Paxful offers regular individuals with varying levels of cryptocurrency trading experience the ability to buy and sell bitcoins easily. Thanks to its peer-to-peer structure and its secure platform, users can quickly purchase bitcoins with a variety of payment methods or sell their coins through a safe and easy-to-use dashboard. With a strong team of developers behind the service along with an intuitive platform, Paxful represents an excellent gateway to quickly enter the bitcoin market.
|- No fees for buying bitcoin|
- Choose from hundreds of payment methods
- No verification required to sign up
- Free wallet on registration
|- Sellers have 1% fee for sale, plus bitcoin network |
fees for sending
- Bitcoin prices are higher than market value
Paxful’s Key features
- Hundreds of payment methods available – Buyers can choose from a variety of payment methods that include prepaid cards, credit and debit cards, cash deposits, and bank transfers
- A focus on user security – Paxful prioritizes users’ security in a variety of ways. Accounts require 2-factor authentication for access to wallets and profiles, and wallets include the highest security possible. Moreover, funds are held in escrow during trades to reduce the chance of fraud, and every user has a reputation score to ensure transparency.
- Low transaction fees – buyers have no transaction fees on their purchases, and sellers have low fees to cover operations and connection to the bitcoin network
- Buy bitcoin with no ID – While some payment methods might require ID, users can easily purchase bitcoin with a gift card or prepaid card without needing to present identification of any sort.
- Increased trust with reputation ratings – Paxful rewards good behavior from its users with reputation ratings that indicate how trustworthy and transparent both buyers and sellers are. This helps users identify and avoid potential scammers.
How Paxful Works For Buyers
Paxful offers services for both buying and selling bitcoins directly between users. Unlike many brokers and exchanges which set up intermediary services, Paxful only moderates transactions, collecting a small listing fee from sellers and supplying infrastructure support.
For buyers, the process begins by creating a free account. This does not require any personal information aside from a user name and an email. When registering, each new user also receives a free wallet. Users can start a purchase on the home page by selecting from one of the available purchasing methods before selecting the amount of bitcoin to purchase as well as the fiat currency to be spent.
This takes users to Paxful’s listing page, which shows the available offers for the amount chosen as well as the preferred payment method. Based on on the offer chosen, buyers may need to show some form of verification, which generally does not extend beyond a simple picture of a photo ID. This may also change depending on the payment method selected, which might impact the fees attached to a transaction.
Once the best offer is selected, buyers can interact directly with the bitcoin holders in a private chat. When conditions and amounts are agreed upon, sellers’ coins will be put in escrow for a limited time, and buyers will have to complete the payment for their coins, as well as upload confirmation that they have paid the requested amount. When payment is confirmed by the seller, the coins are released to a user’s wallet.
Selling Bitcoin On Paxful
Prospective bitcoin sellers have two alternatives when they want to trade their bitcoins for fiat currency. The first is similar to the buying process. Users list how much they are willing to sell in fiat as well as their preferred payment method before reviewing offers made by potential buyers. This process is somewhat faster than creating an offer and letting buyers choose it, but it does sacrifice some security since buyers are not always verified before creating a purchase offer.
The other method for selling bitcoins on Paxful is to create an offer. This method takes three steps and lets sellers ensure they are dealing with verified users. More importantly, it helps sellers gain reputation points, leading to more purchase offers, better deals, and a higher likelihood of successful sales. The first step is to choose the payment method accepted for bitcoins. The company lists over 300 unique payment options though these can be broken down into four major categories:
- Gift/prepaid cards like iTunes store cards, Amazon gift cards, PlayStation Store cards, and more
- Cash deposits which can be made at a variety of banks and other services like Western Union or MoneyGram
- Online transfers through services like Payoneer, PayPal, Walmart2Walmart, OkPay, and more
- Debit and credit cards
The second step for sellers is to select the profit margin they want to generate per transaction, the minimum and maximum amount of bitcoin they wish to trade, and the time buyers have available to complete payment before a transaction is canceled.
Finally, users can select their specific terms for a trade. This includes any requirements for identification, verification, and any payment restrictions. Once an offer is listed, users should be alert, as the timing on any trade is limited and can be cancelled if either party is non-responsive for an extended period.
While Paxful is not directly involved in any of the exchanges listed on its website—aside from offering the listing infrastructure and platform—the company still prioritizes user security as much as it can. This ranges from simple security features such as 2-factor authentication and complex passwords on all user wallets to broader measures.
One of the biggest features Paxful advertises is its escrow system, which, while not entirely unique to its service, is a welcome addition for a peer-to-peer platform. When two users open a trade, the seller places the required amount of bitcoin into an escrow account for a limited period. The funds remain in the account for the allotted time and can only be removed once the seller verifies that the payment has been successfully completed.
Additionally, all traders receive a reputation score that is based on their trading history, activity, and feedback from other Paxful users. This helps both buyers and sellers complete trades with more confidence as users who break the terms of a trade can be reported and see their reputations sink accordingly.
Even so, while the company includes these security measures, there is still a chance that some sellers and buyers may attempt to act dishonestly. In these cases, the company offers a customer support service that lets users report any fraud or potential scams. Moreover, the company has a strong track record of assisting users who have become the victims of fraud on its platform.
Trading Fees on Paxful
One of Paxful’s biggest claims is that they charge no transaction fees for bitcoin trades on their platform. This is true for buyers, who do not have to pay any transaction fees when making a purchase or finalizing an offer. The story is slightly different for sellers, who are charged a 1% fee when they make a sale. The fee does not change regardless of the transaction size, however.
Additionally, the Paxful wallet does include a miner’s fee for senders of 0.0008 BTC, though that amount is transferred directly to the bitcoin network and not to Paxful. This is a standard fee that is included in wallets that send and receive bitcoin as a way to cover the network’s operation. The company does note in their FAQ that fees may be subject to change in the future, though they don’t seem to have plans to make any amendments in the near future.
It is important for buyers to keep in mind that while there are no fees placed by Paxful on sales, the prices listed for bitcoin include sellers’ desired margins included, so they do not match bitcoin’s market value at the time of sale.
The Customer Experience
The user experience for Paxful was overall positive. The website’s interface is easy to use and very intuitive, with buttons clearly labeled and the process of purchasing and selling bitcoins explained well. Additionally, user profiles offer several ways to optimize security, change notification preferences, and view wallet and transaction history.
Based on online reviews from several trusted sources, customer experiences with Paxful are largely positive, though there are a few reviews that warn of potential scams by other users. Even in those cases, however, most reviewers note that the company was helpful in recovering their funds and resolving the situation. On the whole, Paxful was easy to use and a positive experience.
Available Customer Support
For users who have problems with their accounts, trades, or simply just questions about the platform, Paxful offers a few different channels for support. The largest one is the company’s support page, which includes an FAQ that covers the basic points including fees, how to purchase and sell coins, and other concerns. Additionally, users who have more pressing problems can contact the company via their support email or via telephone. The email account responds quickly to most inquiries, and most user reviews noted that when they contacted support, Paxful’s team was able to help them and resolve most of their issues.
Conclusion – A Fast Way to Buy Bitcoins
Overall, Paxful presents a viable and straightforward alternative for individuals who want to purchase and trade bitcoin but face geographical restriction or exhibit privacy concerns. The platform’s simple requirements for verification, along with the measures the company takes to ensure that trades are as transparent as possible make it a worthy choice for those looking to buy bitcoin quickly. Moreover, the sheer number of payment alternatives means that users do not have to be restricted by the confusing processes many exchanges and brokers implement for cryptocurrency purchasers.