Founded in 2015, Paxful has grown to be one of the leading peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplaces in the world. With 9 million users and over 350 payment options available on the platform, we have one simple mission: to provide financial access to anyone, anywhere at any time.
If you’re looking to finally take that leap and get your first Bitcoin, you’ve come to the right place. To help you get started, we’ve put together the ultimate guide on how to use Paxful for you—let’s get right into it.
How does Paxful work?
With over 350 payment methods available on Paxful, you can buy and sell Bitcoin for basically whatever you want. We’ll connect you with one of the thousand trusted traders available, all you need to do is pay them using their preferred payment method, mark the trade as paid, and they’ll take care of the rest.
Ready to get started? Let’s create your account.
Creating an account
The first stop on your Paxful journey is to create an account. This is where you decide if you’re ready to take that plunge into the world of Bitcoin.
If you feel that you’re ready, open your web browser, head to the Homepage, and click on the Register button at the top right corner of the page.
From there, you can create your account using either your phone number or email address. If you’re starting your Paxful journey as a referral from a friend, be sure to click on I have a referral code to receive all the benefits of getting your start as a Paxful referral.
As soon as your account is created, you’ll receive your free Paxful Wallet and you’re ready to get started. Be sure to also verify your phone number and ID to trade with higher limits and unlock even more benefits.
Buying your first Bitcoin
Now that you’ve got all the tools you need to get started, are you ready to buy your first Bitcoin? It may sound a little intimidating at first but trust us, it’s a lot easier than you think. The best thing about buying Bitcoin on Paxful is that you have over 350 ways to pay, zero fees are charged to the buyer, and you can start with as little as 10 USD.
Here’s how to get started:
- Head to the home page
Select Bitcoin as the cryptocurrency you want to buy, choose from the 350+ payment methods available, and, optionally, input how much you want to spend. From there, click Find Offers.
- Choose an offer
As soon as you’re taken to the offers page, it’s time to find an offer that suits your needs and one that’s preferably from a reputable trader.
Here are a few things you should be on the lookout for:
- Price – Shown as a percentage with an arrow either pointing up or down beside it, this is how much you’re buying the Bitcoin compared to the current market price. Additionally, you can also see how much Bitcoin you’re getting on the dollar by looking at the USD value beside the price.
- Offer limits – Shown as a range, this refers to how much traders are willing to sell, so make sure that how much you want to spend fits within this range.
- Offer description – Shown under the payment method, the offer description gives you a brief idea of how these sellers want to be paid. Make sure that your preferred payment method matches theirs so that the trade goes smoothly.
- Feedback score – Shown as a green thumbs up icon and a numerical rating, the feedback score of each trader gives you a brief idea of how reputable they are. If you want to dive deeper into their profile, you can click on their name to see feedback from their previous trades.
- Seller availability – Before ever starting a trade, make sure that the seller is available. If they’re inactive, it may take a while for the trade to be completed. You can check this by seeing how recently they were online, shown under their feedback score.
- Badges – We’ll be pinning offers from some of our most trusted traders at the top, so be on the lookout for a Featured or Trusted badge on their offers. Additionally, you can filter the offer page to show only trusted traders by turning Paxful Verified Offers Only on.
- Start a trade
As soon as you find an offer you like, click on the Buy button to get a full overview of the offer. If everything looks good on your end, you can enter the amount you want to pay and click Buy now.
When the trade starts, politely greet your trade partner and they should send you a specific set of instructions to follow. Make sure to follow them carefully so that the trade goes as smoothly as possible.
After sending in your payment, remember to mark your trade as Paid. This will shift control over to the seller, so give them a few minutes to confirm your payment. As soon as it’s confirmed, they’ll release the Bitcoin from escrow into your Paxful Wallet.
From there, the trade is complete and all that’s left to do is to leave feedback for your trade partner!
Buying Bitcoin with gift cards
Gift cards are one of the most popular payment options on Paxful. There are over a hundred gift card brands available and through it, the unbanked are able to participate in transactions they’ve previously been denied. People can even start their own online businesses using gift cards and make extra income.
To make things more efficient for those who like to trade gift cards, we’ve created a feature called the Gift Card Hub—your very own one-stop shop for all things gift card. Here, you can list your gift cards or buy discounted ones with Bitcoin and we’ll do all the work for you. The entire process is automated so you can list your gift card, relax, and come back to some brand-new Bitcoin in your wallet.
