LocalBitcoins – The Fastest And Easiest Way To Buy And Sell Bitcoin
LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin platform for buyers and sellers wanting to trade Bitcoin.
LocalBitcoins’ focus is on the user and the community. Their mission is to expand and bring Bitcoin exchange and economy to every city in the world, especially those in developing countries.
LocalBitcons believes Bitcoin to be a black swan event, that fundamentally changes how the financial world works, and offer new levels of global prosperity.
Unlike traditional cryptocurrency exchanges, LocalBitcoins doesn’t have an open orderbook, and instead acts as a meeting ground for people wanting to buy and sell Bitcoin.
Sellers post their requirements on the LocalBitcoins platform, where they state exchange rates and payment methods for anyone wanting to buy Bitcoin.
Buyers then reply to a seller whose demands they’re happy with and both buyer and seller complete their easy to navigate side of the deal and LocalBitcoins takes care of the rest.
What Is LocalBitcoins?
LocalBitcoins was founded in 2012 by CEO Nikolaus Kangas in Helsinki, Finland.
The Bitcoin marketplace has grown to become one of the leading places to buy Bitcoin anywhere in the world.
With LocalBitcoins, people buy Bitcoin directly from peers looking to sell, and LocalBitcoins acts as a mediator between the buyer and seller from pretty much anywhere in the world.
The only places LocalBitcoins doesn’t serve is:
- The states of New York and Washington (USA)
- North Korea
LocalBitcoins offers one of the widest range of options for buying Bitcoin, and you can find sellers willing to accept most national currencies using multiple payment methods.
Once a buyer and seller have connected and agreed terms, the seller will deposit the Bitcoin into an escrow, which will automatically be released to the buyer once all terms have been met.
LocalBitcoins is a good place to go and buy Bitcoin, and is open for trading globally. It is especially popular in developing countries, where the Bitcoin exchanges might be more questionable.
And although you might pay a little more than you would on a traditional Bitcoin exchange, it’s an excellent platform for anyone wanting to buy or sell Bitcoin.
Opening An Account With LocalBitcoins
Opening an account with LocalBitcoins is free and easy. Simply click on ‘Sign Up Free’, complete the short form and click ‘Register’ and your account is created.
You will then be sent an email to the account you signed up with, check your inbox (and spam folder if it isn’t there), and confirm your email.
You will be given a Bitcoin wallet when your account is created, and this is where you will send and receive any Bitcoin you buy and sell. *it’s important not to keep your Bitcoin in this wallet long term.
LocalBitcoins has different levels of verification and the further you verify, the more you will be able to trade.
Tier 0 allows you to trade up to €1,000 per year, and your only KYC requirements are:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Country of residence
Tier 1 allows you to trade up to €20,000 per year, and you need to pass the following KYC requirements:
- Tier 0 Requirements
- Tier 1 form
- Address validation
- Identity verification
This proof of address will likely be a statement from your bank, credit card, or a home utility bill. The process only takes a few minutes and is necessary if you would like to buy and sell Bitcoin regularly on LocalBitcoins.
Tier 2 allows you to trade up to €200,000 per year and requires the following KYC:
- Tier 1 requirements
- Tier 2 form
- Address verification
After completing T1 verification, users can verify for T2 by replying to a questionnaire and submitting proof of address.
Tier 3 is the top tier and allows you to trade unlimited amounts of Bitcoin. The following KYC checks are required for Tier 3:
- Tier 2 requirements
- Liveness test
- Tier 3 form
The Tier 3 form takes a bit longer and you will be asked for further ID, and also expected to pass a liveness test and an additional questionnaire.
The level of verification you need will depend on your circumstnaces, but most people will be fine with Tier 1. And once you’ve signed up and passed the KYC you’re good to go.
Local Bitcoins Offers High-Level Security While Buying Bitcoin
Secure trading is one of LocalBitcoins key features, and there are several features in place to ensure users are able to buy and sell Bitcoin securely.
First and foremost, there’s a reputation system on LocalBitcoins. Each trader has a reputation score, which is built up over the amount of trades they have completed.
It’s important therefore, to only buy Bitcoin from somebody with a good reputation. It’s also advisable to offer a rating for any trader you have traded with, to help yourself build a reputation, and help others who might want to trade with the person you have rated.
Whenever you buy Bitcoin and come to an agreement, the seller will deposit the Bitcoin into an escrow, which is secured by the LocalBitcoins’ platform, and the Bitcoins are released only after the seller confirms the trade is complete.
LocalBitcoins also offers a 2FA for a further level of security. Using it is optional, but advisable, and you will be sent a PIN code to your mobile phone, which you’ll be required to enter to gain access to your account.
There’s also what is known as Login guard, which runs through cookies and allows LocalBitcoins to verify you’re always logging in from the same browser.
If you log in from a different browser, Login Guard will automatically send you an email, which you’ll be required to verify by clicking the link.
