Bitcoin and a lot of cryptocurrencies are decentralized and this feature is both a curse and a blessing to the digital currency world. The lack of decentralization makes it difficult for people to hold any institution accountable if during a transaction something goes wrong with their funds. On the good side, the lack of regulation and anonymity crypto users enjoy is one of the reasons it is becoming a force to reckon with in business and finance.
The problem most people have had with buying and selling bitcoin is that during a peer-to-peer transaction they have to rely mostly on trust and good faith which is not always guaranteed as there have been situations involving scams and other such issues. If only there was an escrow, an institution that lets people deposit money with them until all parts of a business deal or transaction have been fulfilled before making designated payments. There is and it is LocalBitcoins.
Free to use
| 82% Claimed win-rate|
$250 Min Deposit
Accepts Debit and Credit Card
LocalBitcoins is an exchange platform that allows for peer-to-peer bitcoin transactions. It is the alternative service that allows people to buy and sell bitcoins peer-to-peer at any time they want and from anywhere they want. People that use LocalBitcoins services enjoy a level of control over the outcomes of their peer-to-peer transactions instead of just relying on good faith and trust. With this exchange platform serving as an escrow they can only pay or be paid when the parties interested have shown satisfaction and consented to the transaction.
LocalBitcoins has been up and running for almost two decades now. It has been around and functioning from Finland since 2010. Over that time they have witnessed different eras and phenomenal changes in the digital currency market. They have been in operations and know enough to provide adequate and sustainable services for a large number of people. Over 248 countries and more than 15000 cities around the world are supported by the services offered by LocalBitcoins. You can trade or conduct businesses in these countries and cities using bitcoin on this platform.
LocalBitcoins ensures you do not get swindled during a transaction by others. When people trade with others they make use of bank accounts, Payoneer or maybe Paypal but it is not so easy with bitcoins and cryptocurrencies at large. There is usually no middle man that can call off transactions when one party is not in agreement or satisfied. LocalBitcoins steps up and becomes the escrow, the middle man that umpires the trade and ensures both parties are satisfied and can exchange their fiat money for bitcoin or vice versa if they want.
Why you should use LocalBitcoins?
If you are engaging in peer-to-peer transactions that involve bitcoin then you are better off using LocalBitcoins. The reasons are plenty and will be mentioned in the course of this review. The available options provided by the exchange set them aside from every other one of their kind out there. The very first thing about LocalBitcoins that makes it special is that it is peer-to-peer and anyone that has been involved in peer-to-peer transactions will understand how important this service is to the digital market.
How To Use LocalBitcoins
The most important thing for LocalBitcoins as an exchange platform is the transparency of customers and the only way to ensure this is that they can verify their customers. Before this development by LocalBitcoins, you could transact on the platform with little or no identity while they still functioned as an escrow but now they ensure that proper and legit documents.
To get started on LocalBitcoins, you are required to submit verifiable documents such as international passports or driver’s licenses and even a national ID card. Any customer that cannot provide these documents forfeits their LocalBitcoins account. This reduces the number of scammers that you could meet on the exchange platform. The new Know-Your-Customer policies are strict as the number of customers has increased so much and a lot of transactions are made daily. So the first step to using LocalBitcoins is by getting registered with your email and getting verified. It is a fairly easy process.
After getting registered on LocalBitcoins and going through your required verification. You will have to work on your profile and complete it except if you prefer anonymity which does not work for a lot of other traders. Some traders will not trade with a customer that has an incomplete profile so it is in the customer’s interest to have a complete profile.
LocalBitcoins, unlike other exchange platforms, abhors money laundering and for this reason, they insist that any trader that has a lot of transactions must be verified so that no one launders money with the platform under the guise of anonymity. This level of transparency is what keeps bringing people to the exchange and that on its own ensures that they never get liquidated.
You are in the pilot seat with your account on LocalBitcoins. You can filter out countries that you prefer not to do business or transactions with at any time. This helps you be specific with certain traders and not waste your time with people you do not have any interest in trading with. You can always go through the conditions and details of the trade first to make sure it is suitable for you.
It is a walk in the park to conduct transactions on LocalBitcoins. It is easy to navigate through the platform. You can set the details of any potential transactions in such a way it suits all your conditions first.
Payment Methods and Fees on LocalBitcoins
Aside from choosing from your filters which countries you will prefer to conduct business with and knowing how to set the details right for any transactions you can also ensure that one more condition is met before you make any transactions; your preferred payment. The payment method of your choice is very important and will make it easy for you and a client to agree on these terms to avoid conflicts. If you prefer fiats to cryptocurrencies whether you are selling or buying you can ensure that you get to do a transaction in your preferred payment methods.
You can filter out the payment methods that you find unacceptable and you can also set your filter and details to accept only certain types of payment methods. This means that you can filter payment methods like Paypal, Payoneer, Western Union, Skrill, Ria, and other such payment methods.
As concerns fees on LocalBitcoins, all transactions on the platforms are free of any charges. Whether you are buying or you are selling bitcoin on the platforms, you are not required to pay any fee. You are however required to pay a 1% fee for advertisements when are trade is completed. When a transaction is completed and funds are sent to the wallet of any other LocalBitcoins user, you are not charged any fee as well. These charge-free transactions encourage a lot of trades among LocalBitcoins users.
Ease of finding like-minded traders
The integrity of buyers and sellers can be seen in their details. Their reputation is measured in percents perhaps from previous trade reviews or any other algorithm that LocalBitcoins considers favorable to them. You can filter traders with low reputation percentages, after all, there is a reason other people did not leave a good review and you can find and concentrate on more reliable buyers. The number of completed trades is also on the detail so you can tell how much transactions a person has done. A person that has completed a lot of trades with a good percentage of about 90% and more, is good for business.
