Paxful, a popular Africa-focused cryptocurrency marketplace has announced that it’s shutting down and asked its users to withdraw their funds.
The announcement was made by Paxful CEO Ray Youssef who said that the decision to close the company was occasioned by the departure of key staff members and a changing regulation ecosystem.
The peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform has gained popularity in Africa, with Nigeria and Kenya among the countries leading in users across the continent.
“There were no engineers, compliance team members, or security personnel left working at the company. Also, regulatory challenges for the industry continue to grow, especially in the peer-to-peer market and most heavily in the U.S., “Youssef said in a blog post.
The CEO urged users to withdraw their investments, saying their priority now is safeguarding customer funds.
“All customer funds are accounted for. Please withdraw them and if you can — self-custody. We recommend options such as Exodus Wallet and Muun Walle,” he wrote.
The announcement comes at a time when the cryptocurrency market is experiencing a meltdown that has led to several company closures. On Friday last week, Bittrex, a crypto exchange platform based in Seattle announced that it would be winding down operations as a result of regulatory challenges.
Beaxy was closed down by the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), the industry regulator.
“While we work through these issues, we have taken the most secure option and ask you to explore self-custody and trade elsewhere,” Youssef wrote.
This latest development now shifts focus on other platforms in Africa that are headquartered in the United States. Africa has seen a considerably positive response to crypto trading in recent years.