LocalBitcoins also has a support team who are there to answer and intervene in any issue that might occur during a Bitcoin trade.
LocalBitcoins no longer allows users to buy Bitcoin anonymously, and it no longer allows users to buy Bitcoin with cash, both due to government regulations.
How To Buy Bitcoin On LocalBitcoins
Buying Bitcoin for the first time is exciting, but you should always proceed with care when you buy or sell Bitcoin because one slip up and your Bitcoin could be lost forever.
To buy Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins is really easy. On your LocalBitcoins main page, there will be many sellers’ offers for what they will accept.
If you see one that is an acceptable price, you simply click on the ‘Buy’ tab at the end of their offer and a new page will open for you to fill in the buy form.
For each seller there is a link to their bio, where you can check out their reputation, and their preferred choice of payment.
Most sellers prefer bank transfers, but if you would prefer to pay for your Bitcoin with a different method, you will have to fill out the ‘Quick Buy’ short form at the top of the page.
On here, you change the setting to the type of payment you prefer to make. So for example, if you want to buy Bitcoin with PayPal, change the setting to PayPal, put in your offer, and LocalBitcoins will look for a seller willing to accept your terms.
Once you have an agreeable offer, click the ‘Buy’ tab. Then you’ll see more information about the offer, including the terms of the trade.
Read through the terms before submitting the trade request, if you don’t agree with them you can go back to the previous page and look for another offer.
To start the trade, type in the blue box how much Bitcoin you want to buy, enter a message for the seller and click the ‘Send Trade Request’ tab.
Be sure you’re ready to pay when clicking the tab, because if you don’t pay before the payment window is over, the trade will automatically cancel.
Once you have made the payment, click the ‘I Have Paid’ tab, and the seller will be notified.
Once the seller has verified that your payment has been received your Bitcoin will be released from the escrow and will be immediately available in your LocalBitcoins wallet.
How To Sell Bitcoin On LocalBitcoins
To sell Bitcoins on LocalBitcoins go to the main page and in the search box select the ‘Quick Sell’ option.
Fill in the form with the amount you want to sell in your chosen currency, and choose a payment method.
If you’re open to different currencies and payment methods, select the ‘All Online Offers’ tab. Once you complete this form your offer to sell Bitcoin will be displayed on buyers’ main pages.
If you see somebody making an offer to buy Bitcoin that you’re satisfied with, select the ‘Sell’ tab after you have checked out their reputation, and complete the sell form.
After you’ve sent the trade request the buyer will ask you for your payment details, so if you would like to receive payment through a bank transfer hand over your bank details.
Once the buyer has your details, wait for them to confirm payment, and then check your bank account before doing anything to make sure they have paid the correct amount.
Once you have checked your account, you can scroll down the page and select ‘Release Bitcoins’ tab. This will send the Bitcoins from the escrow to the buyer and complete the trade.
What Are The Risks Of Using LocalBitcoins?
Any peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace creates obvious security risks, and there are people who are on there to scam others.
However, as long as you follow the instructions carefully, and only buy from people who have excellent reputations, you should be fine.
For its part, LocalBitcoins verifies and checks all sellers wanting to use its platform, and buyers are fully protected by the platform’s escrow service.
After you make a payment, LocalBitcoins holds the sellers Bitcoin in an escrow and verifies it. And only when the seller has received payment will the escrow release the Bitcoin.
The seller won’t be able to take the Bitcoin out of the escrow unless the time goes over the agreed time.
If things go wrong and you feel you haven’t received the Bitcoin you paid for, then LocalBitcoins has a support team who you can contact and LocalBitcoins will try and sort out the problem.
As stated before, there are scammers on LocalBitcoins and some get through, but it’s only usually the ones who are looking to buy cheap Bitcoin.
Remember, only buy from sellers who have a good reputation and have made many trades, and your LocalBitcoins experience should be safe and sound.
Why Buy Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins
LocalBitcoins is a trusted marketplace that makes it easy to interact with people wanting to buy or sell Bitcoin in a secure environment from all corners of the world.
LocalBitcoins is really popular all over the world, and especially so in developing countries where Bitcoin exchanges aren’t as ubiquitous as they are in the US or Europe.
LocalBitcoins has a very easy to use interface, and you can be buy Bitcoin within minutes of signing up from a local vender in your local currency.
LocalBitcoins is a truly global Bitcoin marketplace, which can be used in almost every country, and has sellers willing to accept your local currency in more ways than any other Bitcoin trading platform.
Buying Bitcoin is exciting, but once you buy Bitcoin do not leave it in your LocalBitcoins wallet as exchange wallets are susceptible to being hacked.
A Bitcoiner since 2017 and a Bitcoin Maximalist since 2018, Tommy is our main writer and editor at Bitcoin Maximalist. Other than researching and writing about Bitcoin, Tommy loves spending time with his family and supporting his beloved Leeds United.