Paxful, the peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace, is partnering with AirTM, the peer-to-peer exchange platform and e-wallet ( “daily digital purse”), to spearhead and promote Bitcoin mass adoption in Latin America.
With this strategic partnership, users will be able to buy and sell bitcoin from their Paxful accounts using AirTM as a payment method (similar to PayPal) with access to a variety of payment platforms including BitMart.
The goal is to introduce bitcoin to 300,000 new customers and open up a market of $6 million in monthly transaction volumes.
In an announcement today, June 6, 2019, Paxful CEO Ray Youssef said that Bitcoin adoption in Latin America and especially Venezuela has “skyrocketed” in the past few months as some citizens see the opportunity to move their money into a system without government interference and without the threat of massive inflation.
Latin America Is in Financial Turmoil
Of all Latin American countries, Venezuela is the country with the most serious economic and monetary problems and is an important target for Paxful and AirTM’s partnership.
Youssef told Bitcoin Magazine that Venezuela is also the Latin American country with the highest levels of new crypto adoption.
In May, Paxful experienced an increase in Latin American trading volume of around 20 percent.
“Venezuela’s inflation rate is projected to reach 10 million percent or more in 2019 and more Venezuelans are looking into crypto as an alternative currency … The growth is slow but steady,” added Youssef.
AirTM Already a Significant Presence in Latin America
AirTM is an e-wallet connected to over 300 bank and e-money systems via a peer-to-peer network and direct bank connections. Users hold their money as dollars or cryptocurrency and can send and receive funds domestically and internationally. ᐧ
AirTM CEO Ruben Galindo told Bitcoin Magazine that they have a shared vision with Paxful, including the belief in the power of peer-to-peer finance to foster financial inclusion for the large numbers of unbanked in countries like Venezuela and Mexico.
AirTM is already headquartered in Mexico; its website recommends “shielding” Mexican pesos in an AirTM account.
Commenting on the criticisms that bitcoin may not be user friendly enough to make mass adoption realistic, Galindo said:
“Bitcoin may have its challenges from a user experience perspective, though for those who are underserved or completely shut out from the traditional financial system, it is a much more feasible alternative than what is currently available to them.”
He added that earlier this year, as part of the Airdrop Venezuela campaign, the AirTM team went to the city of Cucuta in Colombia, on the Venezuelan border, to raise donations and assist Venezuelan refugees.
“Through our Airdrop Venezuela campaign, we aim to educate users even further on the benefits and nuances of using cryptocurrencies,” he said.
Bitcoin-Only for Paxful
Asked about the possible confusion for new users among the three Bitcoins, Youssef said, “For people who are new to cryptocurrency, it may be confusing. This is why at Paxful we keep things simple, focusing solely on Bitcoin. Both our wallet and marketplace use bitcoin as the universal clearing layer for all forms of payment.”
“There are many synergies between AirTM and Paxful, and we are excited to partner with them to offer more possibilities to our users and expand globally,” noted Galindo. “Both AirTM and Paxful believe in the future of peer-to-peer finance.”
“As we continue our work in emerging markets … we hope to see economic stability for the underrepresented takes flight in Latin America, and want to be the ones paving the way for those freedoms,” added Youssef.