Crypto exchange Paxful shuts down as engineers, compliance and security teams leave the company

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April 5, 2023
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2 min read
Paxful CEO, Ray Youssef standing atop a building posing for a photo.
Source: BitcoinKE

The news:

  • Paxful, a US-based crypto exchange with a large presence in Africa has shut down its operations.
  • The CEO, Ray Youseff blamed the closure on an unfavourable regulatory landscape.
  • The company has asked customers to withdraw their funds from the platform.

Paxful CEO Ray Youssef said on a Twitter space that the decision to close the company was made because there were no engineers, compliance team members, or security personnel left at the company.

He also said in a blog post that "regulatory challenges for the industry continue to grow, especially in the peer-to-peer market and most heavily in the US."

Paxful is the latest crypto company to shut down operations since the crypto winter hit in 2022. From the fall of Terra Luna, which saw $60 billion wiped from the market, to FTX's dramatic end, it is safe to say the entire crypto ecosystem has been through a lot.

Besides the crypto winter, regulators are clamping down on crypto startups. According to Youssef, while regulators might be making progress when it comes to cryptocurrencies, "they still don't get it." He added that they are growing increasingly suspicious of crypto startups.

Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world, is currently in a legal battle with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The commission charged the exchange and its CEO Changpeng Zhao, with willful evasion of federal law and operating an illegal digital asset derivatives exchange.

Paxful had a large presence in Africa. According to Similarweb, Cameroon has the second-largest visit to its website. of the New York-headquartered exchange.

However, Nigeria is the biggest market for the New York-headquartered exchange, with 1.5 million users and $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin trades in 2021.

Legal scuffle with co-founder

In addition to Paxful's regulatory and personnel problems, the exchange is also facing a lawsuit from its Co-founder and former Chief Operating Officer, Artur Schaback.

Schaback, who was kicked out of the company over a year ago, filed a lawsuit against the company in January.

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Crypto Daily quoted Youssef saying, “My co-founder sued the company and sued me. I have a lawsuit over my head right now.”

While he could not give more information on the lawsuit as Paxful is a nominal defendant in the litigation, he confirmed that the lawsuit was part of the reason the company was short on staff; he said they "just couldn’t deal with this guy anymore.”

Paxful is shutting its doors after seven years and three months of operation. Youssef urges customers to withdraw funds as soon as they can.

Featured image source: BitcoinKE

He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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