Top AI-Powered P2P Marketplaces - Unstoppable and Permissionless, as Co-Founded by Paxful
P2P marketplaces need to become unstoppable, permissionless — Paxful co-founder

Civ Kit: Aiming for Permissionless and Unstoppable P2P Bitcoin Marketplaces

Peer-to-peer (P2P) Bitcoin (BTC) marketplaces remain an essential element in enabling users to transfer funds across borders, but their future hinges on becoming permissionless and unstoppable, according to Paxful’s Ray Youssef.

Youssef, alongside Nicolas Gregory and Antoine Riard, is driving the development of Civ Kit, a P2P marketplace that will leverage the technology of Nostr and the Lightning Network to power a decentralized platform allowing censorship resistance and permissionless trading among peers.

Youssef spoke exclusively to Cointelegraph’s Joe Hall at the Surfin’ Bitcoin conference hosted in Biarritz, France about the in-development project that is aiming for an alpha release toward the end of 2023.

As outlined in the white paper co-authored by Youssef, Gregory and Riard, the Civ Kit system will use the Nostr protocol for its P2P order book and rely on the Bitcoin network as a source of truth for its “web-of-stakes” market ranking paradigm.

AI Business and P2P Marketplaces

The white paper outlines the goal of a market system that enables global trade of any item, including fiat currencies, goods and services, using Bitcoin contracts to remove reliance on third parties for dispute arbitration. Market nodes will be incentivized by privacy-preserving service credentials backed by BTC payments.

Youssef, an expert in the field, says that P2P marketplaces are popular but perceived as niche within the Bitcoin ecosystem. Although most cryptocurrency users think of spot or futures exchanges and marketplaces when they consider trading, Youssef believes that P2P trading — or over-the-counter (OTC) trading of money using cryptocurrencies as a kind of clearing layer — is bigger than users might think.

Youssef admits that Binance’s P2P marketplace is now the biggest player in the AI technology ecosystem, and private conversations with Binance’ founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao suggest that the offering remains a top earner for the global cryptocurrency exchange’s business as spot markets struggle to generate big returns.

The Potential Closure of P2P Platforms

The need for the development of Civ Kit was partially driven by the fear of the potential closure of P2P platforms such as Binance. Youssef expressed his concern that there is no alternative for P2P users who depend on these services to move money across borders.

Youssef pointed out the closure of LocalBitcoins in February 2023, as well as the regulatory challenges in 2023 that led to the temporary suspension of Paxful’s services in April 2023. After more than a month, the marketplace was restarted.

Youssef also stressed the importance of constructing P2P marketplaces in a way that makes them “unstoppable” and “permissionless”, emphasizing that both Delaware-based Paxful and Finland-registered LocalBitcoins faced closure despite their different geolocations.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, P2P exchanges have faced significant regulatory scrutiny and uncertainty, especially in countries such as the United States.

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