Peer-to-peer marketplace Paxful has announced plans to construct a blockchain technology incubation hub in Lagos, Nigeria. The project — set to be launched this coming fall — will provide a coworking space for company staffers and offer services like networking for ICO advisors, corporate and individual blockchain training, and mentorship for Nigerian blockchain developers.
In recent years, Bitcoin’s popularity in Africa has experienced massive swells. Many residents do not have applicable access to traditional finance options due in part to inflation, strict monetary regulation and government corruption, and Bitcoin has provided them with the freedom and support they need to survive and purchase daily necessities.
Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, CEO Ray Youssef commented, “Paxful is committed to fostering economic growth in Africa and helping the unbanked and underbanked gain access to the opportunities they have been denied for so long. The incubator is simply a starting point to help driven entrepreneurs in an industry that has shattered boundaries all over the world.”
The company has also brought Chuta Chimezie — based in Nigeria — on board to serve as the company’s regional director of Africa. His duties will include facilitating local and international brand awareness, conducting business operations, recruiting and overseeing the incubator’s day-to-day dealings, and developing the company’s educational content.
“It is a privilege to work with an organization that believes in investing in countries with great potential such as Nigeria,” he explained. “Paxful’s initiatives have not only helped those in great need here, but are also helping African entrepreneurs achieve their full potential. Paxful is using Bitcoin to do good in the world.”
Prior to his newfound role, Chimezie founded the Blockchain Nigeria User Group — an organization of both blockchain entrepreneurs and advocates committed to furthering blockchain use within the country’s borders. He has also developed reference texts for African regulators to help them better understand cryptocurrencies and how they work.
Currently, Paxful is planning to sponsor several blockchain events in Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Kenya. Previously, executives launched the #BuiltwithBitcoin charitable program to persuade cryptocurrency enthusiasts to fund ongoing humanitarian projects in Africa, and began the initiative with a $50,000 donation toward the construction of a new nursery school in Rwanda.
Paxful has over 1.7 million monthly users and operates on open-source Bitcoin and blockchain technology. The platform allows users to purchase, sell or accept bitcoin almost instantly, while its global wallet works to exchange or “translate” funds regardless of type. Entities like gift cards, for example, can be converted to other gift cards, cash or cryptocurrency.
In addition, Paxful offers over 300 different payment methods, the most popular being bank transfers, Amazon Pay and PayPal.
Nick is a writer, author and journalist that has been covering the cryptocurrency scene since 2014.