypto exchange on the market. Users of the platform can buy and sell assets directly with one another rather than trading with the exchange itself, allowing customers to transact both locally and online, significantly improving the accessibility of the cryptocurrency market.
|Fiat Currency||USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, CAD, and Most Other Major Currencies|
|Cryptocurrency||BTC, USDC, USDT|
|Payment Type||Bank Transfer, Online wallet, Debit/Credit Cards, Gift Cards, Digital Currencies, Cash Payments, Goods and Services|
|Seller Fees||Most Payment Methods are 1% and Gift Cards 5%|
Review of the Top Features of the Paxful Platform
Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency Exchange
Paxful operates differently from traditional centralized exchanges (CEXs). Instead, the platform utilizes the Peer-to-Peer model, allowing users to trade with one another rather than transacting with Paxful.
To make P2P trading safe, Paxful offers Escrow services to its users. Buyers and sellers send their funds to Paxful, and then after the transactions are confirmed, the funds are released. By offering an escrow service, Paxful keeps its users safe and makes it far more challenging to orchestrate a scam on the platform.
On top of helping users trade Bitcoin, the platform also offers cryptocurrency swaps. Paxful users can near-effortlessly swap Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT, and USDC for one another at constantly updated prices. Earlier in this Paxful review, we explained that the platform has recently removed Ethereum from its list of supported assets. As such, we could see ETH removed from the conversions platform in the near future.
Being one of the best fiat-to-crypto exchanges on the market right now, Paxful provides its users with a free wallet to store assets securely before moving them to an external wallet. Trusted by more than 3 million people around the globe, the Paxful wallet has a track record of providing excellent security to its customers. Like most popular online wallets, Paxful enables people to view transaction history and addresses linked to the wallet.
Despite being designed primarily as a Bitcoin wallet app, Paxful supports a few different assets. Bitcoin, USDT, and USDC are all storable on the wallet. However, while Ethereum is currently supported, the cryptocurrency will soon be delisted from the Paxful, meaning those looking for reputable Ethereum wallets will need to look elsewhere.
Another positive area for Paxful wallets is their native support for the Lightning network. Designed as a layer-2 scaling solution for Bitcoin, the Lightning network makes it possible to transact on the Bitcoin network near-instantly and for a fraction of the cost traditionally incurred by the network.
While creating our Paxful review, we stumbled across a service offered by the platform, dubbed Paxful Pay. Like Coinbase Commerce, this system allows businesses to integrate crypto as a payment method easily. Letting customers buy goods and services using crypto can help to boost sales by increasing accessibility while bolstering profit margins thanks to the comparatively lower fees versus a payment processor like Visa or Mastercard.
Paxful being trusted as a payment solution by many businesses goes a long way in cementing the platform's legitimacy. Furthermore, Paxful Pay provides another stable revenue source for the exchange, helping to ensure that it stays solvent during market downturns.
Paxful Peer Program
People using the Paxful crypto exchange are not required to buy or sell Bitcoin to earn money. Instead, customers can earn rewards paid in BTC simply for referring their friends or audience to the platform.
There are three levels to the Paxful Peer Program:
- Peer (Bring seven new users): Earn $5 in BTC for each referral. Gain access to giveaways, priority customer support, and Paxful merchandise.
- Ambassador (Bring 20 new users): Get access to new features/products early and a dedicated account manager on top of the previous tier's benefits.
- Associate (Bring 100 new users): All previous benefits and an extra $150 in BTC monthly.
The only requirement for joining the Paxful Peer Program is to complete identity verification for a Paxful account. While most users will start as a Peer, users with a large following on social media can be made an Ambassador or Associate directly after joining the program.
Paxful Compared and Alternatives
|Exchange||Crypto Assets||Trading Fees||Rating||Promotion||Website||Review|
|350||0.1% (spot) and 0.02% / 0.04% (Futures)|
|Up to $100 welcome bonus||Visit Binance||Binance Review|
|Up to 500 USDT in bonuses||Visit KuCoin||KuCoin Review|
|Bitcoin only||N/A (1% if an advertisement is created)|
|None available at this time||Visit LocalBitcoins||LocalBitcoins Review|
Paxful Trading Experience and Usability
The trading experience on Paxful is second to none. Users can select an offer from hundreds of payment methods and are free to browse a long list of offers from sellers. Since Paxful is a P2P exchange, purchasing crypto is a bit more lengthy than with typical exchanges. However, this increased purchase time is because both parties must put their funds in escrow before the trade's completion.
