LocalBitcoins – Is It Good?

Founded all the way back in 2012 in Finland, LocalBitcoins is not only one of the oldest but the largest peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange platform. You can even communicate with other users directly to even arrange trades in person. Some people have even compare it to Craigslist. Howeve, just like Craigslist, LocalBitcoins has lots of problems with scammers.

So is LocalBitcoins any good? Is LocalBitcoins trustworthy? How can you remain safe using it? And, most importantly, how does LocalBitcoins stack up against other platforms?

What Does LocalBitcoins provide?

Respecting the true nature of Bitcoin, LocalBitcoins didn’t use to force its users to send an I.D. or give out any personal details, making it a great anonymous option. However, in late March 2019, they announced in their blog a departure from the anonymous option, citing some anti-terrorist and money laundering laws. To some people this marked a departure from what they claimed to be: an anonymous, secure and decentralized way to trade crypto.

Also, as any reviewer in TrustPilot will happily tell you, LocalBitcoins is filled with scammers. To fight this LocalBitcoins has a reputation system where every user has a public reputation, like on eBay. That way you can see if you’re dealing with a dodgy user or a trustworthy trader. They also have escrow protection in all transactions, so the Bitcoins are released only after they receive the seller’s confirmation of a completed deal. If you have any issues they also have a support and conflict resolution team to assist you.

To complete their security they offer a two-factor authentication option and a login guard that detects if you’re not signing in from the usual browser and requires an extra identification step in the form of an email. They even removed their Local Cash Ads from their website recently.

They only trade Bitcoins, which may be disappointing for any altcoin fan. However you can buy them through multiple payment methods including PayPal, MoneyGram, cash deposit and wire transfer. You can also buy them through more niche methods like WeChat, Payoneer, Payza and many more.

LocalBitcoins also offers a hot wallet. However it’s never a good idea to keep your crypto in an exchange service. Unless you’re trading, you should always store it in your own separate wallet.

Supported Countries

LocalBitcoins has support in over 250 countries, excluding countries with restrictions and financial bans. Countries not supported include North Korea, China, Indonesia, Syria and, more recently, Iran.

They also don’t support US for now for the same reason.

LocalBitcoins Rates and Buying Limits

LocalBitcoins notably offers free Bitcoin trading, charging a fee only to those who advertise Bitcoins for sale to other users on the platform. That means that if you want to trade with someone you know, you don’t have to pay the fee.

LocalBitcoins trading fee: 1%

Sending invoices also generates a fee, that being of of 0.5% taken from the invoice amount. And although they don’t charge for sending Bitcoin to another LocalBitcoin wallet, the transaction does generate a fee for the blockchain network processing it.

LocalBitcoins also doesn’t have any limits on the amount of crypto you can trade.

LocalBitcoins Pros

  • Large community: Any P2P lives or dies by the amount of people using it and, being the largest of its kind, LocalBitcoins has no shortage of crypto offers.
  • Multiple payment methods: Getting Bitcoin is easy with a multitude of payment options ranging from the usual ones to the ones you’re yet to hear about.
  • Safe platform: Besides the user base, the platform itself is quite safe with several layers of security guarding your account.

LocalBitcoins Cons

  • No support for US: The United States has a growing crypto market so it’s a shame to see they don’t offer support for their citizens.
  • Scammers: Despite their best efforts, it’s very easy to spot scammers on the website.
  • No longer anonymous: The biggest pro of the website is sadly gone with their new KYC requirements.

Sign Up at LocalBitcoins

Is LocalBitcoins Good For Bitcoin?

Most of the bad reviews come from people that have been scammed on the site. This can be avoided somewhat easily. If you see the latest iPhone at half price on eBay being sold by a user with zero reviews in a new account, you wouldn’t buy it, would you? The same thought process is applicable on LocalBitcoins. Dealing exclusively with high-rated traders may look more expensive but it’s always the best way to use this and any other P2P exchange.

We are very disappointed to see this isn’t an anonymous option anymore, however you can find many anonymous options to buy your crypto right here.

What most people miss is that scammers exist on LocalBitcoins because of the flexibility of the platform and their variety of payment methods, which makes it accessible to almost anyone. If you’re safe around it, their low fees and simple design still makes LocalBitcoins a great place to trade crypto.