Paxful’s name draws inspiration from the Latin word “pax,” which means “peace.” When our founders started this company, they dreamed of bringing peace to the world through financial inclusion. Over the years, that dream has blossomed into a growing reality. In just a few years, millions around the world have joined Paxful in the fight to be financially free.
To bring this vision to life, Paxful employees work day and night to make sure our users are properly taken care of. We view ourselves as keepers of the peace! We love this community and to bring everyone even closer, we thought it would be a great idea for you to get to know some of us. The Peacekeeper Stories series will introduce the people that have helped shape who we are. Today we’re talking to Lana Schwartzman, our Chief Compliance Officer.
What do you do here at Paxful?
I keep the bad guys out, reduce our risk exposure, and protect the Paxful brand. I’m the defense and the sheriff in the Paxful Wild Wild West! I do this by having lots of meetings every day starting as early as 7:30am, as I have a global team across all of our offices. Communication and transparency are very important to me. I put together a compliance and anti-money laundering program, which includes various controls that will safeguard our reputation and reduce the number of bad actors. All of this includes working with various outside systems that help my team do this work. I’m also constantly answering questions from every department in the company on how to proceed with certain risky users, investigations, etc. The program and the controls are always evolving, so I’m heavily involved in that as well.
What role does bitcoin play in your life?
I was first introduced to Bitcoin back when it originally came out after Satoshi’s paper. My husband told me about this “virtual currency” and I thought it was kind of crazy. I quickly realized that it was not something that is regulated and could be used for illicit activity, so I started to follow and read anything that I could about it. Then my husband told me that we would try to “mine” a coin and I thought he was really nuts! But ultimately, we were able to do it. We got a computer and mined a coin. I really wish we held on to it!
If you were given a one-minute commercial slot for the Super Bowl, what would you fill it with?
An ad that would say something along the lines of, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor.”
What are some things you hope your team and Paxful as a whole will accomplish in the next five years?
I want to reduce the number of bad actors and Paxful risk exposure. I want the word on the street to be that you cannot use Paxful for any illicit activity. And world peace!
What advice would you give your younger self or someone who’s interested in doing what you do?
Read as much as you can on regulations, anti-money laundering, terrorist financing, and compliance. Get your CAMS certification as soon as you can.
Any parting words?
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss
“Who is wise? One who learns from every man…who is strong? One who overpowers his inclination…who is rich? One who is satisfied with his lot…who is honorable? One who honors his fellows.” – Ethics of the Fathers 4:1
This is my favorite quote because it upends our society’s definitions of these things. We tend to think that strength, happiness, wisdom, and honor are reliant on external circumstances—how much wealth you have, how strong you are, how much you know. I learned through the years that it’s all up to the person themselves. Want to be rich? It’s about your attitude, not about how much money you have. Want to be smart? You don’t need Einstein’s genes, just the ability to open your eyes and watch people around you. Want to be strong as a hero? It’s in your heart—just be strong enough to do the right thing.