LOCALBITCOINS REVIEW

LocalBitcoins

  • Beginner friendly
  • Good security
  • Supports over 50 Fiat currencies
Provides good anonymity
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Details

Exchange LocalBitcoins
Website URL www.LocalBitcoins.com
Founded 2012
Headquarters Helsinki, Finland
Supported Countries Global
Main Feature Provides good anonymity
Trading Currency BTC
Free Demo Account No
Regulation Not Regulated
Fee Info Free for buyers but low for sellers
Account Types Individual
Deposit Methods Cash, wire transfer, PayPal or 50+ other methods
Withdrawal Methods Cash, wire transfer, PayPal or 50+ other methods
Trading Methods Exchange
Trading Currency Bitcoin
Account Currency Local currencies-50+
US Traders Allowed Yes
Overall Score 89

Pros

  • LocalBitcoins is an effective way of buying Bitcoins if you wish to maintain the sense of privacy and anonymity because the site does not require you to verify any of your personal information before trading
  • The payment methods for trading using the platform are numerous and provide the clientele with options they may not necessarily get from other sites
  • There also no limits involved when buying or selling Bitcoin meaning you can trade any amount at any time without repercussions
  • The site is supported in nearly every country making it a global enterprise

Cons

  • The anonymity of the users of the site makes it especially vulnerable to people with malicious intentions and therefore a sense of caution must be exercised when conducting trade using LocalBitcoins
  • It could also be slightly more expensive to transact with cash because a lot of people are willing to pay a certain premium to remain completely anonymous
  • Speed of delivery is also highly dependent on the amount of time it takes to verify the payment and so it could be an inconvenience to some.

LOCALBITCOINS REVIEW: BUY AND SELL BITCOINS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

Introduction

LocalBitcoins is a Finnish startup that was founded by one Mr. Nikolaus Kangas in June 2012. It is a market place that allows its users to trade Bitcoin on a peer to peer basis as opposed to most other exchanges that charge a transaction fee for transaction facilitation.

LocalBitcoins is a beginner friendly and simple to use platform that connects people all over the world with more than 1.3+ million users in 250 different countries benefiting from their services.  It is a platform that has been designed to expedite casual Bitcoin trade for people who seek privacy in their dealings. In 2014, the company also started mass producing low cost Bitcoin ATM machines.

LocalBitcoins Countries

Figure 2: Countries and cities served

How LocalBitcoins Works

LocalBitcoins is an over the counter platform that works by letting its users post ads showing exchange rates and payment methods for selling and buying Bitcoin. The interested parties then respond and after agreeing to the terms and conditions, the trade is set up and transaction is completed.

Buying Bitcoin using LocalBitcoins is a relatively easy process.

LocalBitcoins account

Figure 3: Create an Account

The first thing that needs to be done is to register an account with their website and proceed to the main page where you can easily search for the specific amount of Bitcoin you want to buy in your preferred currency, your current location and the method you’ll prefer to pay using. As it is, LocalBitcoins is a distributed platform where market participants can quickly exchange Bitcoins for fiat and vice versa. Every account comes with a safe and secure online Bitcoin wallet.

The search should be able to provide you with a myriad of options that you can choose from, and the general rule of thumb is to choose a trader with a good reputation score and traffics a lot of trade.

LocalBitcoins reputation score

Figure 4: Select sellers with good reputation score

Pressing the buy button will give you more information about the ad and the terms of trade which should be carefully read through before activating the trading process.

From here, a trade request is sent indicating the amount to be bought and a short message for the seller. Users who intend to make big purchases are however required by other users to verify their information to add some degree of legitimacy to the whole transaction.

LocalBitcoins Payment

Figure 5: Paying for your BTC

 

LocalBitcoins trade confirmation

Figure 6: Settling Transaction

 

Payment should be done within the payment window or else the transaction will automatically be cancelled. The seller will verify the payment and release the agreed amount Bitcoin to your LocalBitcoins wallet.

Selling Bitcoin is equally as easy, requiring one to click the sell button and follow a somewhat similar process with buying except in the case of payment cash will be received, verified and the Bitcoin released to the buyer.

LocalBitcoins Payment Methods

The payment methods are numerous when it comes to using LocalBitcoins. You can pay through Cash Deposit, Credit Card, International wire, Money Gram, National bank transfer, Neteller, PayPal, Pay Safe Card, SEPA, Western Union, MPesa and many more.

LocalBitcoins does not support any other cryptocurrency at this point and may be considered limited in this sense, but it can also be seen as a platform that has specialized their trade to one currency and therefore a niche on its own.

Security Features

Normally with online trade, security concerns are usually raised, and rightfully so since there could be some people with malicious intentions prying the internet.

LocalBitcoins ensures that you are not conned off your products by employing an escrow system. An escrow is basically an agreement in the form of a contract where a third party receives and distributes money or documents of value for transacting parties depending on their terms of agreement until the end of the transaction. In case you pay for Bitcoin and the seller tries to escape with your money without giving you Bitcoins, all you need to do is to provide proof of payment and LocalBitcoins will release the Bitcoins to you.

Other security features that LocalBitcoins employs include a two factor authentication that protects your account when someone gets your password. A login guard is also another feature that enhances security by detecting a login in from a new browser.

LocalBitcoins has a reputation and feedback system that enables its users to quickly determine who might be a fraud and who might not. There is a simple criteria one can use to weed out the people with potential malicious intentions involving a series of questions you can answer to determine whether the trade is viable or a scam. The first one is whether the trader has sold or bought more than 50 Bitcoins, if they have completed 100 trades, if their feedback score is 97% or higher, if they have been registered on the site for more than an year, if they have verified their information in the site and lastly whether more than 20 people trust his trade. A yes to all these questions means that the trade is probably legit and is worth being pursued. It however takes time to build such a portfolio online and you may be required to trade with less known traders before you gather enough experience and a following to get you the trust for big purchases.

Word of caution:

Since using LocalBitcoins will connect you to a trader near you, caution must be exercised when choosing a physical address where you can complete your transaction in case the terms of engagement stipulate that the trade must be completed in person.

Private homes and places are generally avoided for such an endeavor, with public places having multiple exists being preferred. Users are often encouraged to trust their gut feeling whenever they feel like something is not right because often they are on to something and they can save themselves from a potentially horrible situation.

LocalBitcoins Charges

Using LocalBitcoins is an entirely free process and the site generates money from people who post ads and are charged a 1% fee for any completed trade.

Bitcoin transfer from one user to another is also free. Network fees will be charged for all transfer to 3rd party wallets.

A 0.5% fee is also charge on all paid invoices when merchants use LocalBitcoins invoicing service. Meanwhile custom works calls for a minimum €200/Hr billed in Bitcoins at prevailing market rates.

Customer Care Support

LocalBitcoins boasts a terrific customer support and the team can be reached through email in case of any queries which they will respond to in a matter of minutes depending on your time zone.

The official website has an extensive frequently asked questions bank that covers all the topics that may come to mind involving the platform which I find especially helpful.

Moreover, LocalBitcoins has forums where users can request for help from each other making it a wholesome affair.

Conclusion

LocalBitcoins is a peer to peer Bitcoin trading platform that is easily accessible, safe and available worldwide. Traders can choose from a variety of payment methods, select sellers courtesy of their reputation system. It’s a tried and tested platform where the community has embraced and recommends for first time Bitcoin buying especially when other methods are locked out.

 

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