Despite Paxful supporting the purchase of crypto with a substantial number of different payment methods, the exchange only allows users to buy Bitcoin, USDT, and USDC.
Buying and selling Bitcoin on Paxful is simple. The process is as follows:
- Head to the Paxful website and create an account
- Complete verification (if required by vendor)
- Select the desired cryptocurrency
- Search through offers, filtering by desired quantity and payment method.
- Initiate a trade with the user.
- Using the provided escrow service, complete the trade.
Paxful Payment Methods
The primary goal of Paxful is to make cryptocurrency accessible to everyone. To achieve its goal, Paxful has integrated more than 300 payment methods. Everything from PayPal to cash in person and gift cards at most major establishments can be used to buy Bitcoin on Paxful, meaning that users will always have a payment method that suits their needs.
While the full range of other payment methods is too long to list, we've included ten of the most common payment methods to buy Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
- Bank Transfer
- Cash in Person
- Western Union
- Amazon Gift Card
- Cash App
- iTunes Gift Card
- eBay Gift Card
- Other Digital Currencies
This list covers just a fraction of the available payment methods. Paxful also supports more obscure purchasing methods, like gold, cards, and Amazon wishlist items.
Paxful Supported Coins
While the Paxful crypto marketplace allows users to buy cryptocurrencies using a wide variety of payment methods, the cryptocurrency exchange only supports the trade of a few. The reason for Paxful supporting the purchase of only Bitcoin (BTC), Tether (USDT), and USD Coin (USDC) is to keep users of Paxful safe. Paxful founder Ray Youssef recently revealed in a Tweet that the exchange would delist Ethereum following the FTX debacle.
While the move to remove Ethereum from Paxful received some pushback from the platform's users, most crypto enthusiasts agreed that prioritizing the safety of users was the correct move. Although Paxful only supports a limited number of cryptocurrencies, the exchange could add more if they meet a few requirements; being decentralized, having real utility, and using the proof-of-work consensus mechanism. For a good alternative to Paxful which offers a wide selection of altcoins, KuCoin P2P is a great choice (read our full KuCoin review).
Security is one of the most important aspects of any crypto exchange. Paxful understands this well and strives to keep users' assets in a Paxful wallet safe by using various techniques. Like most trustworthy fiat-to-crypto exchanges, Paxful promotes using two-factor authentication (2FA). The exchange offers 2FA through both email and authenticator apps (Authy, Google Authenticator, etc). Authenticator apps are generally viewed as providing greater security, meaning they could be the better choice for security-conscious investors.
Because Paxful facilitates crypto trading between users rather than selling assets itself, escrow services are integrated directly with the platform. By taking this approach, Paxful adheres to cryptocurrency's decentralized ethos while still ensuring its users' safety.
Furthermore, Paxful takes a stern approach when it comes to listing assets. The platform's founder has stated that he will put customer safety above profits. For Paxful, this means only facilitating the trade of assets with excellent fundamentals and a proven history. Another exchange that follows this practice is Coinbase, a platform we've covered at length in our Coinbase review.
Creating and Verifying a Paxful Account
Paxful makes buying and selling cryptocurrency easy. The initial registration process requires that users provide an email address and password. The account will be created after entering a code found in the confirmation email.
Although verification is technically optional, a Paxful vendor can limit their offers to those with verified accounts. Furthermore, unverified users can only transact up to $831.30 before verification becomes mandatory.
Paxful offers a total of four verification levels.
- Level 0 - Requires an email to be confirmed and lets the user trade up to $831.30 of crypto.
- Level 1 - Requires phone number confirmation and increases the purchasing limit to $1000.
- Level 2 - Involves verification of ID (driving license, passport) and increases limits to $10,000.
- Level 3 - Needs address verification and makes it possible to do unlimited trades and withdrawals.
In an effort to provide easy assess to cryptocurrency for everyone, Paxful strives to offer its services across the globe. With that said, there are still a few countries from which residents will be unable to assess Paxful. The following countries are prohibited from using Paxful and cannot buy crypto on the platform due to OFAC sanctions.
