8 min read

Paxful is a bitcoin peer-to-peer marketplace that stands out for having a pleasant user experience and a vast array of payment methods.

Paxful is a truly global Bitcoin marketplace. It can be used in almost every country, and has sellers willing to accept more currencies and different methods of payment than any other exchange or marketplace.

As soon as you sign up you will be connected to the Bitcoin network, and will be part of the most exciting financial system.

This Paxful review presents the main features of this peer-to-peer platform, benefits, fees, limits, payment methods, security, legality and the presence of possible risks. Also, a list of alternative peer-to-peer trading platforms is presented.

Paxful is a marketplace where people can buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly with each other. You can get digital money instantly and pay with debit, credit, cash, and any currency.

Paxful is an online marketplace which allows buyers and seller to meet online and trade bitcoins. Unlike most bitcoin exchanges, that match buyers and sellers in an automated process, Paxful allows users to communicate directly. Its sellers offer a wide variety of payment options and the built in escrow makes the process secure. Similar to LocalBitcoins, LocalCoinSwap, and LocalCryptos, Paxful allows a wide range of payment methods and buying options which can’t be found on traditional exchanges.

Paxful brings users the ability to buy bitcoins using almost any conceivable payment method. The user experience is extremely intuitive.

While Paxful is a younger platform than LocalBitcoins which has been about since 2012, it is slowly but surely overtaking LocalBitcoins in terms of users and trade activity.

Although everything seems pretty neat there are still some things you’ll need to look out for, like how to avoid scams and get a decent exchange rate (see details on both below).

Company Overview

Founded in 2015 with offices in multiple cities around the world (HQ is in the US) and over 200 employees, Paxful aims to be the “eBay” of the Bitcoin community. Paxful enables individuals to become merchants and sell bitcoin online, similar to how eBay allows people to sell merchandise. Paxful also offers a great alternative for buyers, since sometimes traditional exchanges just don’t cut it. While most exchanges suffer from geographic restrictions or limited payment methods, Paxful is free of both, giving the power for trading Bitcoins back to the people and allowing for a more decentralized trading market. Notably, Paxful is very popular in Africa where traditional exchanges have been slow to emerge.

How to Buy Bitcoins on Paxful

The first thing you have to is find an offer that suits you. To do that, filter for the currency in which you want to pay for the bitcoins as well as the payment method you want to use. Once you have found an offer:

  1. Choose the amount you want to buy
  2. Read the seller's instructions (e.g sometimes sellers require you upload an ID in the chat)
  3. Follow payment instructions and mark as "paid"
  4. Wait for the seller to release the bitcoin

It’s worth mentioning that some trades can be concluded instantly while others might take longer, depending on the payment method and whether the seller is online or not. Paypal and gift cards, for example, are almost instant. Bank deposits, Western Union and Moneygram can take some time, as you must leave your home to their branch to deposit cash.

Is it safe to buy bitcoin on Paxful?

To make bitcoin trades secure, Paxful provides an escrow service. Once a buyer finds a seller and the offer is accepted by the seller, the Bitcoin are automatically moved from the vendor’s wallet to an escrow account.

At this point, the seller can’t cancel the trade and it is secure to pay for the Bitcoins. However, as the buyer you have a limited time frame to deliver the money to the seller and mark the payment as ‘complete'. If you fail to do that in the given time frame, the deal will be auto-cancelled and the Bitcoin will be returned to the seller’s wallet.

When both the buyer and the seller have verified that the transaction has been confirmed and all the terms have been met, the money will be released to the buyer’s wallet and the deal will be concluded. If at any point there will be a disagreement between the two parties, the process will move along to dispute. Paxful moderators will then investigate all the info, consider all the available details and finally make a decision to whom the bitcoins will be awarded. Having said that, in most cases transactions go through smoothly thanks to Paxful’s intense moderation that clamps down on potential scammers.

What Are The Risks of Buying Bitcoin on Paxful?

Any peer-to-peer marketplace creates obvious security issues, and there are stories of people being scammed on Paxful.

That said, Paxful is constantly upping its security system and there are fewer scams today than what there were in the early days.For its part, Paxful verifies and checks all sellers wanting to use its platform, and buyers are fully protected by the platform’s escrow service.

After you make a payment, Paxful holds your funds and the Bitcoin in escrow and verifies it. And it’s not until both parties are in agreement that both sides of the deal are released.

The marketplace has a voting reputation system, where buyers and sellers build or lose a reputation for their actions.Upvoting and downvoting people is important not just for you and your peer, but for the whole marketplace.

Whoever you trade with, it’s a good idea to leave feedback, to help weed out the scammers.

People build reputations with up and downvotes, so it’s highly recommended that you trade with peers with a good reputation.If things do go wrong, Paxful has a reporting and investigation disputing system. If a dispute does arise, Paxful investigates and sorts out the problem in a fairest way for both parties.Security-wise the Paxful marketplace is solid. The platform has never suffered any major security breaches, user information leaks, or any other attacks, and Paxful’s Bitcoin wallet is regarded to be as safe as an online wallet can be.

That said, it’s never advisable to leave your Bitcoin in an exchange or marketplace wallet, and is highly recommended to keep in a secure hardware wallet.

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Payment Methods and Currencies

Paxful deals with the buying and selling of Bitcoin only. Since the money is sent directly to the sellers, the site itself doesn’t hold fiat currencies for users. Sellers on Paxful accept over 350 payment methods, with the most the most popular ones being credit cards, PayPal, Amazon gift cards, wire transfers and Western Union. Keep in mind that different payment methods will result in different exchange rates.

