UPDATE 9 February 2023: In an email sent to its users today, LocalBitcoin announce that they were shutting down shop. The explanation, and accompanying information, was as follows:
Dear Valued Customer,
Originally LocalBitcoins was established to Bring Bitcoin Everywhere and drive global financial inclusion. We have honored that mission for over 10 years and we are proud of what we have achieved together with all of you, our loyal community.
We are therefore sad to share, that regardless of our efforts to overcome challenges during the ongoing very cold crypto-winter, we have regretfully concluded that LocalBitcoins can no longer provide its Bitcoin trading service.
We encourage all customers to withdraw their funds from LocalBitcoins and we ask you to proceed with withdrawing the Bitcoins from your LocalBitcoins wallet. You have 12 months to withdraw, however of course we encourage you to proceed withdrawing sooner.
Thank you for being a part of the LocalBitcoins family! It has been our honor and pleasure to serve you over the last decade.
Timeline for discontinuing the Bitcoin trading service:
- 2023-02-09 Suspension of new signups
- Suspension of trading on LocalBitcoins
- Suspension of using LocalBitcoins wallet (with exception of withdrawing one’s funds)
After 16th Feb 2023, LocalBitcoins customers will only be able to log-in to withdraw their Bitcoins. The trading and Wallet services will no longer be available at this point.
We thank you for choosing LocalBitcoins for all these years and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause
Accordingly, we have marked the platform as "dead" in our Exchange Graveyard.
To find a reliable exchange where you can start an account, just use our Exchange Filters and we'll help you find the right platform for you.
What is LocalBitcoins?
LocalBitcoins is a Finnish cryptocurrency P2P marketplace founded in 2012.
At LocalBitcoins.com, people from different countries can exchange their local currency to Bitcoins (but the exchange does not support any other cryptocurrency). 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.
In many ways, LocalBitcoins is like an online store or an Ebay for cryptocurrencies. Investors at the exchange post different “advertisements”, where they offer a price quote for a specific cryptocurrency. This advertisement can be for both buying or selling or either one of those actions. If you as another buyer/seller thinks the offer is attractive, you can just take it. The format for posting advertisements allows you to tailor the ad in a quite detailed manner to fit perfectly with your needs.
LocalBitcoins Trading View
Different exchanges have different trading views. And there is no “this overview is the best”-view. You should yourself determine which trading view that suits you the best. What the views normally have in common is that they all show the order book or at least part of the order book, a price chart of the chosen cryptocurrency and order history. LocalBitcoins, however, is as mentioned above not really an exchange per se. It is more like an Ebay for cryptocurrencies. The below is a picture of the purchase interface at LocalBitcoins where you can match existing advertisements with a purchase order or sell order:
LocalBitcoins Trading fees
Considering the above business model, the distinction between parties on the exchange is not taker and maker, it’s rather more like person advertising and person responding to advertisement. The person doing the advertisement is charged 1.00% fee for every completed trade. The person responding to the advertisement is not charged any trading fees.
If comparing 1.00% to normal trading fees, it is very high. 0.00%, however (as it is for the person responding to the advertisement by buying/selling as advertised) is very low. The industry average is arguably around 0.25% both ways. However, there are dissimilarities between LocalBitcoins and other normal exchanges somewhat explaining the higher fee. We recommend investors using LocalBitcoins to consider themselves whether this fee is fair or not.
LocalBitcoins Withdrawal fees
This Finnish peer-to-peer exchange charges a withdrawal fee amounting to only the network fee when you withdraw BTC. This fee is below the industry average and thus constitutes a competitive advantage against the majority of other top crypto exchanges in the market.
At this place, you can purchase advertised cryptocurrencies through both wire transfer and credit cards. This can be helpful especially for newer crypto investors. It also makes this exchange an “entry-level exchange”.
One should generally look out for the different deposit fees charged by exchanges for deposit of fiat currencies via wire transfer or credit cards, and whereas it might be indifferent to you whether you should deposit via wire transfer or credit card, it might be very different fees. Some exchanges charge a deposit fee of up to a staggering 11% for credit card deposits.