Paxful, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency marketplace, is halting operations due to challenges posed by “key staff departures” and regulatory pressure. The CEO, Ray Youssef, highlighted issues with US regulators who failed to understand the company’s practices, including the use of gift cards to onboard customers in Africa without bank accounts. Youssef added that the firm had a significant compliance team, but even that was insufficient to satisfy regulatory requirements. All customer funds are accounted for, and customers are requested to withdraw their funds.
In addition to its regulatory difficulties, the firm is facing a legal dispute with co-founder and former COO Artur Schaback, who sued the company in January, naming Youssef and Jude Chidi Ogene as defendants. Paxful also announced on March 29 that it was reimbursing funds to its Earn program users who had their funds locked up in Celsius after the latter’s bankruptcy.