LocalBitcoins is a unique cryptocurrency exchange platform. It’s a P2P platform wherein traders and sellers can meet, interact, and make deals. Finally, LocalBitcoins acts more like an escrow account that ensures the safe transaction of cryptocurrencies between different users.
LocalBitcoins is actually the oldest P2P cryptocurrency exchange platform in the market, having been founded in 2012 by Jeremiah Kangas. It’s currently based in Helsinki, Finland.
One of the reasons that LocalBitcoins is helpful is because it maintains the users’ privacy completely. Furthermore, a lot of the primary exchange platforms have limited cryptocurrency support, or limited fiat currency support, or aren’t available in certain countries.
LocalBitcoins moves past all of those limitations. It’s a free market system wherein all kinds of payment methods are accepted and it presents a wide range of cryptocurrencies that you won’t find in traditional platforms.
In this LocalBitcoins review, I’ll take you through a detailed exploration of this platform so you can decide whether to use it. If you want to compare it to other cryptocurrency exchange platforms, you can move on to Part 2 of this review.
PART 1: LocalBitcoins Trading Information
Cryptocurrencies dependent on sellers
There aren’t any official cryptocurrencies supported by the platform. It all depends on the users in the site and what they want to sell. However, as a result, you can generally find a wide range of cryptocurrencies on offer, more so than in most other platforms.
Currencies and Payment Methods also dependent on sellers
You can use any payment method or currencies you want, as long as it’s acceptable to the seller. However, you should be careful about using platforms like PayPal for payment as the transaction can be reversed.
All countries supported
LocalBitcoins is available in all the countries across the globe, with the exception of Germany and New York City in the US. Even if your country doesn’t permit the use of cryptocurrency exchange platforms, you will likely be able to use this.
LocalBitcoins just charges a 1% transaction fee on all trades. This fee is usually taken from the seller and not the buyer.
However, if you’re a buyer, you should know that the prices you’ll find here will likely be higher than what you find in traditional cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
Since LocalBitcoins is a P2P site, vendors generally increase the rates of their cryptocurrencies for a higher profit.
LocalBitcoins doesn’t impose any limits on its users. However, for significantly large transactions, you’ll need to verify your identity with an ID.
How fast are your funds available?
After a deal has been made, the cryptocurrency is deposited to the escrow account. Once the payment is processed, you receive the coins. As such, the duration depends on how fast the payment is processed.
PART 2: LocalBitcoins Compared (and other Alternatives)
It’s hard to compare LocalBitcoins to other exchange platforms as it’s a P2P site. The only other site of this nature is Paxful, which is also similar in a lot of ways.
The official traditional trading platforms generally charge a higher transaction fee and have far more limitations. However, they’re also safer because you don’t have the risk of buyers initiating a refund on payment platforms like PayPal.
Furthermore, some of the sellers in LocalBitcoins are quite sketchy. As such, you should interact with them and check their reviews and past transactions to make sure that they’re legit.
If you want a completely safe means of buying bitcoins, you should try traditional platforms like Coinbase and Coinmama.
|Coinbase Review||3.75%||Great||Email+ Coinbase “Community”||Buy|
|LocalBitcoins Review||1.0%||Good||Quick responses to online support tickets||Buy|
|Paxful Review||0% from buyer, 1% from seller||Good||Forum,live chat and email.||Buy|
|BitPanda Review||1.0% to 4.0%||Good||Buy|
|CEX.IO Review||0.5% to 2.0%||Great||Buy|
|Bitbond Review||1.0% to 2.5%||Good||Buy|
PART 3: How to Create an Account on LocalBitcoins?
With LocalBitcoins, you can start trading as soon as you’ve created an account. You can do so in the following steps:
- Go to the LocalBitcoins website.
- Click on ‘Sign Up Free’.
- Enter an email address and password. Once you receive the confirmation email, click on the verification link.
After the account is created, you can start looking for Bitcoin sellers in your area. You can filter your search results based on location, ratings, ID verifications, payment methods, etc.
You’ll receive a list of a number of possible traders. You can go through their profiles to make sure they’re genuine. You can even initiate contact with them. Once you’re convinced and you want to go ahead with the trade, click on ‘Buy.’In the next window, you can establish the method of payment and other details to finalize the transaction. The whole process is quite straightforward and if the seller agrees to your terms, the process is initiated. If you still have doubts about the process, you can watch the following tutorial on YouTube:
PART 4: LocalBitcoins Customer Support & User Reviews
LocalBitcoins has a competent customer support. They have a thorough FAQ section with an extensive set of information. They even offer forms with which you can report phishing or handle a situation wherein you’ve lost your password or the 2-factor authentication.
Furthermore, even when you contact them via email, they generally get back to you within an hour.
Of course, as far as reviews are concerned, a lot of users do call the site a fraud or scam. However, that’s because as a P2P platform it’s possible to get scammed by fraudulent buyers or sellers if you’re not extra vigilant. However, LocalBitcoins does offer a platform wherein you can place fraud or scam warnings.
PART 5: Conclusion — Who should use LocalBitcoins?
If you feel constricted by the set of restrictions on traditional exchange platforms, or if you’re from a country that doesn’t allow cryptocurrency trading, then you’ll find LocalBitcoins to be very useful.
However, if you want the best deal on cryptocurrency exchanges, then you should opt for traditional platforms such as Bittrex, Coinbase, or GDAX. Furthermore, if you’re a beginner, then using LocalBitcoins is quite risky as you might get scammed by more seasoned users.
Feel free to comment down below and let me know if you have any other questions about using LocalBitcoins!
A great peer-to-peer trading platform that offers a wide range of flexibility and security, but there’s still the possibility of being scammed by fraudulent users.
- Flexibility in terms of payment.
- Wide range of cryptocurrencies available.
- Global presence.
- Presence of fraudulent users.