LocalBitcoins is an exchange that allows users to buy and sell Bitcoins either in person or using an online escrow system. The platform is designed to let traders exchange Bitcoins however they'd like, and it accomplishes this by allowing perhaps the most flexible payment options of any exchange service. The site specializes in its namesake - helping users buy local Bitcoins from those in their city - but it can also facilitate online transactions between users thousands of miles apart. LocalBitcoins has earned an excellent reputation due to its responsive customer support, a strong record of security, and decentralized design that appeals to users seeking complete privacy. Visit LocalBitcoins today to learn more about one of the best ways to buy or sell Bitcoins.

Localbitcoins

9.4

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Reputation

10.0/10

Fees

9.0/10

Customer Support

9.0/10

Payment Methods

10.0/10

Available payment options

  • Bank Transfer
  • Cash
  • Paypal

Unavailable payment options

  • Credit Card

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Extremely flexible payment options
  • Option to trade in person, allowing for complete privacy
  • Strong security features for users who prefer to trade online

Cons

  • Currently supports only Bitcoins, no other cryptocurrencies
  • Strict regulations prevent the site from operating in some jurisdictions

Is LocalBitcoins Safe to Use?

Localbitcoins homepage image

LocalBitcoins is decentralized and prides itself on allowing users to trade independently, but it still includes many features that ensure its traders' security.

For online trades, sellers can place their Bitcoins in an escrow wallet and release them only when they receive proof that the buyer has deposited their payment, and buyers are able to dispute any transaction where the escrow funds aren't released promptly. This system also protects sellers; they are able to set a time limit for buyers to deposit their payment, ensuring that their listing isn't tied up for an unreasonable amount of time. Disputes are typically resolved in 24 to 48 hours, and the vast majority of disputes are solved simply by filing a report and alerting the trading partner that there's been a discrepancy.

LocalBitcoins does offer the unique feature of allowing users to meet in person to trade with no escrow protection. This does inherently involve some risk, but common sense measures like meeting only in public locations can keep these secure. Despite the lack of protection, many users will always prefer this sort of completely private transaction, and it's admirable that the site facilitates this. Searching the internet for news reports reveals that there have been no documented incidents of fraud or robbery stemming from in-person transactions from LocalBitcoins.

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The site's reputation ranking system lets users know the trading history of those they're dealing with; as long as users deal only with reputable traders through a secure option, there is virtually no risk involved.

LocalBitcoins also guarantees its site's stability through a bounty program that rewards any user who is able to identify a security vulnerability in the platform.

Customer Support

The "Contact Support" page on LocalBitcoins' website allows users to select from several common issues, and will try to redirect users to the extensive FAQ page or user guides since the vast majority of issues can be solved through these resources. If users are still having problems, they can create a ticket that the support staff will respond to as soon as possible; at time of writing (April 2018), the site notes that they're receiving an unusually high volume of tickets that has pushed response times up to about three days. However, disputed transactions receive the highest priority, and are typically resolved in just one or two days.

LocalBitcoins is based in Finland, but is currently available in eight different languages; presumably, customer support is also available in all these languages, but the site doesn't mention this.

In addition to its formal support team, LocalBitcoins also posts updates about its system status on its social media pages. There is also an enthusiastic community of thousands of users on the site's forum, Reddit page, and IRC channel that help one another and discuss all news relevant to the platform.

Interested in how Localbitcoins compares to other cryptocurrency exchanges? We have compared all major cryptocurrency exchanges in this article.

Country Restrictions

LocalBitcoins states on its homepage that the service currently operates in 16,130 cities in 248 different countries; it is one of the most widely used Bitcoin exchanges in the world. However, laws in some jurisdictions require that sellers carefully verify their buyers' identity, and in some localities, the regulations are so onerous that LocalBitcoins has had to temporarily or permanently shut down operations. Most notably, service has been suspended in New York state because of its requirement that sellers obtain the state's BitLicense. It is also unavailable to residents of Washington state and Germany.