This helps you narrow down your search. With this exchange platform, you do not have to be disturbed about finding the right buyers since the statistics speak for themselves, unlike the real world where you cannot tell who is fraudulent or unserious. It is a trusted and tested method of finding buyers and sellers so you can rest assured that on this one, LocalBitcoins has you covered.
Exchange bitcoin for different payment methods
On LocalBitcoins, you can exchange bitcoin for almost any acceptable method of payment. You do not have to be restricted to purchasing with only one or two methods. The payment methods that the platform exchanges bitcoin for makes it easier for a buyer so they do not first have to go through the rigors of a first exchange before actually exchanging with the platform. The various methods of payment on LocalBitcoins include; exchanging bitcoin for cash, bitcoin for prepaid cards, bitcoin for wire transfers, bitcoin for payment gateways, bitcoin for gift cards, and other cryptocurrencies are allowed such as litecoin, altcoins, ethereum, and ripple. Paypal, Payoneer, OKPay, One card, Ria and other such payment methods are all acceptable for exchange. This makes it easy for the customer to exchange easily for bitcoin.
Use the Escrow feature
Transactions on LocalBitcoins are covered by the escrow feature. What this means that when a trade is initiated, the funds are kept apart from the seller’s account so the buyer is protected and as a seller, you are to wait till your conditions are satisfied before you can release the escrow. If in a case you run into a fraudulent seller and there is an attempt to bolt with your money, the money will be released to you from the escrow. You cannot lose your bitcoin all thanks to the LocalBitcoins feature. The sellers are protected as well by the escrow as there are fraudulent buyers as there are sellers. So it is important to note that a seller should not release the escrow to the buyer when they are not satisfied yet.
Feedback after Transactions
At the end of a trade, you can and should give feedback about the seller or buyer you had the transactions with. This feedback is like rating your transaction experience with the customer. This feedback helps LocalBitcoins as an exchange platform to rate this buyer or seller for future business transactions with others. LocalBitcoins gives customers the ability and choice to protect themselves and others by rating other customers so that they can either be avoided or approached for more businesses.
This feature is one of the reasons LocalBitcoins is very safe because a lot of people wear their reputation like a badge literally on the platform. The best people to trade with our customers that have over 90% positive ratings. A badly rated customer might find their page or details at the bottom of the LocalBitcoins page, this way they do not get a lot of business interactions and considerations while the more positively reviewed customers enjoy the top of the page and are often considered for more business transactions on the platform.
There are four types of feedback ratings you can give a customer and they are Positive, Negative, Neutral and Block without feedback. These scores determine the future transactions of any customer.
LocalBitcoins Customer care system
The first thing anyone would enjoy about the LocalBitcoins customer support system is that the response is fairly rapid. You can get a quick response from the support team almost as quickly as you make a report. You can reach the support using emails and they will reply as soon as possible. However, when there is a surge you might experience delays in response from the support team and the reason is obvious. During a bitcoin surge, there are a lot of complaints and reports for help from the customer support team hence the delayed response. They have also provided a section for FAQs so that if there are issues that you have ran into that others have previously dealt with, you can see a quick response that will help you. The frequent issues sections on the platform will also assist you quickly when you need to raise a ticket
Who should use LocalBitcoins?
The platform is suitable for people that are newbies and want to buy their very first coins. It is a great place to get started in trading bitcoins. It is also a very good and reliable platform for people that want to buy bitcoin using the various payment method that is suitable or available to them or people that would rather pay in cash. People who have any interest in trading cryptocurrencies or more specifically bitcoin as a long-term career are should also make use of the LocalBitcoins platform. It helps guide and protect such career interests. If you want to change your bitcoin to a currency other than the one of your country then you can make these exchanges on LocalBitcoins. There are people of different nationalities that hold different currencies that you may want to exchange for bitcoin so LocalBitcoins is the place to trade bitcoin for any currency.
There is also room for people that want to sell their bitcoin in exchange for cash. You can exchange your coins for cash with trustworthy and verified people on the platform with very little risks. The platform provides escrow services for people that would love to use the escrow services to umpire a transaction. If you are also one of the people that will rather not make use of centralized financial institutions like banks and have a preference for cryptocurrencies. The application is not discriminatory as it serves people from different demographic regions.
How safe is it to use LocalBitcoins?
With all the precautions taken by LocalBitcoins, the platform is very safe to have your transactions. It has little or no negative reviews as most customers are efficiently satisfied with their experiences there. It is a place for people with an interest in bitcoin exchanges. If you have terrible banking systems in your region or country due to bad policies or infrastructure, you can save yourself the stress of dealing with the hassle by just making use of LocalBitcoins.
As safe as it LocalBitcoins might be, you must go through terms and conditions properly before you indulge in any transactions on bitcoin on LocalBitcoins. This will enable to be fully aware of what it is you are doing so that you can make informed decisions. You should also double-check when selling Bitcoin that you have gotten confirmation from your financial institution before you release the escrow by yourself. Once it is done, it may be near impossible to undo. The same thorough checks should be applied when you are buying, you should make sure that you have confirmed the complete transfer of bitcoin to your wallet before making payments no matter how long it takes.
It is best to avoid communications on other media during a transaction. Keep all communications and chat within the platform as it serves as proof should, in any case, there is a dispute. You should also only consider meeting in person when you are selling or buying in very huge volumes, these meetings should be in open places for the safety of the parties involved. Summarily, taking precautions to protect your interest in the LocalBitcoins platform is important while the platform still does its best to give the best services possible.