LocalBitcoins allows the buyers and sellers of Bitcoin to connect directly with each other. The buyers look at the advertisements from sellers and enter the number of Bitcoins they wish to purchase. The sellers post their rates, terms and conditions. The company offers escrow services to settle disputes between both parties — it is secure and you trade it in your local currency. LocalBitcoins supports over 150 different payment methods and most of the world’s currencies.
- Intermediate and experienced cryptocurrency traders
- Low fees
- Free to set up an account with a Bitcoin wallet
- No phone-supported customer services
- Limited to Bitcoin trading
LocalBitcoins Ratings at a Glance
LocalBitcoins is a marketplace where members can buy or sell Bitcoins directly with each other. Members post their exchange rates and forms of payment to buy or sell bitcoins on their platform.
In 2019 LocalBitcoins had 913,000 active traders and got 1.46 million new registered customers. All together, LocalBitcoins has over 8 million customers globally from over 190 countries. It is one of the popular marketplaces for trading Bitcoin.
LocalBitcoins offers direct trading, communication, dispute resolution and escrow services between buyers and sellers. The escrow services take the funds from the seller out of their wallet and release them once both sides accept the trade.
Buying and selling on LocalBitcoins is free. It is free to transfer to the wallets of other members on the site. The fee to transfer to other Bitcoin wallets varies. It depends on the current usage of the Bitcoin blockchain. There is also a fee of 1% for members that create advertisements.
The pricing structure is reasonable for those who are using their network and wallets. It becomes uncertain when transferring to other Bitcoin wallets depending on the blockchain and network congestion. The 1% fee for member advertisements is very reasonable. Most of the prices are low.
LocalBitcoins had some issues with scammers in the past. The company bans these members when they are discovered. They do KYC for all of their members. However, it is your responsibility to vet those members on the other side of the transaction.
There are several ways you can investigate the seller:
- Look for a minimum reputation rating of 98%.
- Notice 10 credible reviews. Read some of them.
- Ensure the seller’s account is established for more than 1 year.
- Check to see whether the seller has traded 100 bitcoins in 100 trades.
- Make sure the seller has a legitimate phone number, account and email address.
- Check the social media pages with the seller’s information — you’re looking for complaints.
- Keep your trades small.
- Never do anything with the seller outside of the LocalBitcoins network.
Its customer service is limited to emails and frequently asked questions. LocalBitcoins bans scammers or anyone doing illegal activities from the network. Most members like the platform, but you need to be watchful of new sellers and vendors with no track record.
LocalBitcoins Mobile App
Currently, LocalBitcoins doesn’t have its own mobile app. However, it has publicly stated that it will be releasing its mobile app for iOS and Android during Q2 2021. There are few applications in the app stores that allow trading in LocalBitcoins. For security reasons, the company doesn’t recommend using those. It advises users to wait for the release of the official LocalBitcoins mobile app, which should be available shortly.
LocalBitcoins does not encourage anyone to use the apps from outside 3rd-party providers. It advises using the official apps from the platform. It ensures transparency and makes everything safer for you to trade Bitcoin.
Many members have positive experiences with LocalBitcoins. It has low fees and there are numerous options for payments that include PayPal, MoneyGram, Neteller, bank wire, SEPA, WeChat, Payza, Payoneer, Skrill and cash deposits. It operates in 111 countries and allows members to connect from anywhere in the world.
The most significant issue is the customer service. It is limited to emails and frequently asked questions. It could take longer to resolve disputes. The escrow services must investigate and mediate between buyers and sellers, which takes time. The escrow service offers an added level of confidence when conducting the transaction.
LocalBitcoins offers these benefits:
- The largest peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform
- 4,000 new members signing up every day
- Escrow services that protect both parties in transactions
- An automated trading application
- Easy and fast process
- A reputation system for screening buyers and sellers
- Access to a global network
These benefits make Bitcoin trading simple and it eliminates 3rd parties from the transactions.
LocalBitcoins offers a tremendous amount of security to trade Bitcoins confidently. It has multiple layers that monitor your information and protect the transaction to include:
Escrow services: Anytime you ask for a trade, LocalBitcoins will hold Bitcoins in an escrow account. They are released once the seller confirms that the trade is complete.
Reputation ranking: All members with LocalBitcoins have a ranking for their reputation. It shows the history of your trading activities with the other parties in the transaction.
Login protection: LocalBitcoins will confirm that you are logging in from the same web browser. When you are using a different web browser, it will require email verification to log in.
Privacy: LocalBitcoins does not share your information. It allows you to buy and sell Bitcoins while maintaining your privacy.
PIN verification: When you are logging into your account, you must enter a PIN that is sent to your cell phone.
Dispute resolution: LocalBitcoins helps to resolve disputes between the buyers and sellers on transactions.
Although these security features are great, you should always be cautious when trading. Even the most sophisticated systems cannot root out all scammers, and you need to pay attention to what you are doing.
We recommend that you investigate all parties in the transaction. You do this in the beginning to build a history of transactions and trusted trading affiliates. It offers extra levels of protection in addition to what is provided by LocalBitcoins. Its personal privacy safeguards are important as it’s one of the largest places for trading Bitcoin.
LocalBitcoins vs Competitors
LocalBitcoins is well established and popular. It stands out from competitors in various ways:
- Higher levels of liquidity
- Among the largest member pool
- No limits on trading
LocalBitcoins has these industry differences:
- Limited mobile applications
- No moderator or fee for members causing disputes
- Face competitors who place limitations on the number of Bitcoins traded
Those who want to use LocalBitcoins need to follow several steps to buy and sell on the platform successfully.
Step 1: Register and set up an account with LocalBitcoins. The registration is free and you receive a complimentary Bitcoin wallet.
Step 2: Look for advertisements. Once you log in and are on the main page, enter into the search box the number of Bitcoins you want to buy in the local currency, your location and method of payment. Those who are unsure about paying can select all online offers as the payment method. The platform lists all of the Bitcoin traders in your area.
Step 3: Select the advertisement. Choose the advertisement you see from a trader with a strong reputation. There is a scale that lists the seller’s response time. Green indicates they will contact you within 5 minutes. Yellow is within 30 minutes. Grey is 30 minutes and above. Clicking on the buy button will tell you more information about the advertisement.
Step 4: Submit payment. Once you press Buy, you will get more information on the advertisement, the terms and conditions. Be sure to read through everything before requesting a trade. If you disagree, you can move back to the previous page and select a different advertisement. If you want to make the trade, type into the blue box the amount, a message to the seller and click that you accept the terms and conditions. You must pay before the payment window ends or the trade is canceled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you get scammed on LocalBitcoins?
LocalBitcoins protects your privacy and does not share any information with third-parties. The company bans anyone who is doing illegal activities or scamming. LocalBitcoins has an escrow service that resolves disputes between buyers and sellers.
Is LocalBitcoins Legal?
LocalBitcoin is legal in 111 countries. Inside the U.S., it is allowed in only specific states to include Montana, Kansas, Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Wisconsin and Virginia.
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