In a recent partnership, Jack Dorsey‘s crypto firm TBD has joined forces with Paxful co-founder Ray Youssef to introduce Civilization Kit (Civ Kit), a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency trading platform. The project, based on Nostr, a decentralized network protocol designed for distributed and free social networking systems, comes on the heels of Paxful’s shutdown due to regulatory pressure and internal strife.
Civ Kit aims to create a network of decentralized, non-custodial bitcoin marketplaces, which Youssef believes could reach thousands worldwide. In a recent episode of The Scoop, a weekly podcast by crypto media The Block, Youssef stated that the decentralized identity technology developed by TBD would play a significant role in the process. Previously, Youssef referred to Civ Kit as “the next evolution of Bitcoin.”
However, despite investing millions in compliance, Youssef admitted in an interview that it still wasn’t enough. The situation was worsened by a legal battle with his co-founder that ultimately led to the resignation of top-level staff.
Founded in 2015, Paxful enabled P2P crypto trading, allowing users to exchange Bitcoin for various forms of currency through the platform. However, the marketplace suspended operations in early April, following a conflict between Youssef and co-founder Artur Schaback who accused Youssef of concealing vital details about the platform’s business and engaging in fraudulent fund transfers.
With Paxful’s shutdown, users were advised to transfer their funds to non-custodial wallets or alternative platforms, such as the newly-created Noones P2P bitcoin marketplace. Noones offers features like wallet, listing service, marketplace, and escrow, with Lightning Network functionality to be available soon.
Civ Kit intends to surpass Noones and Paxful by empowering anyone to create a decentralized Bitcoin-based marketplace on its ecosystem, as per Youssef. He envisions a world with a thousand decentralized marketplaces running simultaneously, referring to the idea as “the most exciting thing since Bitcoin.”
The prospects of Civ Kit are indeed compelling as it decentralizes trading and allows for more financial freedom. However, the recent history of Paxful serves as a stark cautionary tale, demonstrating the potential challenges and pitfalls that await those venturing into the world of decentralized marketplaces. As with any new technology, there is considerable risk and uncertainty, yet the continued development of blockchain-based solutions also signifies its growing potential.