Paxful.com Review 2019 – Scam or Not?

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Paxful.com – A P2P network for the “normal people”

Paxful, the “Uber of Bitcoin”, was founded in the summer of 2015 by Ray Youssef and Artur Schaback. The company is based in 3422 Old Capitol Trail, Wilmington, Delaware. It became widely known in that same year after they helped sex workers to accept Bitcoin as payment system after Visa and Mastercard stopped lending their services to Backpage.

The site is a P2P Bitcoin buy/sell site, similar to LocalBitcoins, where anyone in the world can trade fiat for Bitcoin or viceversa. The only exception and jurisdiction where they cannot operate is the state of New York as they do not have the required BitLicense.

Even though the site is not focused on a specific region, some countries like the USA, China, Nigeria, India and Russia are highlighted in their homepage, in “How to buy Bitcoin in …” sections.

Setting up an account on the site is easy and can be done in two ways: automatically, after providing an e-mail not yet registered in their database during the checkout in a buying process or, by filling directly the registration form available on their website. Besides clicking the confirmation link sent to the registered email, users are also asked to set two security questions.

Users can alternatively verify their mobile phone number and activate SMS notifications. While they can opt for being notified of a broad range of activity related to their account via email, only alerts about critical movements are sent via SMS.

Notifications sent via email are not encrypted and they even send passwords as plain text. An automatically assigned password is given to users that register as they buy Bitcoin (providing just their email address) and they are not forced to change it after they first log in.

How selling works on Paxful?

The minimum amount that the site allows any vendor to offer is 0.001 BTC, no matter their verification level. The site charges a 1% fee on any sell, taken automatically from the user wallet and sent into escrow along with the amount to be bought by a client during a trade.

The site has an internal reputation system that allows users to rate their experience with each other during a trade. Once a particular vendor has reached 50 trades with more than 20 different partners, he can apply to become a verified vendor if he has high responsiveness and his success score is over 33%. The feature is only available to Americans, Canadians, Australians and Europeans. The verification process takes up-to seven days and the requirements have had slight changes since the platform launch. To read more about the process, check the corresponding entry on the Paxful knowledge base, here.

How buying works on Paxful?

Technically, a user can buy with any currency and pay with a wide variety of methods ranging from bank transfers and credit / debit cards to a broad number of gift cards and cash deposits. Perhaps, in practice, since the site works in a P2P fashion, there are not offers for all the possible combinations. As an example, a quick search for offers in Fijian Dollar or Korean Won yielded no results.


There are no offers for KRW, I did not see that coming!

While the site is open to buy with any currency, only Bitcoin may be sold. There are no fees for the buyer, but it should be taken into account that for uncommon payment methods the conversion rate is usually far lower than the market price, which in other words means that the buyer pays a commission to the seller.


As we were not able to buy with FJD, we received this generous offer: receiving barely 61% of what we would pay in USD.

Customer experience on Paxful

The interface of the website is clean; it adapts smoothly to any screen size and offers an intuitive distribution of the options and a minimalistic menu.


Paxful interface, focus put on the Help menu.

The Help section is clearly visible, within which a relatively comprehensive FAQ is included. Additional aids for the user include a support forum and a 24/7 live chat.

Threads on the forum receive replies often and the forum itself seems quite active, perhaps some of the answers are not as relevant as one would want.

Regarding the chat, while a small caption indicates that replies take 10 minutes on average, we tried contacting customer support and had to wait exactly 47 minutes to be assisted by a representative. Once in the chat room, each answer took between 4 and 7 minutes, not exactly what one would expect in a “live” chat.

Paxful scams?

One particular thing about the Paxful forum is that it is full of scam accusations against other users. Not so long ago, someone posted a thread warning about the modus operandi of those scammers, on Bitcointalk.

On Bitcointalk there are also some accusations against the site itself that claim funds to have disappeared from wallets with no reason given by customer support; here is one started by Legendary user kashish948, and a second one by the also Legendary irfan_pak10, both active members of the forum. On one of those threads someone suggested it was BitGo’s fault, yet the reputation of Paxful seems to be mixed.

As a strategy to improve their image, Paxful added a “reviews” section to their site where positive reviews from their own users are highlighted. The page is just another testimonial page, whose credibility is no higher than that of the company itself.

How Paxful protects its users?

Paxful suggests to its users to set up 2-factor authentication and particularly recommends using Google Authenticator. Authy and SMS verification might be alternatively enabled to add a second protection to one’s account.

Below the 2-FA configuration instructions all active logins are listed and the last 20 actions performed by the user, shown.

As it was mentioned earlier, during a trade the Bitcoin is sent to an escrow and manually released by the seller once he has confirmed that the payment was received from the buyer. Paxful partnered with BitGo in order to secure its hot wallet by using multi-sig.


Image taken from the official announcement of the partnering with BitGo, on the official Paxful blog.

There are no reports the site been ever hacked, but one of its founders was recently arrested on weapons and drugs charges, according to Cointelegraph.

