Crypto Exchange Paxful Under Fire Over Suspended Nigerian Accounts

Estonia-based crypto peer-to-peer marketplace, Paxful, has been accused of allegedly deactivating the accounts of its Nigerian customers, and restricting them from accessing the funds in their crypto wallets.

According to reports from Local media agency Punch, thousands of Nigerian investors had lost much of their earnings due to the deactivation of their accounts by the firm over some allegations.

The victims complained to the United Global Resolve for Peace UGRP that Paxful denied them access to their accounts and crypto wallets citing checks for fraudulent activity. However, the firm failed to unfreeze the accounts despite not finding any suspicious activity with them.

In a petition to Economic and Federal Crime Commission (EFCC)  by UGRP Executive Director Shalom Olaseni on April 2, it was noted that the Nigerian crypto investors generated  40 percent in the $20 million Paxful earned as revenue in 2018 from their tradings on Bitcoin BTC, Ethereum ETH, Litecoin, and other altcoins.

According to UGRP, Paxful restricting the Nigerian investors access to their accounts and funds is a willful disregard for rules in commercial transactions and contract.

Complaints from one of the victims, Samuel Olanrewaju, on Friday shows that his wallet which had a total of three BTCs worth about $60,000 was suspended by the Exchange platform since November 2018, on the accusation of creating a false account, which he denied.

Mr. Olanrewaju stated that some time ago, he challenged Ray Youssef, the Managing Director of Paxful and other admins in the firm for always referring to Nigerian traders as “scammers,” regardless of their huge investments with the firm.

He also accused Paxful of allowing such illegal trading activities because it generates profit for them. They even allowed Nigerians and other nationals to trade on Walmart and iTunes cards despite knowing these cards cannot be exchanged in Nigeria.

Paxful in response to the accusation denied the alleged shutdown of Nigerian accounts and wallets on its platform, stating that only suspicious ones were suspended.

According to an emailed statement from the exchange, Paxful noted they have right to shut down any accounts only when the users violate its TOS (Terms of Service), and as such, deny the accusations laid against them.

On this regard, the EFCC acting spokesman, Tony Orilade confirm they had received the petition and promise to investigate the issue as soon as possible.

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