Paxful ‘Flippens’ LocalBitcoins As The Largest P2P Bitcoin Marketplace

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Bitcoin (BTC) peer-to-peer (P2P) trading market went through a historical week, as Paxful has surpassed LocalBitcoins in weekly trading volume for the first time in P2P trading history.

paxos localbitcoins
Source: Adobe/zapp2photo

According to data provided by, Paxful is now the leading Bitcoin P2P marketplace in terms of global weekly trading volume. It is ahead of the longstanding market leader LocalBitcoins exchange, as well as the growing decentralized P2P exchange Bisq.

Last week, Paxful assisted in exchanging BTC 4,361 (approx. USD 42.5 million), while LocalBitcoins facilitated BTC 4,097 (nearly USD 40 million) exchanges. Meanwhile, the Bisq platform was responsible for BTC 47 changing hands, which is equivalent to USD 460,000.

Paxful global weekly exchange volume (in BTC):


LocalBitcoins global weekly exchange volume (in BTC):


Bisq global weekly exchange volume (in BTC):


P2P exchanges are cryptocurrency trading platforms that provide ad boards, digital wallets, and crypto escrow services, and allow users to buy and sell digital assets directly with each other using their preferred payment methods.

LocalBitcoins market dominance has been slipping for a while now, while trading volumes on competitor exchanges Paxful and Bisq have been growing.

As reported by cryptocurrency data analysis firm Arcane Research, there might be many forces at play here, but the introduction of strict KYC (know your customer) requirements on LocalBitcoins seems to be a prominent factor for the decreasing volume on the Bitcoin exchange that had dominated Bitcoin P2P market since its launch in 2012.

arcane research p2p

In June 2019, the exchange removed the in-person “cash” exchange option, which has negatively affected the underbanked customers in many of its 248 serviced countries.

More than half a year later, customers from all over the globe, but mainly those in Africa and Asia, told that their accounts were suspended and funds were frozen without any prior warning.

Significant growth of trading volume in Africa

Currently, Africa is one of the biggest Bitcoin P2P markets, trailing behind North America only. According to data by UsefulTulips, the combined P2P trading volume on both Paxful and LocalBitcoins has grown by 53% in Sub Saharan Africa, and by 12% in North Africa over the past 90 days. North America has experienced significant growth too, as its trading volume increased by 22%.

global bitcoin p2p volume
The growth of global BTC trading volume during the last 90 days. Source:

North Americans have exchanged a little bit more than USD 222 million worth of BTC last month, while Sub Saharan Africans traded over USD 105 million during the last 30 days. Latin Americans were responsible for USD 94 million worth of bitcoin exchanges last month.

30-day global bitcoin P2P trading volume (USD) via Paxful and LocalBitcoins. Source:

It is precisely the growing trading volumes in Africa that have led Paxful to become the new number one in the P2P trading sector, stated Paxful CEO Ray Youssef, who tweeted that “the flippening” happened yesterday.

Most of the trading volume in Africa originates from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana, but the growth is strong in other countries as well, including Ethiopia, Chad, Angola, Namibia, Uganda, Mozambique, and other countries.

Africa Bitcoin P2P trading volume
Change in Bitcoin P2P trading volume in Africa during the last 30 days. Source: Source:

As reported previously, cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity in Africa but still face a number of obstacles.