Paxful, Nigeria’s most popular peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange, has announced the closure of its operations. Ray Youssef, the company’s CEO, cited mass staff departures and increasing regulatory issues as reasons for the closure.
The CEO stressed that all customer funds have been accounted for, even as he urged them to withdraw their money, adding that “we are unsure it [the marketplace] will come back.”
Paxful co-founder Artur Schaback filed a lawsuit against Youssef and the company after being kicked out over a year ago, according to Youssef. According to Youssef, Schaback’s “nasty litigation team” forced the departure of senior company executives.
Youssef suggested some alternatives for customers (including the option to self-custody their funds or trade elsewhere) and also suggested that non-US customers use Noones, a new P2P company serving the global south crypto market, and Bitnob, which is primarily used by African crypto traders. He advised US users to wait for future Paxful updates.
Paxful now joins the list of US-based cryptocurrency companies that have had to shut down due to regulatory pressure. Bittrex, a Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange, announced its closure last Friday due to regulatory challenges. The Securities and Exchange Commission shut down another US-based platform, Beaxy, for running an unregistered exchange. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently sued Binance for violating compliance rules.