In most cryptocurrency transactions, users simply contact their exchange to do transaction on their behalf and they never know who is buying or selling. But with Peer-to-Peer (P2P) exchanges, the responsibility to find the buyers/sellers lie directly with the users. Among several P2P exchanges in operation, LocalBitcoins is the biggest one. LocalBitcoins was established in 2013 and is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland.
Basically, the company simply provides escrow services for enabling exchange of Bitcoins with local currencies. It’s completely up to the users to either buy online or directly pick up cash from their sellers. If you want to know in detail about the benefits and risks of using LocalBitcoin to make your cryptocurrency transactions, then this LocalBitcoins Review is for you.
The Service Platform
LocalBitcoins is a web-exclusive platform. The company provides its services through its website localbitcoins.com. Although there are other third-party services that allow you to access the site’s functionalities through an app, experts recommend users to stick with the website. Users also need to know beforehand that the website doesn’t support any other currency except Bitcoin. So if you are thinking of buying Ripple or Bitcoin Cash locally through LocalBitcoins, then this platform isn’t for you.
However, you could use other exchanges to buy other currencies once you have your bitcoins in your wallet. A major advantage of this platform is the ability for users to do limitless transactions.
One can indeed use the LocalBitcoins platform to securely transfer bitcoins from one wallet to another in exchange for cash. But this exchange doesn’t have any control over whom you transfer the bitcoins. So, in a way, the burden of transaction is entirely on the people making the final transaction.
Once a stated number of currencies are transferred from one wallet to another, there is no way to roll back the transaction, even if the transaction would be fraudulent. But again, for those who value anonymity and don’t want to go through all the stringent verification procedures to make transactions of bitcoins, P2P transactions can prove to be very beneficial. That being said, users need to be aware that because of the highly open nature of this platform, there are many fraudsters trying to take advantage of other users. Thus, experts advise people to the only complete transaction with users that have good feedback score in LocalBitcoins.
Using the platform
Users need to sign up to LocalBitcoins through the username/email registration process. You will then need to verify your email address, after which you can start making transactions. Users don’t need to enter any kind of IDs and can start their transactions immediately. To buy or sell, you can go to the front page and look at the listings from locations near your address, which is determined by the website with the help of your IP address. You also have the option to change this address to another desirable location. In the page, you have the options to buy directly with cash or through online transactions.
After you choose your desired method, the next step is to contact the buyer/seller and then fix the details. Until your transaction is complete, LocalBitcoins will escrow the amount of bitcoins from the seller and will then wait for the confirmation from both sides about the completion of the transaction. LocalBitcoins charges 1% out of the bitcoin balance from the buyer, once the transaction is complete.
Users are provided a LocalBitcoins wallet address to initially receive their bitcoins following a transaction. However, users are often advised by experts to transfer this balance to another secure wallet at the soonest.
Support and customer care
The company offers an email-based customer service for its users. Typically, the company responds 24-48 hours after receiving a query. You could also contact them from one of their several social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. In particular, the Reddit community of LocalBitcoins is very active and consists mostly of users who can provide you a lot of valuable suggestions regarding the platform.
LocalBitcoins is definitely a really effective platform to trade bitcoins. However, users do need to be very careful in choosing buyers or sellers, otherwise, one could even be conned. However, in many places, LocalBitcoins is the only platform through which people can make cryptocurrency transactions. It’s also noticed that typically, the rates of bitcoin are priced higher, compared to traditional exchanges. So, despite the 1% fees, users may end up paying more with transactions on LocalBitcoins, compared to other exchanges. Also, if you choose to make online cash transactions, the cost may be even higher. Thus, while LocalBitcoins offer plenty of advantages to users, it would be good to weigh all the benefits carefully on an individual transaction basis before using this platform.