Refundable payment methods like PayPal or credit cards, where the buyer can request a chargeback after the trade are more risky for sellers. That's why non refundable payment methods (bank transfers, cash) will usually have lower exchange rates while payment methods that allow for chargebacks will cost more.

Paxful: Over 350 ways to buy and sell Bitcoin

  • Bank Transfers - Buy Bitcoin by transferring money from your bank account to a Bitcoin vendor on Paxful.
  • Online Wallets - Don’t want to leave the house? You can use a number of popular payment apps.
  • Gift Cards - Have a gift card you don't need? Trade it here for Bitcoin instantly.
  • Cash Payment - Buy Bitcoin and pay cash. It's that simple. No bank account needed.
  • Debit/Credit Cards - Use your debit or credit card to purchase Bitcoin on Paxful.
  • Digital Currencies - Trade your digital currencies or tokens for Bitcoin added instantly to your digital wallet.
  • Goods & Services - Trade virtually anything you own, from cars and gold to groceries and appliances, for Bitcoin.

Paxful Fees

If you’re buying Bitcoins on Paxful, you won’t have to pay any fee to the site itself. Different sellers, however, may charge fees or a premium, depending on your payment method as stated before. Sellers on Paxful pay a 1% fee to the company. Additionally, there are normal Bitcoin network fees which are paid by the sender, in order to transfer money through the network. These fees do not go to Paxful but to Bitcoin miners.

If you withdraw the bitcoins that you bought from your Paxful wallet to an external bitcoin wallet (for example, ZenGo, Crypterium, Mercuryo and others),  you'll also have to pay a network fee to bitcoin miners. These fees are denominated in bitcoin. For amounts above $20 the fee is fixed at 0.0005 BTC.

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Buying Limits

  • Level 1 – Email and phone verification. Limit is $1,500.
  • Level 2 – Level 1 requirements + ID verification. Limit is $10,000.
  • Level 3 – Level 2 requirements + address verification. Limit is $10,000.
  • Level 4 – Level 3 requirements + enhanced due diligence. No limit for this level. Since April 6 2020, ID verification is mandatory for all US citizens. For non-US citizens the following limits apply.

How to use Paxful safely

Like on every marketplace it's important to proceed with caution when buying from strangers. Paxful itself is a very trustworthy Platform itself but there's no guarantee all sellers on its platforms are. Here are a few tips:

  • It’s better to use Paxful’s recommended sellers as they have better reputation and therefore are usually not scammers.
  • Never conduct communications outside of Paxful and make sure everything is documented within the system, so moderators will be able to help you in case of a dispute.
  • Make sure that the user you are trading with is online, as un-answered orders auto cancel in a short period of time and if the seller isn’t online that may be annoying.
  • Make sure to only pay when you have confirmation that the seller's Bitcoin is in the escrow

Is Paxful legit?

Paxful brings users the ability to buy Bitcoins with almost any conceivable payment method. The user experience is extremely intuitive and while everything seems pretty neat there are still some things you’ll need to look out for. First, make sure you’re getting a decent exchange rate. Depending on your payment method, the exchange rate can sometimes reach 2x of the “official” price of Bitcoin that can be found on traditional exchanges. Second, make sure your seller has enough reputation and has conducted enough trades in his past to avoid getting scammed. As long as you are aware of these two points, the platform offers a solid solution for purchasing (and selling) Bitcoins.

If you want to know more about Paxful make sure to check out our podcast episode with Paxful's CEO Ray Youssef.

Why Buy Bitcoin on Paxful

Paxful is a trusted marketplace that makes it easy to interact with Bitcoin buyers or sellers in a secure environment from all corners of the world.

It’s very easy to use, and has a web interface and an app, which can be found on both the App Store and Google Play Store.You can purchase Bitcoin anonymously if you wish, but with a few minutes of more verification you will be exposed to a global marketplace offering over 350 different ways of buying Bitcoin.

Paxful is a truly global Bitcoin marketplace. It can be used in almost every country, and has sellers willing to accept more currencies and different methods of payment than any other exchange or marketplace.

As soon as you sign up you will be connected to the Bitcoin network, and will be part of the most exciting financial system. 

Paxful: Buy and sell digital currencies using over 350 different payment methods. Get your Paxful account to start accepting payments and sending money with 6 million people just like you.

Alternatives to the Paxful peer-to-peer platform

You can also use peer-to-peer platforms similar to Paxful. Most of them operate on a global level and offer a wider range of exchangeable cryptocurrencies.

Learn more, read our reviews, and visit the official websites of these platforms:

TOP 20 peer-to-peer platforms


Buy and sell bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies instantly, locally, without a third party, using different payment methods on the best peer-to-peer platforms: Paxful, Localbitcoins, LocalCoinSwap, LocalCryptos, Binance P2P, Vertex Market, Hodl Hodl, Agora Desk, Remitano, Coindirect, WazirX, Shiftal, CryptoLocator, Bitpapa, Chatex, CoinCola, TotalCoin, BitZlato in the:

UAE, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Bolivia, Brasil, Belarus, Canada, DR Congo, Switzerland, Côte d'Ivoire, Cambodia, Cameroon, 中国, Colombia, Algeria, European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden), the United Kingdom, United States, កម្ពុជា, Ghana,  日本, Hong Kong, ประเทศไทย, Indonesia, Israel, India, Kenya,ាSouth Korea, Myanmar, Mexico, Malaysia, Namibia, Nigeria, Norway, Nepal, New Zealand, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Singapore, ประเทศไทย, Turkey, Taiwan, Tanzania, Ukraine, Uganda, Venezuela, Việt Nam, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


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