Paxful Review Conclusion

Paxful is a fair alternative for “normal people” to buy and sell Bitcoin, they became known thanks to a particular niche and have been loyal to their vision.

Pros

  • Low fees
  • A wide variety of payment methods and currencies accepted, at least in theory
  • Easy to join and get going

Cons

  • Mixed reviews
  • Slow customer support
  • High commissions charged (by the seller) for buying Bitcoin with uncommon methods or in non-mainstream currencies
Go to paxful.com
Share your Experiences about Paxful.com:

27 User-Reviews for Paxful.com
  1. egiftsupply, 14. April 2019

    paxful is a fire site that took my bit, it seems that the law is in their hands, hope someone instructs me how to denounce paxful. they are scams, i hope fbi soon gets in because too many people are victims,

  2. Dammy, 1. April 2019

    It’s my first time using paxful.
    I tried buying bitcoin from a vendor on paxful on the 31st of march 2019 but he asked for payment and a screenshot of the payment before sending the bitcoin. but guess what? I sent the money and screenshot but no bitcoin. I have called and texted and I am just fed up. And this seller had great review on paxful. I will admit I was a bit too trusting and a bit stupid for not doing what my guts told me this time and I so badly need the bitcoin and I am so tight on money right now that I cannot afford another one.I am pained.I don’t blame paxful though, I blame the vendor.

  3. sara samson, 8. March 2019

    the best btc site so far…so many dormant saying negative things here are just stupid and not smart enough…the best have ever seen almost 100k usd deal without single issue.

  4. bitblase, 28. February 2019

    Not sure I agree that it has a slow customer support. I just had an encounter with one of their support agents through live chat, and they actually respond fast. Very beginner-friendly and I love the fact that it has hundreds of payment method options to choose from. Great platform!

  5. rowleytyke, 27. February 2019

    Decent site to buy and sell bitcoin especially if you use gift cards, there are tons of good deals

  6. lizkidd, 27. February 2019

    Surprisingly, the website is easy to use. Although, the most impressive thing is how their support are willing to come to your aid, readily answering your questions and clarifying things when you need such. As far as I know, changes have been made about about sellers’ high fees to make it equitable for everyone. Would recommend this platform to family and friends.

  7. junejuly_, 26. February 2019

    I don’t get why there’s all this hate on Paxful. A lot of people have been accusing the platform a scam, but ACTUALLY most of the people who speaks negatively about it are usually the scammers and rippers that got caught and got suspended. In my opinion, Paxful is a lot more secure compared to LocalBitcoins that got hacked multiple times already for the past 6 years.

  8. Sean Mate, 21. February 2019

    Most users that cry foul are usually the ones who scam and rip people off of their hard earned money. They rant on social media when they get caught as if they’re innocent, blaming Paxful and accusing it as scam. (the audacity, i know.) My experience with Paxful has been great so far, as long as you comply with their Terms of Service and the seller’s terms, I think you’ll do good. To avoid chances of getting ripped off, opt for reputable sellers. Sharing for my fellow traders out there, safe trading!

  9. Tyrk, 19. February 2019

    Excellent system, very smooth service, helpful support staff, easy to use website… Paxful earned my trust and showed me how easy making a trade could be.
    I will definitely make more trades feeling safe and secure with Paxful.
    I can trade with no worries as long as it is via Paxful, I vouch for this site to be the best site for P2P bitcoin trading platform.

  10. admin, 8. February 2019

    Sorry WTF-man, we are not against any site as long as its not scamming its users. All Paxful comments are published.

  11. WTF man, 6. February 2019

    Hey, why are you not approving good comments here!? You have paxful affiliate but you are clearly against the site. Show your contact details!

  12. Johnson J., 5. February 2019

    Paxful is no longer safe and i am very sure many of you has withness what im about to tell you from this trader on paxful “Andrybooks” Cash by mail trader and many other means.
    I opened a trade and follow instructions as listed on paxful then he/she claims i didnt and start to say crazy things. I ask for a refund and he/she held my money for a very long time over 1 week and no coin was released nor my money i had to wait for a week refund check. That didnt end there so i will strongly advice you not to use paxful to trade with personal details such as posting your money that includes your nam, address and phone because your privacy is not safe, they sell most of your privacy and not just that alone they will contact you by phone and contact your family. This trader contacted my family and was telling them about FBI and many hoax story. then started to claim my trade came from nigeria. That didnt even bother me my biggest concern is im here to trade on paxful and i believe hopefully my privacy is safe how can someone like such trader has access to contact my family what gave him/she the right? what happen too my privacy? is my privacy safe on paxful and as we all know privacy is one of the world biggest challenge now and yet someone on paxful trade her access to such you can imagine how many more such has been done too and what they use your private information to do.