Creating offers is a way for you to be able to trade on your own terms. You can create buy offers to reach out to those willing to sell their Bitcoin or create sell offers for people who want to buy Bitcoin.
To create your own offer, head to the home page and click on Create an Offer at the top. From there, set your initial preferences: cryptocurrency of choice, what type of offer you’d like to create, and your preferred payment method.
In the next steps, you’ll be able to customize the offer as much as you want. Here’s a breakdown of each field:
- Market price vs. Fixed price – This option will let you decide if you want to peg the price of your offer based on the market or want it at a fixed rate.
- Offer Trade Limits – This range refers to how much you’re looking to trade.
- Offer Margin – This percentage refers to how much you’ll earn during the trade.
- Offer Time Limit – This time limit refers to how long your trade partner has to complete the payment before the trade expires.
- Offer Tags – Choose up to three tags to quickly describe your offer. You can click on See all available tags to choose from a list or start typing on the input field.
- Offer Label – This 25-character phrase refers to the selling point of the offer—what can you say in 25 characters that will make traders choose your offer over others?
- Offer Terms – This is a short description trader see on the individual offer page that shows them how they need to pay and what makes your offer stand out. Make sure to keep this as clear and concise as possible.
- Trade Instructions – This is a more detailed version of the Offer Terms. On these instructions, make sure to enumerate, in as much detail as possible, everything you need when it comes to the payment of your trade partner.
- Limitations – Verification, Target Country, Visibility, Minimum Trades Required, Limit for New Users, Limitation by Countries, Proxy/VPN Users, and Working Hours are all ways you can limit the visibility and accessibility of your offer. You can customize these settings as much as you want depending on what type of trader you want to deal with.
After setting all these up, you can click on Create offer and your offer will be listed—all that’s left to do is for someone to pick your offer. You can even have multiple offers active at the same time, allowing you to buy and sell Bitcoin simultaneously.
Staying safe while buying Bitcoin
If you’re wondering: is Paxful safe? The answer is yes, buying and selling Bitcoin on Paxful is completely safe. We do everything we can to make sure that you’re in a safe trading environment, enabling security features like escrow services, state-of-the-art blockchain analysis tools, and more. However, you can also do your part in making sure that your money is safe on Paxful. Here are a few general tips:
- Never trade off-escrow
Trading off-escrow is against Paxful’s Terms of Service and takes away the protection that Paxful moderators assure you. If you ever encounter someone who tries to take the trade off-escrow, report them immediately.
- Never share any personal information
Giving away your contact or personal information can lead to people attempting to scam you outside of the Paxful website or impersonating you to get access to your accounts.
- Know how to identify official Paxful moderators
Paxful moderators will have specific chat bubbles and signatures to let you know that we’re here to help. If you want to know that you’re dealing with a Paxful moderator, look for a purple chat bubble with a Paxful Moderator badge on the bottom left side.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
Enabling 2FA for all the functions on your account adds an extra layer of protection. This means that you’ll need to sign off on any transactions that go through. Be sure to turn this feature on as soon as you can.
- Set security questions
As soon as you create your account, you should immediately set up security questions. If you haven’t yet, you can always go back into your account settings and set them up. Remember to choose questions and answers that only you know and be sure that you can easily remember them!
- Look for trusted traders
If you’re just starting out, one of the best ways to get the hang of things is to specifically look for trusted traders on the platform. As we mentioned earlier, you can do this by turning on the Paxful Verified Offers Only toggle when you’re looking for an offer.
- Keep clear receipts
Although there aren’t necessarily paper receipts after buying and selling Bitcoin on Paxful, taking clear screenshots of your transaction can make good proofs of purchase. In the case of a dispute, having these around will help your case greatly.
- Be polite to your trade partners
Once you start a trade and the live chat pops up, make sure to exercise the right chatting etiquette with your trade partner—polite, professional, and straight to the point. Doing so will ensure that your trade goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
Ready to get started?
Now that you’ve gone through the ultimate beginner’s guide for trading on Paxful, we believe that you’re ready to get started! Head to the webpage, look for an offer you like, and buy Bitcoin today!