Meet Abdul Ganiwu Abdul Rahaman, Paxful’s dedicated, passionate on-the-ground ambassador for Ghana! After completing training in IT, media, and marketing, he joined Paxful’s mission to bring financial inclusion and education to Ghana, motivated by a burning desire to make a positive impact.

When not hard at work, Abdul loves watching movies, learning new skills on the internet, and even doing a little farming! He’s a quick learner, here to help Ghanan traders, and he can’t wait to meet you! 

Join us in the dedicated Discord hangout for Ghana, and read on to learn more about Abdul:

Tell us how your crypto journey began, and where it stands today. How are you involved today in the cryptocurrency ecosystem in your region?

My crypto journey began in 2013, when I first heard about Bitcoin at a meetup, but my interest really took off alongside the Bitcoin price in 2017. As I read more and built my own course of study around cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, I learned enough about how decentralized ledger technology worked to start educating others. Starting with family, then friends, and eventually my community in Ghana, I now believe education and cryptocurrencies together allow one to become limitless, and realize their potential.

How has your perspective on digital assets changed since first learning about cryptocurrencies? What role do cryptocurrencies play in your life today?

When I first started in digital assets, I viewed Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as volatile and risky investments, making me a hesitant investor. On further exploration and education, I see the potential for digital assets to revolutionize the way we interact with and value assets nearly all modern assets. 

I now understand that digital assets offer a level of transparency, security, and decentralization that traditional assets cannot provide. I am now more open to exploring and investing in digital assets as a way to diversify my portfolio and stay ahead of the rapidly evolving digital economy.

How did you first encounter peer-to-peer trading? What about Paxful, specifically?

I started peer-to-peer trading in the way traditional for Ghana: trading different fiat and  cryptocurrencies for mobile money or hard cash. When I eventually moved away from the traditional peer-to-peer business, and found I could finally run my business from an app, it blew my mind! I found Paxful through an online search, switched my remittance business over to Paxful, and haven’t looked back since!

Frontline Report: Get to Know Peer-to-Peer Cryptocurrency in Ghana

What sort of economic, financial and access problems exist in your country? How are cryptocurrencies addressing or influencing these issues?

One major issue is income inequality, where a small percentage of the population holds a large majority of the wealth, leaving most of our population struggling to make ends meet. This creates a cycle of poverty that is difficult to break, as those with wealth have better access to education, healthcare, and opportunities for economic advancement. In a country where employment is so low and the cost of living is so high, this gulf does no Ghanaians any favors.

Income inequality leads to fundamental access issues, preventing the most underserved communities from receiving proper healthcare, education, and clean water. Limited access to these services not only impacts quality of life but also hinders economic development and social mobility. Without proper healthcare, individuals are more likely to suffer from preventable illnesses, limiting their ability to work and provide for their families. Likewise, limited access to education and clean water can have long-term consequences on a community’s economic growth and prosperity.

One of the main ways in which cryptocurrencies are addressing financial issues is by providing an alternative form of payment that is not controlled by a central authority. This means that transactions can be conducted quickly and with lower fees, compared to traditional banking systems. Cryptocurrencies also create jobs for some youth and since there is a lot of graduate unemployment in the country, these “borderless” jobs are of especially high demand.

What is the broad opinion of cryptocurrencies in your region, at the national level? And at the grassroots retail user level?

The broad opinion of cryptocurrencies in Ghana is quite mixed. 

On one hand, there is growing interest and excitement among young and tech-savvy people, who see cryptocurrencies as the future of finance. They believe that cryptocurrencies offer a decentralized and secure way to transfer and store wealth, and are passionate about the potential blockchains hold for disrupting traditional financial systems. Many people in this group actively invest in cryptocurrencies and participate in the crypto community through online forums and social media. 

On the other hand, there is also significant skepticism and caution surrounding cryptocurrencies in my region. Some people view them as highly speculative and risky investments, citing the extreme volatility of the market and the lack of regulation as major concerns. There are also concerns about the potential for cryptocurrencies to be used for illegal activities. As a result, many traditional investors and financial experts in my region remain hesitant to get involved in the crypto space.

How are cryptocurrency users in your country utilizing cryptocurrencies? Any unique use cases or case studies you can go deep on?

Some users use cryptocurrencies as a means of buying everyday goods or storing their savings, but most people see Bitcoin or cryptocurrency as a necessary investment. While some will say they use Bitcoin to survive, others use it primarily for a function, like receiving remittance.

How do you see cryptocurrency usage changing with time in your region?

In my opinion, the usage of cryptocurrency is likely to change significantly over time as the technology continues to evolve and become more widely adopted. 

One major shift I foresee is the increased acceptance and integration of cryptocurrencies into mainstream society. As more businesses and financial institutions begin to accept and offer cryptocurrency as a form of payment, consumers will become more comfortable using digital currencies for everyday transactions. This could lead to a decrease in reliance on traditional fiat currencies and a greater emphasis on digital currencies as a means of exchange.

What do you think would accelerate cryptocurrency adoption in your region?

More education on the technical developments happening in the crypto industry, as well as relevant regulations and protections being rolled out to protect buyers and users, especially if these regulations are accepted by influential or numerous countries. If governments and international organizations develop clearer guidelines and regulations for cryptocurrency use, it is likely that more individuals and businesses will feel confident in utilizing digital currencies. This could also lead to increased investor confidence in the market and greater stability for cryptocurrencies as an asset class.