I know, for what you are here.
So let me start by telling you, LocalBitcoins is not only good but the best in what it does. It is one of the most unappreciated Bitcoin company in the cryptosphere right now.
It has done more than any other company combined in the last ten years.
That’s why in this review guide I want to tell you exactly for what LocalBitcoins stand, but if you’re going to skip it and use it directly, you are more than welcomed to start here.
For skeptics, I would recommend you to go through the whole review guide before you jump to a conclusion because there is a lot that LocalBitcoins offer, especially for you !!
So let’s get to the business and explore LocalBitcoins on following lines:
- What Is LocalBitcoins
- The Company
- What Can You Do At LocalBitcoins?
- Supported Countries
- Supported Payment Methods
- Customer Support
- How To Get Started With LocalBitcoins
- How Safe Is LocalBitcoins?
What Is LocalBitcoins?
Before anything else, I want you to know that LocalBitcoins is my go-to service to use when I want to buy BTC quickly by meeting someone in person.
LocalBitcoins (aka LBC) is peer to peer marketplace for buying/selling Bitcoin and mind you it is only-Bitcoin. So you will not find any other BS cryptocurrencies here.
Using LBC, you can securely, instantly, and privately buy Bitcoin in more than 16000+ cities across 240+ countries. They have on-ground Bitcoin trades whom you can meet in person or negotiate via LocalBitcoins’ web application and pay in more than 40 payment methods. (will discuss this later in our review)
Moreover, it is an escrow platform which helps in collaboration of traders around the world and since it is escrow chances of fraud are minimized to the level of negligible unless you make some mistake on your part.
LocalBitcoins as a company started back in 2012 and is based out of Finland. 2012 is very early in this space and to give you perspective, Coinbase started in 2014 and Binance in 2017.
So in that regard, LocalBitcoins is the big daddy of other Bitcoin marketplaces, but of course, in terms of revenue, it is much smaller than many others. But the fact cannot be changed that millions of users in third world countries where banking services are hard to come by LocalBitcoins, is the lifeline for trading Bitcoin.
What Can You Do At LocalBitcoins?
LocalBitcoins is a peer to peer and open marketplace for Bitcoin. So in the words of its founders only:
LocalBitcoins.com is a person-to-person bitcoin trading site.
At LocalBitcoins.com, people from different countries can exchange their local currency to bitcoins. The site allows users to post advertisements where they state exchange rate and payment methods for buying or selling bitcoins.
You reply to these advertisements and agree to meet the person to buy bitcoins with cash, or trade directly with online banking. Bitcoins are placed in LocalBitcoins.com web wallet from where you can pay your bitcoin purchases directly.
That’s what you can do with LocalBitcoins. So for starters let me show in the next section how you can use it? Exactly the way I have been using from the past 1.5 years.
How To Get Started With LocalBitcoins?
Step #1. Sign-up and register using your email ID on LocalBitcoins. You might be required to do a KYC check if you deal in a significant volume of Bitcoin, but for starters, it is not required.
Step #2. Search for buyers/sellers as per your country. See this short video to get more look and feel of what I am talking about.
Step #3. If you want to buy BTC, go to ‘Quick Buy’ option and select your country from the dropdown menu shown. Don’t forget to choose the preferred payment method under ‘All Online Offers’ dropdown. (will talk about payment methods later in the article).
Doing this will show you a massive list of traders who are interested in serving and want to sell Bitcoin to you.
Similar, if you wish to sell BTC, go to ‘Quick Buy’ option and do the same.
Step #4. Once you see the list of offers, it’s time that you choose the trader wisely. You can do that by looking at Seller or Buyer’s reputation written in front of their name. We recommend selecting traders who have reputation metrics of atleast (10+, 95%). This means the trader has engaged in more than ten trades and 95% of the trades were closed and honored.
So that’s how in a nutshell you get started with LocalBitcoins
As I told you, LocalBitcoins is decentralized and believes in connecting users on the ground. That’s why they serve almost all countries on the map. Right now their exact numbers are that they have exchangers in 248 countries and 16629 cities.
Moreover, countries, where the state enabled monetary policies, are failing or are not the verge of failure, LocalBitcoin is doing very good. For example, in countries like Argentian, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, etc.
Supported Payment Methods
When I first started using LocalBitcoins, I was blown away by the number of payment options they support. At first, I thought, how a company can integrate and maintain so many payment methods?
It was only later I realized that LocalBitcoins doesn’t integrate so many payment options; instead, it gives the parties involved many options to choose from and negotiate among themselves.
Right now LocalBitcoins has 40+ payment options in which Bitcoin traders can negotiate their trades in. Some of the most prominent ones are:
- Western Union
- Wire transfer etc.
So far, LocalBitcoins’ support team has been able to do a fair job, and in the last bull run when I had raised a ticket, I got a prompt reply for that in 24-hours.
Apart from that, some users have also reported that LBC has sometimes taken 2-3 days in responding which I think must be the case during heavy traffic of 2017.
In those days, every damm Bitcoin company was under such pressure, and nobody could cater to the demand that was coming in. But if you have some queries now, you can very well write to them.
How Safe Is LocalBitcoins?
LocalBitcoins, as a company is very reliable and safe to use. It has a track record, and it is not going to run away with your money like Bitconnect.
A large number of bitcoins are already being traded on it and here is the proof of it:
But your LocalBitcoins account is only as safe as your security practices. So better your security practices to keep your email and relevant password safe, your LBC account will remain safe.
I am saying this because my LBC account was hacked once last year, but luckily I didn’t have any bitcoins in it. It happened because my password was very easy to brute-force, and there was no 2-FA authentication on my account.
Apart, from that, I haven’t felt any issues with LocalBitcoins yet, but if you are using escrow, you need to take care of this point that you are not confirming your payment on LBC’s site before you have actually received it in your bank account. This while you are selling your BTC.
On the other hand, if you are buying BTC, untill 6 confirmations are complete on the blockchain don’t consider the transaction successful. However, nowadays, you need not wait for 6 confirmations because LBC allows the seamless transfer of Bitcoin from one LBC account to another almost instantly and that too with zero fees.
But whatever be the case just make sure you are double checking it before actually executing it.
Lastly, LocalBitcoins is different than Binance or Bittrex like exchanges where you don’t know who the other party is. But here at LBC, you know with whom you are trading unless someone using an alias account. And this can be dangerous sometimes but don’t worry, LocalBitcoins’ dispute resolution system is quite robust by now.
So that’s all my side in this review of LocalBitcoins web app, and now I hope I will hear from you about your experience of using LocalBitcoins.
- If not registered, register now on LocalBitcoins For Free
If you have already used it, do tell us and if you have any questions feel free to shot them in the comments section below !!
Hey there! I am Sudhir Khatwani, an IT bank professional turned into a cryptocurrency and blockchain proponent from Pune, India. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain will change human life in inconceivable ways and I am here to empower people to understand this new ecosystem so that they can use it for their benefit. You will find me reading about cryptonomics and eating if I am not doing anything else.