- Central African Republic Sanctions
- Crimea region
- North Korea
- South Sudan-related Sanctions
- Sudan and Darfur
While only 15 nations are outright banned from Paxful, the majority of countries still require that users complete the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process before buying or selling any cryptos.
Trading on Paxful will incur a few different fees. While Paxful takes no cut from users buying crypto, vendors can set the price themselves. As a result, prices can either exceed or be below the standard market rate.
Although there is no additional cost for crypto purchases, users wanting to sell crypto will be hit by a slight fee. Sellers pay a flat 1% fee on all payment methods other than gift cards which incur a 5% fee. While writing our Paxful reviews, we noticed that there are also fees associated with the platform's in-built wallet.
|Crypto||Fee to Send||Fee to Receive|
|Bitcoin||$0 to $9.99 = 0.00008 BTC, $10 to $19.99 = 0.00016 BTC, >$20 = 0.0004 BTC||None|
|Ethereum||$0 to $9.99 = 0.0005 ETH, $10 to $19.99 = 0.001 ETH, >$20 = 0.002 ETH||None|
|USDT||$0 to $9.99 = 1 USDT, $10 to $19.99 = 2 USDT, >$20 = 5 USDT||None|
|USDC||$0 to $9.99 = 1 USDC, $10 to $19.99 = 2 USDC, >$20 = 5 USDC||None|
Paxful offers customer support through a dedicated forum that strives to answer commonly asked questions and a ticket system that allows users to get assistance for more complex issues.
Based on what customers have said in various forums, the Paxful customer support team either responds quickly or takes an unusual amount of time to get back to users. This disparity between reports could result from increased queries during busy periods, but it remains something to consider before using the exchange.
The Paxful mobile app is sleek and easy to navigate. It's easy to log into an account, and the app automatically can set up notifications to send key information directly to the user. In addition, the Paxful app can easily be switched between light and dark, improving contrast and usability.
The offer section features a filter menu allowing users to search by asset, payment method, and target country. Furthermore, an infinite scroll has been added to this section to make it easy to search through offers to find the perfect vendor.
The in-built wallet is well-designed. Key information is readily available, with sending, receiving, and converting crypto made as easy as can be. After testing the app for our Paxful review, we've determined that the Paxful mobile app is one of the best apps currently available and worth checking out for fans of P2P exchanges.
Frequently Asked Questions
Paxful is regarded as being one of the safest crypto exchanges available. The company provides a secure escrow service so users can buy and sell cryptocurrency without worry. Paxful has been operating since 2015 and has not been compromised or hacked once since it was founded.
Paxful operates in the majority of counties around the world, including the US, the UK, and Australia. With that said, although Paxful allows customers from most counties to use its services, the majority require identity verification. However, we've covered some of the best no-KYC exchanges for those looking to transact anonymously.
Being a Peer-to-peer exchange, Paxful supports a large number of payment methods. A few of the most commonly used include Western Union, cash in person, and bank transfer. However, lesser-used payment methods like Venmo, Google Play gift cards, and checks are also accepted.
Whether or not Paxful requires an ID will depend on the vendor's preferences and the desired quantity of crypto. While some vendors will trade with people not verified, others, particularly those dealing with larger figures, will exclusively trade crypto with verified individuals.
Final Verdict and Rating
Throughout our Paxful review, we've determined that the exchange facilitates the secure and cost-effective trade of Bitcoin, USDT, and USDC. While the platform has recently delisted Ethereum, it remains an excellent choice for those looking to purchase Bitcoin or stablecoins in a Peer-to-Peer manner. Thanks to its reasonable fees, fast support, and well-designed mobile app, Paxful is one of the top Peer-to-Peer cryptocurrency exchanges on the market right now.
|Review Criteria||HedgewithCrypto Rating|
|Features||4.3 / 5|
|Supported Fiat and Deposit Methods||3.4 / 5|
|Supported Crypto & Trading Pairs||2.5 / 5|
|Fees||3.4 / 5|
|Ease of Use||4.8 / 5|
|Customer support||4 / 5|
|Security Measures||4.2 / 5|
|Mobile App||4.6 / 5|