Launched in Finland in 2012, LocalBitcoins has gained recognition because it provides users with an alternative way of obtaining and trading Bitcoin. The website aims to use a peer-to-peer open marketplace for connecting Bitcoin buyers and sellers. Through the website, users are able to make advertisements and list them, they communicate with prospective sellers and buyers and also get a confirmation of the transaction before the trade is finalized. Hence, LocalBitcoins serves as a gateway for people into the world of Bitcoin trading and new traders are able to use this platform for getting quickly accustomed to the process of purchasing or selling Bitcoin.
The website has built a positive reputation over the years and is operating in a large number of countries all over the globe. Currently, LocalBitcoins has listed exchangers from approximately 248 countries and 15582 cities.
How to Get Started?
Traders have the option of trading Bitcoin directly from LocalBitcoins as it acts as a decentralized marketplace. In order to get started, traders first need to visit the signup page where they have to register for an account. This requires providing your name, email address and a password. After an account has been made, you can now begin a search for Bitcoin sellers in your specified area. The good thing about the LocalBitcoins website is that it enables you to perform different kinds of searches including ID verification requirements, accepted payment methods and seller location.
When you search for sellers, you will be provided with a list of options and you can check the trading history and reputation of every vendor. You can also communicate with them directly if you wish to discuss any relevant and important issue. After you are done with the search process and verified the seller, you can move onto the next stage, which is trading. You can purchase Bitcoin from the vendor of your choice, but make sure that you have confirmed the amount you wish to purchase, your mode of payment, how would you receive your Bitcoin and what form of ID you will be using. This whole process is quite simple and straightforward and LocalBitcoins has incorporated the features necessary to eliminate any issues.
Some of these features are mentioned below:
- An Escrow Service
When trades are being conducted, the escrow administration of the website holds any cash that is sent. Only after a successful exchange is confirmed by the vendor, the funds are discharged. This reduces the risk of fraud.
- Customer Support
Customer support options at LocalBitcoins include email and the team is generally quick in responding to your communications. There is also a forum on the website where users can go for discussing any issues they might have or even for handing out advice to others.
- 2 Factor Authentication
You can get an additional layer of protection against cyber-criminals and hackers in the form of a PIN code. With the availability of 2 Factor Authentication, users are able to get a confirmation of their sign-in by having a PIN code sent directly on the number they have provided.
- Reputation Ratings
The trading history as well as the feedback ratings that have been given to traders can be viewed easily and they are also given an overall ranking based on their activities on LocalBitcoins.
- Conflict Resolution
A conflict resolution service is also provided by LocalBitcoins through its customer support team to help clients who might run into a few issues. Cases are investigated by the team and their aim is to resolve any disagreement that may exist between buyers and sellers.
What Payment Methods are Offered?
A wide range of payment methods are offered to buyers and sellers when they wish to transact via LocalBitcoins. They can go with cash via mail, Western Union, wire exchange, Cash on Delivery or COD, Webmoney and PayPal.
A commission of only 1% is charged by LocalBitcoins and it is usually taken from the sellers or the person who posted the advertisement. However, those who are there to purchase on the website should be aware that the prices are slightly higher than those they will find on centralized exchanges. The bigger exchanges are able to obtain revenue by charging commissions on all trades conducted on their platform. In contrast, LocalBitcoins is running a peer-to-peer marketplace and vendors decide to get revenue by charging slightly higher prices. Also, there is a risk of selling Bitcoin to buyers who may attempt to start a chargeback via PayPal and higher prices are charged on the platform for mitigating this risk.
Since LocalBitcoins serves as a decentralized exchange, it is recommended that users incorporate some safety measures for ensuring successful trades. Sure, the website has a positive reputation and is considered safe and trustworthy for buying and selling Bitcoin, but unscrupulous vendors may make their way onto it. Hence, in order to avoid possible scams and bad sellers, there are some steps that you can take when trading on Local Bitcoins.
Firstly, you can take a look at the seller’s profile and verify that they are suitable for trading. When possible, opt for sellers who have a rating of 98%, their account is a year old and have conducted around 100 BTC trades. Verified merchants can be identified by the fact that they display their company account details, along with their email address and phone number. When you want to request an exchange, it is best to use the platform for contacting a seller. It is not a recommended to trade with sellers externally because it renders the escrow service useless. The key is to make sure they understand your requirements as clearly as possible and you have the option of negotiating the payment method, price and also Bitcoin delivery method, thanks to LocalBitcoins.
Thus, LocalBitcoins is one of the most easily accessible and simple platforms for trading Bitcoins. Private purchases can be made on the website through different payment methods and it can be used in almost every part of the world.