Localbitcoins is the largest P2P Bitcoin exchange which helps to match Bitcoin buyers and sellers who live close to each other, enabling face-to-face and online transactions. It provides an escrow service which makes sure every transaction that users make is fair.
Founded in 2012 by Jeremias Kangas, the company is one of the oldest in this industry. The major difference between Localbitcoins and other exchanges is that LocalBitcoins does not require personal information to make trades. Other exchanges like Coinbase and Coinmama go through a rigorous KYC process which may take days to verify.
Currently Localbitcoins operates in 248 countries and 13774 cities, with a base in Helsinki, Finland. The liquidity is depended on the amount of buyers and sellers in your area.
The company is not operational in Germany or the state of New York. It left New York due to the BitLicense.
Accepted Payment Methods
Localbitcoins users have the liberty to choose from a variety of payment methods:
- Wire transfer
- Western Union
- Cash by mail
- Cash (in person)
Depending on the country you’re in, some of these options may not be available. The sellers always mention which mode of payment they prefer. Localbitcoins puts no restriction from their side.
LocalBitcoins.com Transaction Fee
Localbitcoins charges 1% fee on every transaction which seller has to pay. Sellers are allowed to inflate the price depending on the payment method or as they see fit.
Localbitcoins is private and supports anonymous transactions of Bitcoin. You don’t need to go through any KYC process to verify your personal details. Email address is the only thing needed to sign up for the platform. Although, some sellers may ask for identification in order to proceed with the trade.
The exchange does not impose any limits on its users. They’re free to decide their own prices and limits.
Localbitcoins has strong security features like two-factor authentication, HTTPS encryption, and Login Guard. Their escrow feature is quite remarkable and adds to the security of exchange. Every time a user makes a trade, the money is held on LocalBitcoins’ escrow service. Only after the seller confirms the deposit from the buyer, the trade is completed and Bitcoins are released.
To help the buyers choose the trusted sellers, and vice-versa, Localbitcoins uses reputation system. Every trader has a reputation with their public history records showing their past activities.
If anything goes wrong, their support and conflict resolution team is always ready to answer your questions and resolve any disputes between buyers and sellers.
The P2P nature of the exchange helps them from not getting hacked.
Many users have been scammed on Localbitcoins in the past, primarily due to peer-to-peer interaction. Although, the exchange itself has never been hacked.
Online forums like Reddit and Bitcointalk.org are filled with complaints with scam reports, which has slightly damaged the reputation of Localbitcoins.
LocalBitcoins offers support via email. They are usually quick to respond to all issues. Exchange also offers forums where you can request help from other users of the platform.
The exchange is a great place to buy Bitcoin. Personally, I have bought Bitcoin from it several times and never had any issue with it. As a rule of thumb, be careful with whom you’re buying from. If the seller is new or has negative ratings, it’s best to choose someone else.
You don’t always have to go for the cheapest buy price — that’s how scammers usually set up the trap. It’s your responsibility to understand the risks of peer-to-peer trading. All Localbitcoins does is provide you a robust platform to make the trades.