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Paxful Expands #BuiltwithBitcoin Initiative with Scholarship Program for Afghan Refugees

Peer-to-Peer Bitcoin Marketplace Also Upgrades its Bitcoin-Funded Rwandan Nursery School

Paxful, the global leader in peer-to-peer finance, today announced new developments in its #BuiltwithBitcoin charitable initiative.

The company is awarding more than $15,000 in scholarships to help female Afghan refugees pursue their careers in the U.S. and providing additional classroom resources for the Rwandan nursery school that was constructed as the first #BuiltwithBitcoin project.

The scholarship recipients are Susan Naseri, who is interested in non-profit work and law; Dunia Azizi, who will pursue a mathematics degree; and Farzana Nawabi, who is working towards a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Non-profit organization Zam Zam, the implementation partner for the program, chose the recipients based on personal essays recounting hardships in areas such as obtaining an education, migrating to the U.S., and integrating into American society while raising families and pursuing their careers.

“As a recipient of the Zam Zam Water scholarship, I’d like to express endless gratitude and appreciation to Paxful and everyone involved in the donation process,” said Susan Naseri. “Receiving this scholarship is not only an immense honor and privilege; it also eases my financial stress significantly. I’m beyond humbled and thankful for this scholarship; thank you eternally for helping me expand my education and fulfill my dreams.”

For the inaugural scholarship, winners were awarded $5,000 in two installments — $2,500 per semester. Zam Zam Water will continue the scholarship program as an annual program.

“We are inspired by these courageous women and their indefatigable drive to improve the lives of themselves and those around them,” said Ray Youssef, CEO of Paxful. “#BuiltwithBitcoin was started as a way for us to assist communities around the world who have been historically underserved, and we look forward to expanding the initiative with additional partners.”

Paxful launched the #BuiltwithBitcoin program in 2017 to encourage the cryptocurrency community’s involvement in humanitarian projects. With Zam Zam’s assistance, Paxful kicked off the initiative by donating $50,000 in bitcoin for the construction of a Rwandan nursery school in the country’s Bugesera District. The company is now increasing its investment in the school by upgrading the facilities, providing teachers with educational materials and salaries, and giving students free launches, uniforms and new desks. It is also building a water filtration system to allow water from local wells to be used for farming.

“Access to water and education are core principles at Zam Zam Water. Working with Paxful has allowed us to use bitcoin and cryptocurrency to give the opportunity of a better quality of life to those in underdeveloped countries,” said Yusuf A. Nessary, founder and president of Zam Zam. “The potential that Zam Zam, Paxful, and cryptocurrency have in implementing projects for good is inconceivable, and I am extremely optimistic at what the future holds.”

In another development, Paxful and Zam Zam recently welcomed AnthemGold to the #BuiltwithBitcoin initiative. The cryptocurrency provider donated enough bitcoin to build a 35,000-liter water tank in Rwanda and fund the cultivation of over 80 sustainable community gardens and 30 goats for two villages.

“I am grateful to participate in a project that builds sustainable and essential projects for communities in need,” said Anthem Hayek Blanchard, CEO of AnthemGold. “We hope to use Zam Zam’s knowledge to provide people with the building blocks needed to foster and grow.”

Today’s news follows Paxful’s May announcement that it has expanded its investment in Africa by appointing a new Regional Director of Africa and building a blockchain technology incubation hub in Lagos, Nigeria. The hub will launch in fall 2018 and provide a co-working space and services including mentorship, corporate and individual blockchain training, and advisement for ICOs. Paxful will also sponsor several blockchain and crypto-focused events in Nigeria, and plans to speak at others in Ghana, Cameroon and Kenya.

Paxful is a bitcoin marketplace and digital wallet that brings the sharing economy and frictionless cryptocurrency commerce within easy reach of everyone, especially the underbanked. It enables buyers to purchase bitcoin directly from sellers via more than 300 different payment methods, including gift cards, cash deposits, online wallets or debit/credit cards. Paxful secures users against fraud by employing two-factor authentication and the highest-level encryption and holding funds in escrow until the seller has confirmed the payment.