Our article will tell you about LocalBitcoins — one of the most famous and popular peer-to-peer (p2p) Bitcoin trading marketplace. This program is a meeting point for buyers and sellers who can communicate directly for transactions there.
LocalBitcoins Review Summary
LocalBitcoins can be described as a site with a wide variety of payment options. The fact is that buyers themselves choose from the variety of sellers present on the platform. Sellers make their offers with payment methods that are convenient for them. Escrow service is built into the site to provide security to the buyer, but despite this, you need to be careful, as there is still a chance to become a victim of scammers.
The good thing about LocalBitcoins is that you can find many offers with different payment options, unlike other exchanges. And the main disadvantages of the marketplace are high prices for buying Bitcoins and the ability to meet a fraudster. Therefore, we recommend users be careful, prudent, and thoughtful when working with the LocalBitcoins p2p marketplace.
This is the most concise information you need to know about the site. Below we will consider its indicators in more detail.
LocalBitcoins Overview and Security
The founder of the exchange platform Nikolaus Kangas opened his company almost ten years ago in Finland. Although LocalBitcoins did not have any external investment, it was able to become one of the leading players in the Bitcoin market.
This exchange is a trading platform where bitcoin sellers and buyers meet. Since we are talking about serious transactions, the service cares about the safety of its users.
For these purposes, several systems have been introduced:
- Escrow service — When a buyer expresses a desire to buy Bitcoins, they are transferred to the LocalBitcoins’ escrow service. They are kept there until a positive response from the seller.
- Reputation system — it is possible to view the history of transactions of each seller and see the reputation rating based on their transactions on the site.
- Login guard — The LocalBitcoins system monitors from which device the platform was logged in. If you usually logged in from one browser, but suddenly you logged in from another, then additional manipulations will be required to enter the platform (confirmation of the email address).
- 2FA — This option can be configured by the user if they want to. This is an additional PIN code that the system will ask you when you log into your account. The code is sent to your phone number. This way, scammers will not be able to hack into your account.
- Customer support team — If you have any questions or conflicts between the parties to the transaction, you can contact the support team. It is designed to support users and resolve disputes.
- Buying cryptocurrency from an anonymous account — Unfortunately, or fortunately, the rules are changing. And although not long ago you could buy bitcoin anonymously on the LocalBitcoins, now this cannot be done. New legislation regulates the use of the Know Your Customer process (KYC) to verify customers. Previously, it was also possible to buy Bitcoins with Cash, but as part of additional protection measures, this option was removed from the LocalBitcoins.
The good news is that you can register, buy and sell Bitcoins without additional payments at LocalBitcoins. An additional commission of 1% on each trade will be charged to you if you create an advertisement for your offers on the platform. That is, you will only pay additional fees if you want to sell your Bitcoin faster and use the site’s advertising services for this.
In addition to the above, you can make deals with the wallets of other users of the LocalBitcoins platform for free. The standard network fees are only charged when you send bitcoins outside of the LocalBitcoins site. The amount of the payment depends on the network overload.
Our advice is not to leave your bitcoins in your LocalBitcoins wallet on the platform for too long. Your best bet is to send them to a secure wallet elsewhere.
Visit this page to see all fee schedules.
Payment Methods and Currencies
There are many payment methods available for LocalBitcoins users, such as:
- Cash deposits
- Wire transfer
- And others
The choice of payment method depends on the selected seller. But it is worth remembering that all sellers are individuals, so there is no possibility of paying with a credit card. Although you can use Paypal to which your credit card or debit card is connected. So even this way becomes real.
The exchange rate will also depend on the choice of the payment method. Some methods are pretty sketchy, so the price when using them will be higher than others. This is done to get «insurance.» When using non-reversible payment methods (wire bank transfer or cash deposit), the rates are more profitable. But for the buyer, these are the riskiest methods.
Fortunately for many users, the LocalBitcoins platform is available worldwide. On the service, you can find sellers from more than 240 countries.
There is only one limitation — the service is not available in two US states, Washington State and NY State.
Each user is awarded their own buying limit. The level will depend on the verification you have passed.
T3: Top Level with no limit for trade. For this, you need to get T2 and provide an additional ID.
T2: The trading limit is € 200,000 per year. You must obtain T1 and provide proof of residence.
T1: The trading limit is € 20,000 per year. You need to get T0 and provide KYC data, physical address and pass the ID verification.
T0: The trading limit is € 1,000 per year. You must provide your name, contact phone number, email address, and country of residence.
LocalBitcoins VS. Paxful
We can say that LocalBitcoins is considered a more reliable exchange that has been around for a longer time. However, Paxful provides a similar service with roughly the same transaction fee.
Customer Reviews and Support
When reading customer reviews, it is worth remembering that LocalBitcoins is one of the p2p marketplaces. It does not select users on its own, and it is the user’s task. Many negative reports refer to this particular trait. The user ran into a scammer and is therefore unhappy with LocalBitcoins.
In the past, the number of reviews related to sellers-scammers has been very high. But LocalBitcoins slightly revised their policy and began to work more closely with the problem, which allowed them to increase their rating on Trustpilot. Now it is around 4.8.
