Global peer-to-peer crypto marketplace Paxful has removed Ethereum from its marketplace in a push towards encouraging users to focus on Bitcoin.
In a Thursday message to users shared on Twitter, Paxful CEO Ray Youssef said that Paxful would remove ETH on Dec. 22 even if the decision is not popular or costs them money. Youssef cited “integrity over revenue,” saying that the move would make millions safer.
— Ray Youssef (@raypaxful) December 21, 2022
The Paxful CEO said that Ethereum’s switch from a Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism to a Proof-of-Stake one has made it “essentially a digital form of fiat.” He argued that ETH is not decentralized and controlled by a small group of people, and the blockchain has spawned tokens that have underpinned a number of scams.
“They have stolen valuable momentum away from Bitcoin and cost us years on our mission,” he said.
Although Youssef pointed to ETH being an enabler of ERC-20 token related scams as one of the reasons for removing it from Paxful, the platform will still support stablecoins USDC and USDT – both of which are built on the Ethereum blockchain.
“Stables are a must for real usecases, which is why eth is still on the wallet.. sigh,” tweeted Youssef.
He also dismissed the idea of supporting other cryptocurrencies, including those that use Proof-of-Work consensus algorithms like Litecoin, saying users must be guided to Bitcoin as it is the “only game in town.”
Most industry watchers were unimpressed by the show of Bitcoin maximalism and criticised the move as predatory.
“A reminder, that predatory intermediaries love Bitcoin because Bitcoin needs them to build rails that can extract value. A smart contract system doesn’t need rails because you can build them natively. Payment processors and middlemen praise maximalism to defend their business,” tweeted Cinneamhain Ventures Partner Adam Cochran.
Paxful’s weekly trading volume peaked at $50 million earlier this year, as per data from Coin Dance. Ethereum’s daily trading volume peaked at $4 billion in May, and currently stands at $490 million, data from Uniswap shows.