Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin marketplace and digital wallet provider, has called on the South African government to look into ways to protect crypto traders from cybercriminals.
Cryptocurrency trading in South Africa is increasingly high, with Paxful reporting that it processes over 50, 000 trades per day globally. But trading digital currencies like Bitcoin is not that safe and there’s an escalating need to protect traders against scams and fraudulent transactions.
As the popularity of crypto assets grows in South Africa, criminals are increasingly devising ways to hack people’s phones and mine crypto. According to cybersecurity expert Riaan Badenhorst of Kaspersky Lab Africa, the number of cryptocurrency-related attacks on personal devices has increased by 83% in 2018. These hackers use malware to mine cryptocurrencies on people’s personal devices such as computers or cellphones.
Already, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has started the process for reviewing the impact of the crypto sector on consumers as well as the impact on personal financial security. However, Paxful has emphasized the importance of intensifying security awareness initiatives within the cryptocurrency industry.
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“Bitcoin is secure but sometimes the way we use it is unsafe. We have to treat bitcoin like cash and protect our personal information and passwords the same way we do when we use an ATM or shop online”, said Ray Youssef, co-founder and CEO of Paxful.
“Once your bitcoin is in the hands of hackers and scammers, it is irreversible, so to have the necessary safeguards in place is critical.”
Paxful, which boasts three million wallets globally, also noted that the number of trades across the African continent has grown by 64% this month compared to October 2018. In South Africa alone, Paxful noticed a whopping 2800% increase in trades during the same period.
The company is advising its users to be extremely alert when trading crypto. Additionally, users can benefit from various security measures that Paxful has put in place to protect them including Paxful’s escrow service which holds the bitcoin safely until a trade is completed.
“While it’s not possible to completely eliminate the risk of crypto fraud and theft, by taking a few simple precautions you can substantially reduce your chances of becoming a victim by following Paxful’s top tips for safe trading”, Youssef concludes.