LocalBitcoins is a decentralized peer-to-peer marketplace for buying and selling Bitcoins. The exchange was founded in 2012 in Finland and has since flourished and is now one of the most popular over-the-counter Bitcoin trading platforms in the world.
It allows individuals to trade and communicate directly as opposed to the common order-book trading structure that is prevalent in crypto exchanges. Users can post ads of their Bitcoin exchange rate and accepted payments, and other users could reply and make a deal.
LocalBitcoins itself doesn’t hold any currency. Instead, the sellers accept a multitude of payments and buyers can choose whichever ones they prefer to pay with. Among the list of available payment methods are: cash via meetup, cash via mail, PayPal, Webmoney, Western Union, Wire exchange, altcoins, and a whole lot more.
Being a LocalBitcoins user is 100% free. Moving user funds from different wallets is also free as long as it stays within their server. If a user sends Bitcoins to an outside wallet, the website still won’t charge fees but the Bitcoin miners would. But when a seller runs an ad, LocalBitcoins charges a 1% fee for every successful trade.
Buyers are not liable to fees but the exchange rates imposed by sellers are usually a bit higher than the market price so they are, in a sense, being taxed too.
Although the website plans to implement KYC soon, it hasn’t been implemented yet.
What’s important to realize with platforms like LocalBitcoins is that since users can opt to remain anonymous while trading, there is more opportunity for fraud. In line with this, the platform exploits different security strategies.
Firstly, the users are ranked based on their activity, trade history, as well as feedback ratings. These records are all in public view in order for users to easily pre-investigate traders they want to deal with. More importantly, the site offers an escrow service. Whenever users make an online trade, the funds will be held by the site admin and will only be released once the vendor confirms that the trade is successful.
The platform also incorporates the standard 2 Factor Authentication, which protects users against hackers by sending a pin code to their mobile phone whenever they log in their account or make some relevant changes.
LocalBitcoins is one of the most convenient ways to buy Bitcoin online. It is available worldwide with sellers from 248 countries. If you are new to the space or if you find it hard to purchase Bitcoins due to limited payment options, LocalBitcoins will likely have a solution for you.
This article first appeared on BitPinas: LocalBitcoins Philippines Review