Nowadays, buying cryptos is easier than ever thanks to the plethora of trading platforms and crypto brokerage services out there.
However, if these type of services don’t cut it for you (because of their high fees, lack of anonymity, or simply geo restrictions), then, if you’re looking to buy cryptos (especially Bitcoin) there are other options on the table such as global peer-to-peer marketplaces that facilitate direct seller-to-buyer crypto trades.
What is Paxful?
Often regarded as “the eBay of buying Bitcoin,” Paxful is a peer-to-peer marketplace that connects Bitcoin sellers from around the world in order to make it as easy as possible for anyone to buy Bitcoins. In short, Paxful acts a sort of mediator between interested parties and provides a space where users sellers and buyers can interact.
How does it work?
The process is nothing short of simple: you can choose the number of Bitcoins you want to buy, choose the currency exchange rate to be in, and select a payment method. Some of the most popular payment methods include bank transfers, credit or debit card, PayPal, MoneyGram, and Skrill. Additionally, the service also supports purchases made through gift cards such as Amazon and iTunes.
To be able to search through the complete list of sellers, you are first required to create an account. Subsequently, you can view all the open orders and all the available sellers. The most suitable vendor can be found by simply searching based on the accepted payment methods, the minimum and maximum order amount, as well as price.
Each seller has a reputation on the website from past trades, and each one usually specifies its Bitcoin exchange rate. The website also allows you to view if the seller is currently online.
Once you choose a seller and click “Buy,” you will be redirected to a specific page where you can also chat directly with the seller. Once the seller answers and you’ve struck an agreement regarding fees, price, and whatnot, you have to follow the instructions to pay.
Next, click “Mark as Paid,” and wait for the transfer of Bitcoin to your Paxful wallet. Most trades are instant but do keep in mind that this might not always be the case, if the seller is not online, or you choose a slow payment option. While gift cards and PayPal are instant, bank transfers and card deposits take more, but they should typically happen in under one hour.
Another noteworthy aspect is the fact that only a buyer can cancel a trader at any moment. If that happens, the Bitcoins will be immediately transferred back to the seller’s wallet. This only happens if you (the buyer) didn’t deliver the payment and didn’t mark the payment as complete within the payment window timeframe.
One of the main advantages of Paxful is the fact that the site doesn’t take any fees directly from you when you are purchasing Bitcoin. However, you will be charged a fee chosen by the seller. This fees usually vary greatly depending upon the payment method selected. For example, paying gift cards usually results in high fees.
On the other hand, sellers are charged a 1% fee, as well as a minuscule “mining fee.” This is paid by the seller for Bitcoin to be sent from one address to another.
For starters, the wallet Paxful provided to its users is maintained in accordance with the highest banking protocols. The wallet should, at least in theory, hold your funds safely for short periods of time.
In addition, the service also boasts two-factor authentication. This security protocol adds an extra layer of protection for your account and your wallet. The most important security measure is the escrow service. This ensures that the funds are held in a safe place until both parties confirm the transaction.
Paxful also has a comprehensive support system providing users with various options of contact. You can contact the team via direct message, email, phone, or social media.
It’s important to grasp the idea upon which Paxful is built. This means that users should not mistake the platform’s integrity for the seller’s integrity. The thing with Paxful is that it’s fairly similar to eBay and, even though it’s one of the best services of its kind out there, scams do happen.
Most of the platform’s attractiveness comes from the great amount of payment flexibility. However, when using Paxful, it’s very important to check the seller’s profile and verify that they are suitable for your needs.
Contact the seller and request an exchange through the platform, explain your requirements, and choose a payment method that offers you a good level of protection. If things go ever so slightly wrong, don’t be afraid to contact the customer support.