LocalBitcoins is a P2P Bitcoin exchange. Buyers and sellers agree on trade terms, and LocalBitcoins is used as escrow.
LocalBitcoins is a global Bitcoin exchange that gives a lot of options to its users.
Before getting into the details, here are some good and bad things to know about LocalBitcoins:
Pros / Cons
- ✓ Can be private, fast and easy
✓ In-person trades require no personal information
✓ Purchases of bitcoin can be made quickly via cash deposit
- ✗ Beware of scams; always follow the rules!
✗ Harder to buy large amounts of bitcoins compared to large exchanges
✗ Slightly to significantly higher prices than regular exchanges; premium for higher privacy
Limits And Liquidity: How Much Are You Buying?
LocalBitcoins itself does not impose any limits on its users. Users are free to decide on their own prices and limits.
✓ No buying or selling limits imposed by LocalBitcoins
✗ Some sellers will require ID verification for larger amounts
LocalBitcoins is available in nearly every country. Liquidity will depend on the amount of buyers and sellers in your area. LocalBitcoins is not available in Germany or the state of New York. LocalBitcoins left New York due to the BitLicense.
What Makes LocalBitcoins Different than Other Exchanges?
The difference between Local Bitcoins and most exchanges is that LocalBitcoins does not require personal information when making good trades.
Unlike other exchanges, which require ID verification and personal information, Local Bitcoins allows you to buy bitcoin without connecting your name to the bitcoin you’re buying.
LocalBitcoins vs Other Cash Exchanges
Although LocalBitcoins allows for ANY payment method, cash deposit is the most popular method. This table compares it so some other cash exchanges.
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Payment Methods Accepted
LocalBitcoins users are free to buy and sell using any payment method. The payment methods available to buyers will depend on what’s available in your location.
✓ Wide range of payment methods available
✗ Many payment methods should not be used; like PayPal or any reversible payment methods
LocalBitcoins is private and does not require I.D. verification or any personal information besides an email address to signup. While LocalBitcoins itself does not require personal details, some buyers or sellers may request identification before making a trade.
Speed: When Are Your Coins Delivered?
The speed at which your bitcoins are available will depend on payment method.
✓ Buys made with cash deposit generally deliver bitcoins within 1 hour
✓ In-person cash trades are fast and easy to organize
✗ Speed of delivery is entirely dependent on seller confirming payment, so at times it can take a while (although it is generally within 15 minutes)
Reputation And Regulation: Can You Trust LocalBitcoins?
LocalBitcoins was one of the first peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchanges, and the largest one today.
✓ One of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges
✓ Not a scam
✗ Even though it’s trustworthy, users should not store bitcoins in the “LocalBitcoins wallet”
✗ Reputation of exchange is good, but need to check reputation of each user on the exchange
Most problems with LocalBitcoins are a result of trading with a new user or one with multiple bad feedbacks.
Be sure to only trade with users who have a history of making trades.
Jordan Tuwiner Founder, Buy Bitcoin Worldwide
You can view any user’s feedback history by looking at their profile:
In this case, the user has made 11 trades with three different trading partners. The user has a 100% success rate, meaning there were little or no issues with scams during his trades.
The user above would be a good user to trade with!
Fees: Are You Paying Too Much?
LocalBitcoins charges a flat 1% fee on all trades.
✓ LocalBitcoins only takes 1%
✗ Even though fees are low, prices may be inflated depending on payment method
LocalBitcoins offers support via email.
✓ Support is usually quick to respond to all issues
✓ LocalBitcoins offers forums where you can request help from other users of the platform
Review by: Jordan Tuwiner