  13. Dazkid, 18. December 2018

    As a buyer on paxful you can never win a dispute and this absolutely rubbish

  14. Azeez, 18. December 2018

    Paxful.com itself are scammers,I have an account with them that contain my bitcoin and somehow they just suspend my account telling me they will investigate my account after 12month…And seriously am in a big debt now cos my money was in bitcoin and they block my account for no reason and after I emailed them about what happened they refuse to talk back to me …. My account name dazkid90@gmail

  15. Sean, 21. November 2018

    This site is a disaster. I made a payment and provided proof of payment, but the seller, Flexyflex25, refused to release the funds. The moderator sided with him just because he had more reviews than I did. Avoid this site, and this seller, whose name is Lawrence Francis but whose bank account is registered under William Batchanzi, at all costs.

  16. Nosa, 6. July 2018

    I forgot my security question answers and because of that I’m unable to withdraw my coin. What should I do, they are about to scam me and take my money.

  17. Márton Erzebet, 15. June 2018

    Using Paxful is no longer secure. Buy and sell bitcoins, ethereum, bitcoin cash, and litecoins at low fees on cryptoemart .com instead

  18. clearly001, 12. June 2018

    I have tried paxful for a very long time, I created a new account because I lost the one I was using before. Paxful is very good site to trade, buy and sell bitcoin very fast and easy, just be wary of scammers but most of the time it’s not the site’s fault and they have better support now. I love paxful so much, I’m a fan of paxful.

  19. mhmmm, 11. June 2018

    I love Paxful. So far, it’s done as promised and their customer support has improved tenfold! I don’t really care about their background (honestly they seem like baseless allegations), I think they just genuinely want to make a good P2P platform. People who lose their bitcoin probably just dont understand all of the rules or didnt ask for customer support.

  20. Dave, 24. May 2018

    Please I sent coins from coinspot to paxful and i confirmed the email and it showed transaction completed in my coinspot account but it’s been 4 hours I haven’t received the money yet in my paxful account can somebody help me please ?

  21. Carly Medina, 11. April 2018

    Paxful.com is the best! They Have the best customer support among other exchanges!

  22. andrew, 15. March 2018

    95% of the people who say they got scammed from this site simply didn’t read the terms of the offer before trading, traded a $25 restaurant gift card for $15 in bitcoin, then sent it somewhere and after the network fee ended up with $7 and say they got scammed.. Ive traded many times on the site on both sides and as long as youre not illiterate and in a rush, you can find a good, clean offer if buying.. and do due diligence and buy a good gift card or whatever for a decent profit.

  23. Ryan, 14. March 2018

    I’ve used them to get cheap gift cards to fund my dropshipping business.

    if you are wary there is a great markup to be made from people looking to move from cash or cash like methods into bitcoin, just be sure to do your due diligence if you are a seller but other than that no problem with the platform and the escrow is there to solve disputes when they happen

  24. akn, 2. January 2018

    Dont trade with this site..I could make a trade only 2 times with this site..all scammers pushed me to make a wrong everyday..So they succeeded…I lost 1000 usd..I think this site working with scammers together..Also support is shitt… They dont care about you..
    only I worked with them 10 days.. what happened ın 10 days they are not coincidence be sure..

  25. Saher, 28. December 2017

    Why you should never use Paxful.

    I’ve been a vendor on Paxful for 8 months and today I decided never to use them again. I have always had issues with them that I tried to ignore believing that things will improve with time, but they just keep getting worse.

    In summary Paxful made 3 things mistakes that makes me believe anyone in their right minds should avoid them.

    1. Paxful never paid me or any of its’ users their BCH, BTG or any of the forked coins, in fact I have proof Paxful claimed all of these coins for themselves and made millions out of it, if you have a Paxful wallet just put your wallet number on a BCH explorer or similar and see for yourself

    2. Scam networks had been operating on their web page for years and Paxful do support them for reasons I can only speculate. These networks have patterns and behavior that anyone can detect in a minute, why they never take them down is something I don’t get but I believe they are profiting from them

    3. It seems that Paxful disregards all the legislations that make sense such as KYC in order to facilitate the use of fraudulent credit cards, hacked PayPal accounts, and stolen gift cards etc. Whoever dares to report such activity to their biased moderators gets a very bad treatment if they are unlucky not to mass a group of vendors before reporting

    In general this company seems to have no owners and is ran by a staff that have no clue what they are doing. They have a cool interface which I like but it’s nothing but a marketing scam and their new projects are covered by 1/100 of the funds they have stolen from their unsuspecting users.

    More details and proof will follow.

  26. rawley, 18. December 2017

    Please Do not trade at Paxful they are scammers !!!!!!!!!!!

    today When I tried to loggin into my account, Im Shocked because the balance is .?. btc cashout also paxful moderator banned my account

  27. whatev, 8. December 2017

    https://cointelegraph.com/news/paxful-exchange-ceo-and-cto-arrested-in-miami-on-weapons-and-drugs-charges

    yes they will scam jsut look their real names not ray not arthur,
    its mohamed and rusian guy ivan

    they will scam u , and internet and even youtube is full of comments “they stole my money”

    but other than that they lauder money from coke disttribution thru “their own sellers they operate with”