Over the past few years, Bitcoin trading has become a popular way for a lot of people to get into the crypto space. After all, it’s relatively easy to start and you can do it at your own pace. 

At Paxful, we offer users fast and secure trading, leaving users free to trade with anyone, anywhere. Most of the time trades proceed smoothly but, sometimes, an error or inconsistency can cause trades to get a little shaky.

What is a dispute?

Users trading on Paxful can dispute a recent trade, allowing our moderators to take a peek and see if they can mediate between the two parties. Each user will have a chance to prove that they have fulfilled their end of the deal. 

These shaky trades aren’t lost causes— sometimes it’s simply miscommunication. During these times, having a third party intervene by filing a dispute on Paxful can often help smooth things out between you and your trade partner.

This is where our escrow comes in handy. If the dispute happens while the Bitcoin is still in Paxful’s escrow, the moderators can award it to whichever party can prove their case. 

Reasons to file a dispute

It’s important to know when you should use your right as a Paxful user to dispute a trade. As a buyer, you should consider processing a dispute when facing the following circumstances:

  • When payment has been made following the seller’s instructions and the proof has been sent, yet the seller doesn’t release the cryptocurrency
  • If the seller stops responding after you transfer your payment
  • When the seller violates the Terms of Service

Sellers, meanwhile, will need to watch out for the following:

  • When your trade partner marks your trade as Paid but refuses to respond to your messages
  • If the buyer insists on a successful transfer but you didn’t receive any confirmation of payment
  • When the buyer starts violating the Terms of Service

How to start a dispute on Paxful

If you find yourself in a situation similar to those listed in the previous section, then it might be time to start a dispute. Follow the steps below to effectively air your side of the dispute.

  1. Click Dispute in the trade chat
  2. Select a reason from those listed and use the text box to give a more detailed description of the issue 
  3. Click on Start dispute to begin
  4. A moderator will message you via your trade chat
  5. Provide the moderator with as much information and evidence as you can, which could be any of the following:
    • Transaction receipt
    • Screenshot of payment confirmation
    • Video or screen recording of payment being made
    • Proof of ownership receipts online and offline in transactions involving gift cards
    • Any additional proof as determined by the moderator

In the meantime, avoid flooding the trade chat with further messages. We understand it might be a frustrating time for you but flooding the chat will only make it harder for the moderator to check the chat’s history. 

What now?

The moderator will then take time to assess all the evidence given by both parties. They will evaluate disputes by first reading the trade terms of your trade as this will be the basis of the agreement. Other factors the moderator will include are the instructions of the seller, live chat logs, user feedback, trading history, and data collected in accordance with Paxful’s Privacy Policy

At this point, all you have to do is wait. You might be tempted to email Support but rest assured that all disputes are given attention as soon as they are received. Given how much evidence might be submitted and the circumstances of the trade, disputes can take moderators as much as three weeks to resolve. 

Canceling a dispute

In some cases, the parties involved can solve the issue between themselves. For these situations, canceling the dispute is the next step for you so that both parties can move forward. 

Thankfully, it’s a simple process regardless of whether you filed the dispute as a seller or as a buyer. As a seller, you will need to click Release to end the dispute. For buyers, it will be labeled as Cancel

That said, the best way for you to end the dispute as fairly and efficiently as possible is to wait for the moderator assigned to you to make a decision. The moderators on Paxful have the experience and the know-how when it comes to solving these disputes so it’s important to trust their decision. 

Losing a dispute

Realistically, there will be times when disputes don’t work out the way you expected them to. If you lose a dispute, try to remember that the moderator can only work with what they’re given—if the evidence you provided doesn’t work in your favor, then the moderator will have to decide against you. 

Generally, you can expect the following to be the most common reasons for losing a dispute:

  • Insufficient evidence proving your case
  • Invalid evidence
  • The reasons you provided were vague
  • The basis of the dispute is flawed or invalid

Take note that not all disputes strictly fall under these categories. You should also remember that moderators are allowed to go through your trading history. Moderators will only do this to see if either party frequently follows trade instructions and agreements and to see if you have been involved in more than one transaction that has led to a similar dispute.

Peer-to-peer trading done safely

Security is such an important aspect of Paxful’s trading platform. Traders need a way to keep their hard-earned money safe. This dispute system, coupled with our escrow services, allows traders access to all this, making trading quick, easy, and safe for all.