Buying and selling Bitcoins in a developing country can be a very tough process.
Especially the suspension of BTC transactions online in such regions.
That’s why it makes sense talking about an alternative service through which one can buy Bitcoins peer-to-peer anytime – and here comes LocalBitcoins P2P exchange platform.
More so is the issue faced by people in third world countries where there is less to no banking support.
These people often get deprived and neglected by the cryptocurrency revolution amidst which we are.
Today we are discussing a service that goes beyond all these barriers and makes it easy for anyone to buy/sell BTC irrespective of where they live or what they have.
Let me start by introducing the company and its history…
LocalBitcoins is the largest P2P Bitcoin exchange which matches buyers and sellers who live close to each other, enabling face-to-face and online transactions. It serves as an escrow service, which makes sure every transaction made is fair.
LocalBitcoins was founded in 2012 by Jeremias Kangas, and company is one of the oldest in this industry.
The major difference between LocalBitcoins and every other exchange is that, it does not require personal information to make trades.
Other exchanges like Binance, Coinbase and Coinmama go through a rigorous KYC (i.e. Know Your Customer) process which may normally take days to verify.
Currently LocalBitcoins operates in 248 countries and 13774 cities, with a base in Helsinki, Finland. The liquidity depends on the amount of buyers and sellers in your area.
According to the news on Bitcoin Magazine, 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 and those methods are:
- 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. Sellers are also allowed to mention which mode of payment they prefer.
Localbitcoins puts no restriction from their side though.
LocalBitcoins charges 1% fee on every transaction which seller has to pay. Sellers are allowed to inflate price depending on payment method 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 Bitcoin trading on the platform. Although, some of the sellers may ask for identification in order to proceed with the trade.
Buy and Sell Limits
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.
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.
LocalBitcoins vs Paxful
Aside LocalBitcoins there is a popular website that also acts as a P2P marketplace called Paxful. Both sites basically offer the same services with similar fees.
However LocalBitcoins has been around for long, and is generally considered as more reliable. Also LocalBitcoins has a wider variety of sellers and buyers.
Is LocalBitcoins legit?
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.