Other user reports have noticed bugs in the service and slow responses from the support team.
We have also looked into reviews on Reddit. The main idea of most messages is that you need to be careful with people. The marketplace itself evokes positive emotions, but the result depends on the reliability of whoever you trade with.
We recommend checking the FAQ page. Users will find there most of the answers to LocalBitcoins-related questions.
How to Use LocalBitcoins Safely
The peculiarity of this exchange is that no matter how good the LocalBitcoins site and its capabilities are, you do business with strangers. Therefore, to avoid cheating, it is better to adhere to several rules when working at LocalBitcoins.
Finding a Reliable Seller
First, you select sellers by such parameters as location and payment method. Further, many buyers choose based on the price. Do not do it. This is the most common bait for scammers — to attract by a low price. Trust me, and it is better to pay a little more to a reputable seller than to meet a scammer and lose everything. Therefore, your next step is to select suitable sellers based on their reputation. At LocalBitcoins, you can check the rating the seller has received for their last trades.
The next rule is to never post about wanting to buy Bitcoins. This is the surest way to get offers. True, you will get them from scammers.
Our advice is to find the seller yourself and view their profile. Here is our checklist for finding trustworthy sellers on LocalBitcoins:
- The seller is verified
- Account created earlier than a year ago
- At least 10 other accounts trust this user
- The feedback score is at least 98%
- The seller has completed at least 100 trades for over 100 Bitcoins in total.
Following these rules, the chances of getting into a bad position are rapidly approaching zero. If you cannot find a seller suitable for all points of our security checklist, find the one who is closest to this.
We also recommend checking the seller on the LocalBitcoins Forum. You can search for it there using the name. If there was any negative feedback or complaints about working with this seller, then you can probably find it here.
Communication with Sellers
Once you have found a suitable seller, send them a requesting a trade message.
Do not make these mistakes:
- Do not send any additional data until you receive a response
- Do not communicate or make deals outside LocalBitcoins
- Do not send any additional information outside of the LocalBitcoins website; only scammers will ask you about it
Following these rules, you can continue the transaction after receiving a response from the seller.
After submitting the payment, you can mark the payment as made. Do not do this earlier. Otherwise, the sale may not go through.
Tip for New Buyers
Sellers may also be reluctant to sell to unrated buyers who are brand new to the LocalBitcoins. The solution to this situation may be to make several smaller purchases with less trustworthy sellers. So the buyer will be able to build up the rating and move on to more effective deals.
How to Buy Bitcoins on LocalBitcoins?
The process is more than simple. Follow these instructions:
- Register on the site
- Go through verification steps
- Go to the Buy Bitcoin page
- Enter the desired parameters and trade details
- Send a trade request
Is LocalBitcoins Safe?
The site itself is secure and does a lot to keep buyers and sellers safe from scammers. But in the end, it all depends on the people and your care. Follow the tips we have outlined above, and you will be satisfied with using LocalBitcoins.
Why Do People Use LocalBitcoins?
Many buyers and sellers loved the opportunity to trade Bitcoins anonymously. The site does not currently provide this option, but it does provide a wide variety of payment methods.
In some countries, LocalBitcoins is the only option for buying and selling Bitcoins.
To Sum Up
LocalBitcoins is a good option for those who do not use the most popular payment method or who live in a country with severe restrictions on the use of exchange sites.
To be satisfied with the use of LocalBitcoins, we recommend that users follow our advice and be on the alert. Before proceeding to Bitcoins trading, you need to not only go through mobile phone, email verification, id verification yourself but also carefully check who you intend to make a transaction with. By following simple rules, you will save yourself and have a satisfying experience of buying and selling Bitcoins on Local Bitcoins.
Is LocalBitcoins com legit?
Yes, LocalBitcoins is a legit exchange where a person can buy bitcoin or sell bitcoins. But it is worth remembering that this is a marketplace where a lot depends on the reliability of your partner. To get a positive experience, we recommend that you use our tips, which we set out in localbitcoins.com review 2021. One of the main rules will be to check each other for reliability and trade only on the site.
Is LocalBitcoins legal?
It is a legal marketplace for selling and buying Bitcoins. But the possibility of stumbling upon scammers exists. Therefore, before moving on to trading operations, users have to do their own due diligence to avoid fraudsters. Users are free to check the history of the site operations and see the rating of another user.
The site implements user account verification to protect it from intruders. There is also a conflict resolution service available for users.
Why is LocalBitcoins so expensive?
This is because users set the price of bitcoin themselves here. In addition, many traders offer a wide variety of payment options. And the more risky the payment option for them, the higher the price will be. This is a kind of safety and insurance for them. In addition, this site is available in almost all countries, which in some areas makes it the only one possible of all bitcoin exchanges. That is, there are no competitors.
What is the safest Bitcoin site?
It depends on many parameters and a little on your luck. Although with the right approach and sufficient verification, safe trading can be achieved almost everywhere.
The safest Bitcoin sites are Coinbase, Kraken, eToro, Gemini, Binance, and others.