Paxful Chips Away at LocalBitcoins' Russian P2P Market Dominance

Paxful’s year-old foray into Russian crypto markets is paying off for the peer-to-peer exchange.

AccessTimeIconJul 30, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:38 a.m. UTC

Paxful’s year-old foray into Russian crypto markets is bringing more revenue, boosted liquidity and an influx of new users to the peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange as it challenges LocalBitcoins’ regional rule.

  • The exchange said Thursday Russian site usage is up 350% and the number of new Russian users has spiked 364% from spring 2019 through spring 2020. Monthly trading volume for the region now averages around $4 million.
  • Anton Kozlov, Paxful’s Russia manager, said the exchange has made a concerted effort since late 2019 to challenge competitor LocalBitcoins’ Russia dominance by adding support staff, partnering with local influencers and establishing a 10-person specialist team.
  • LocalBitcoins’ “biggest revenue market is Russia, so Paxful decided as a strategic growth decision to go into Russia as well,” Kozlov said, claiming Paxful’s Russia user base is rising while LocalBitcoins’ growth has stalled following its 2019 know-your-customer policy changes.  
  • While LocalBitcoins remains by far the strongest player in Russia’s peer-to-peer bitcoin trading scene, with monthly ruble trading volume around $30 million, Kozlov said Paxful will continue to chip away.

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