Paxful Reopens Accounts: CEO Stresses Importance of Self-custody for BTC

Earlier this month you could read in the Bitcoin news that Paxful, a peer to peer bitcoin (BTC) trading platform, had shut down operations due to, among other things, “the departure of key personnel” and “regulatory challenges for the industry”. A lawsuit by a co-founder of the exchange allegedly “spurred the entire senior-level team away.” Paxful CEO Ray Youssef has now announced that 88% of all previously frozen accounts allow access to the corresponding funds again.

88% can withdraw their BTC from the platform

Youssef brought this good news on April 16 through a threat on Twitter. However, he also indicated that $4.4 million in assets will still remain frozen. These assets are in the hands of US regulators and he is therefore unable to change this. The funds that are currently still frozen represent 3% of total client assets.

Suspending the frozen accounts was also Youssef’s last action as CEO of the company:

“I have relinquished my title as CEO to unfreeze these accounts and I also risk contempt of court. That’s what I did in addition to many sleepless nights. I can do nothing but sleep well tonight. Integrity over risk.”

Bitcoin self custody

In his series of tweets, Youssef also frequently advises his more than fifty thousand followers to take BTC into their own hands through self custody. ”Avoid American companies and always do self-custody” is what he mentioned in his thread.

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With self-custody you manage the private keys that grant access to your bitcoins. This gives you full control and you do not have to rely on a third party to store your bitcoin for you. If you choose to leave your BTC, or other crypto, on a crypto exchange, for example, then they are the ones who own the private keys and are therefore theoretically the owner of the digital assets.

In the past year, with the collapse of parties such as Celsius, Voyager and FTX, we have seen the disastrous consequences that can have for you as a crypto investor.

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