Originally published in 2015, this blog post has recently been updated for 2020.

One of the best ways to make money online is to sell Bitcoin. Unfortunately, a couple of riff raffs out there are looking to disrupt BTC trading’s natural flow.

The Bitcoin trading scene is often referred to as the “Wild West,” which comes to no surprise as situations can sometimes get sticky out here—but that doesn’t always have to be the case.

Minimizing risks, the Paxful way

There are always ways to minimize risks when you sell your BTC on Paxful. Here are seven tips to get you started:

1. Don’t use the same email for multiple accounts

We know it can be tempting to use the same email and password for all your accounts—it’s more convenient and easy to remember. However, we’re sorry to say that doing so isn’t the most secure, especially when it involves your money and third-party payment accounts.

Why is using the same login details such a terrible thing? It’s because if they have access to one account, they have access to all. Scammers can use Bitcoin scam emails to access one of your login details and take all your hard-earned BTC away, and we’re pretty sure that’s something nobody wants.

There’s a simple workaround for this. If you’re using different emails and don’t have the best memory, you can use a password manager. There are tons of viable options out there, so check them out and use one that you like.

2. Beware of pretenders

Speaking of Bitcoin email scams, scammers will often try to gain access to your account by pretending to be someone they’re not, just to get what they want…and to that, we ask, “why?”

The best way to succeed on Paxful is to be yourself. Unfortunately, not everyone shares the same mindset. Beware of those hooligans pretending to be moderators. If you get any emails asking you to release your BTC from escrow with the promise that you’ll be reimbursed, stray away. No moderator will ask you to do such a thing.

Here’s a telltale sign that you might be dealing with an email scammer:

Example of an email scam

A moderator’s email would end in “@paxful.com.” As you can see in the sample email, that doesn’t seem to be the case. 

And it’s not just emails. People will try to hoodwink you via trade chat as well.

To avoid these people, it’s best that you make sure that you’re actually speaking to a Paxful moderator. Here’s how to identify a real moderator:

  • Moderator messages will be inside a blue speech bubble.
  • Moderators have orange display pictures.
  • It will say Moderator in gray text on the top-left corner of the message.

In the example below, the message is definitely from a moderator since they check all three boxes.

Paxful moderator

If you suspect that you’re dealing with someone pretending to be a moderator, contact our support team immediately.

3. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is your friend

2FA can add an extra step to the process, but trust us, it’ll help you in the long run. It’s the best way to verify all your logins, transactions, send-outs, and withdrawals. It’s your first line of defense against those pesky scammers trying to put their hands in your cookie jar.

You should also enable your security questions and give answers only you would know

4. Keep your receipt!

Let’s say you head into a store and buy that watch you’ve been ogling for the past few months. You’re over the moon with your purchase and don’t even ask for a receipt anymore. Once you get home, you put it on and realize that it doesn’t work—ouch. You think to yourself: “Agh, I’ve gotta return this!” Unfortunately, you can’t do that without a receipt. In this context, the receipt acts as proof of purchase.

It’s essentially the same on Paxful…kind of. You don’t really provide a paper receipt when you sell your BTC, but you need proof of purchase. Keeping this “receipt” is the best way to win a dispute, in case there is one.

What makes a good receipt on Paxful? Well, it really depends on the payment method you’re using. Let’s take a gift card transaction, for example. A good and acceptable receipt could be a quality photo of the card and its code on the back. For a bank transfer transaction, it could be the deposit slip.

What we’re trying to say is that the best proof of payment will vary depending on the way you’re being paid—so be sure to read up on your preferred payment option and how to trade with it safely. 

5. Trade instructions are a binding covenant

If you’ve found a buy offer and are looking to sell Bitcoin that way, make sure that you follow the buyer’s trade instructions to a T. Not doing so can lead to complications in the trade, and who would want that?

If you’re on the other end and are the one creating a sell offer, make sure that your trade instructions are clear and concise. Ask yourself: “If I were to read these instructions, would they be easy to follow?” The clearer they are, the easier it will be for you to get paid and the sooner you can get your payment.

Also, remember that trades have expirations. They’ll expire if you take too long, be sure to know what you’re getting into before you enter any trade.  

6. Paxful is not a bank, so don’t give out loans

Sometimes, buyers will pressure you into lending them money in the trade chat. They can pressure you to do so by threatening that they’re a more reputable vendor or convincing you that that’s just the way things work on Paxful.

If you’re ever caught in a situation like this, never agree to that proposition. More often than not, it’s a Bitcoin scam and the buyer will run away with your money. Report them immediately, contact us, and move along.

7. Know when to file a dispute

The dispute button will always be there to help you out once you run into trouble. However, knowing when to file a dispute can not only protect your money but also save you time doing so.

To effectively trade on Paxful, it’s important to familiarize yourself with all the warning signs so that you know when to ask for a moderator’s help.

The two S’s of selling BTC: safety and security

Here at Paxful, we put your safety at the top of our priorities. We’ll do everything in our power to create a safe trading environment for you. If you encounter any issues on our platform, you may check the current status of our systems for updates or reach out to our support team.

We’ve always got your back, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fend for yourself. By taking these tips to heart, you can keep your money safe.

To somewhat paraphrase and modify the very popular saying: “We are all strong, independent traders”—so let’s take that to heart.