Bitcoin education is essential for adoption

Ray Youssef co-founded Paxful in 2015 as a global peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platform, which today has over nine million users, many of them in developing and emerging markets across Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Latin America. Last year, he was named as one of CoinDesk’s 40 Most Influential People. With Paxful, Youssef has a mission to support emerging economies with the Built With Bitcoin Foundation, a nonprofit which supports humanitarian services powered by Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. 

What are the most promising emerging markets for crypto adoption and why? What lessons have you learned from them? 

While it’s hard to predict, Kenya comes to mind, as adopting Bitcoin there is the natural next step for where its economy is headed. In Kenya, mobile money has penetrated the market thanks to M-Pesa mobile money. According to the Central Bank of Kenya, mobile money transactions in the country grew by over 30% in 2021. And specifically at Paxful, we’ve seen the growth across the country firsthand. Just last year, crypto trade volume on Paxful in Kenya increased by over 160% and user sign-ups shot up nearly 175%. In our business, the people help drive our decision-making. By staying connected to the streets, I’ve had the opportunity to listen and learn from them. It is clear that the people of Africa are primed and ready for a solution like Bitcoin — it’s not if, but when. 

What is the unique link between financial education and cryptocurrency? 

Global adoption of Bitcoin begins and ends with education. Financial literacy should be a right, but in many places around the world, people are denied this — or even worse, misinformed. That is why we’ve put education at the forefront of our mission. We’ve built and repaired 10 schools around the world through the Built With Bitcoin Foundation, opened up Bitcoin education centers in Nigeria and El Salvador, and partnered with the Human Rights Foundation to 

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