LocalBitcoins Exchange Review
LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer exchange, allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin for a wide variety of fiat-based payment methods. The p2p nature of LocalBitcoins means that users buy BTC directly off each other and arrange out-of-band payments themselves while taking advantage of the escrow provided by LocalBitcoins.
LocalBitcoins provides multiple advantages when compared to centralized exchanges. Your privacy can be better protected when buying directly from a user and not through the exchange itself. It also allows users to arrange payments that are usually not available on other exchange markets.
Of course, the peer-to-peer architecture of LocalBitcoins is also prone to disadvantages. The process is much more complicated and premiums may incur, depending on the risk and availability of the payment method chosen. Typically, methods that have a high risk of chargebacks like PayPal have larger premiums. LocalBitcoins even allows users to set up cash payments where users meet and deliver cash in exchange for Bitcoin personally, which further enhances the buyer’s privacy.
When using the LocalBitcoins exchange, you can create your offer or take an available one. On an exchange like this one, choosing the seller correctly is important as it will allow you to conclude the purchase in a predictable and quick fashion. When selling Bitcoin, this is even more important because traditional payment methods can usually be reversed, unlike cryptocurrencies.
LocalBitcoins does not have Tor support. To further protect your privacy, you may want to use a mixer when transferring BTC out or in of LocalBitcoins.
How to Sign Up
LocalBitcoins is a web-based platform, so creating an account is pretty straight forward. Simply go to LocalBitcoins through the link provided above and click “Signup free” on the right upper corner. You’ll be taken to the signup page. Enter your Username, Email, Password (confirm) and then verify the captcha. Once that’s done, click “Register”. You’ll be sent an email with a confirmation link, click it to validate your email and account.
When logging in, you’ll be shown a Personal security image Security Image which can help prevent phishing schemes. “If you don’t recognize this image, be careful, you may be on a phishing site or your computer’s IP address has changed.”
Once you log in, you’ll be taken to the homepage, where you’ll see several available trades.
How to deposit/withdraw
Once on the balances page, you can fund your LocalBitcoins account with coins. To do so, simply send BTC to the address shown on the right side of the screen. Below the address you can also get the QR code for mobile wallet and you can see current incoming transactions.
If you want to withdraw Bitcoin from the LocalBitcoins p2p exchange, you can enter your Bitcoin address and the amount of BTC you want to withdraw on the left side of the screen. Below, you can also add a description and choose an amount in EUR. Then, click “Continue” to proceed with the payout.
Further below on the right (deposit) side, you can find the “Bitcoin Link solution. When you click such a link, you can pay for the purchase from LocalBitcoins wallet with few clicks if the merchant supports this feature.
How to use the LocalBitcoins exchange
Now, it’s time to buy/sell BTC. When using the LocalBitcoins exchange, you can create your offer or take an available one. We’ll start with taking an order. Click “Buy Bitcoins” or “Sell Bitcoins” on the top menu, accordingly. In order to choose the one that fits us best, we’ll need to use the search bar.
Enter the amount you want to buy and the currency. Choose the country and then choose the payment method. Once that’s done, click “Search”. Alternatively, you can also choose one of the orders below.
Once you’ve chosen your order, the first thing you’ll need to do is to read the “Terms of the trade” and decide if you agree to them. If so, choose the amount you want to buy, write an optional message and click “Send trade request”. Then, simply follow the instructions provided by the seller/buyer.
On a p2p exchange like this one, choosing the seller correctly is important as it will allow you to conclude the purchase in a predictable and quick fashion. When selling Bitcoin, this is even more important because traditional payment methods can usually be reversed, unlike cryptocurrencies.
When creating an order, however, you dictate the price you want to buy or sell the coin for and the payment method you want to use in order to exchange fiat. You will also decide the trade terms. To create an order, you can click the “Post a trade” link on the upper menu.
If you are going to create an order (posting a trade), make sure to read and follow the applicable rules and requirements which are displayed at the beginning of the page.
Then, fill out all the information requested and click “Publish advertisement”. Once someone wants to accept your trade, you’ll be notified. You’ll need to walk the user through your trade process/terms to ensure a smooth transaction.
LocalBitcoins only supports one cryptocurrency, Bitcoin. However, when it comes to fiat, this exchange accepts basically any currency and payment method available. This is because the seller will keep the fiat and not LocalBitcoins. Payment methods range from PayPal to Skrill to bank transfers, cash deposits and even cash in hand.
Different payment methods have different prices. Typically, methods that have a high risk of chargebacks like PayPal have larger premiums.
Support & help
If you need help, you can get support by clicking the account icon (the button shaped like a person). This will display your account links. Choose “Support”
Here, you can create a new ticket. When doing so, you’ll need to choose a topic and fill out the contact form according to your issue.
Pros & cons
- High privacy
- Possible to make an income with premiums
- Subject to premiums
- Chargeback-able methods
- Complicated process