YOUR COUNTRY IS SUPPORTED?

Congratulations, you are eligible for trading on Localbitcoins!

Ease of Use

LocalBitcoins is very easy to use. Registration initially requires no personal information, but users can provide more to in order to increase their reputation ranking on the site and gain access to more listings. Certain sellers will require further identification in order to comply with their jurisdiction's know-your-customer laws meant to prevent money laundering, though others will not; the amount of identification required will vary widely between sellers, and it should typically be described right in the listing. Sellers are largely responsible for complying with their jurisdiction's various regulations, but LocalBitcoins makes it easy to filter out buyers who have not verified their identity through the site.

Once registered, buying Bitcoins through LocalBitcoins is very simple; buyers simply browse listings until they find one whose terms they like. Depending on where they live, there should be a wide variety of options. To sell Bitcoins, users just create an advertisement that describes the terms of their sale; there are no limits to the amounts offered for sale so long as it can cover the transaction fees, and the range of payment options that sellers can accept is likely the largest of any Bitcoin exchange. In-person sales take place entirely between the two individuals involved, and online sales typically require just a few clicks.

“LBC for 4 years and never a problem.
Have transacted over 250 BTC on LBC with out problem. Only 2 case of issue when a guy forgot to release and Zelle payment method was not instant. These guys may not have the best price, but they do offer the best flexibility anywhere.“

Overthetop

Reputation

LocalBitcoins has been covered by several prominent publications, including Forbes, Business Insider, Wired, and the New York Times, and news relating to LocalBitcoins will almost always make first-page headlines on websites devoted to cryptocurrencies.

LocalBitcoins has a strong reputation on social media, with nearly 75,000 followers between its Facebook and Twitter pages. Reviews are very positive overall; the handful of negative feedback to be found on social media almost always has to do with transaction disputes that should instead be directed towards the customer support team.

Follow Localbitcoins on their social media below

Fees

Most actions on LocalBitcoins are entirely free, though a few require a small fee. Sellers who create an advertisement for their Bitcoins are subject to a 1% fee taken from the final price, and users sending Bitcoins to or from their LocalBitcoins web wallets are subject to the Bitcoin network fee. These transaction fees vary depending on how busy the Bitcoin network is at that moment. Fees will be taken directly from users' web wallets, and transactions may be declined if they don't have enough funds available to pay the fees.

Users can also commission LocalBitcoins' development team to complete custom projects, such as research into external issues regarding the wider Bitcoin network. These requests are very uncommon, but if the team does agree to take them on, it will cost 200 Euros per hour to be paid in Bitcoins. If you are interested in what other crypto exchanges offer in terms of fees, you can check them out in our ultimate crypto exchanges review comparison.

LIKE THE FEES?

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Payment Methods

LocalBitcoins offers an enormous array of payment options; sellers can trade their Bitcoins for not only many different fiat currencies, but also a wide variety of other cryptocurrencies and even gift cards to various stores. For transactions that accept fiat currencies, there are many options even within this; buyers can make cash deposits to the seller's bank, use a payment app or credit card, send wire transfers or PayPal deposits, or even send cash in the mail. The site discourages users from accepting checks, but it's not explicitly forbidden.

Conclusion

LocalBitcoins is one of the most flexible platforms available for users looking to buy or sell Bitcoins. No other exchange platform lets users accept so many payment options, and users seeking complete privacy and independence will find LocalBitcoins to be a perfect fit. However, the site is also a great option for those seeking security, since its escrow wallets and reputation system guarantee protection against fraudulent transactions. If you're looking for a private, secure, and convenient way to buy or sell Bitcoins, visit LocalBitcoins today.

You can check out all of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in one article here.

Have you traded on Localbitcoins? Do you have any advice or suggestion for the other readers? Let us know in the comment section below!

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