LocalBitcoins Review: Is it a Safe Bitcoin Marketplace?

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I'm Donny. I'm a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.

LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange that charges higher fees and has security measures and customer support in place, but you must do your due diligence to avoid foul play on the part of fictitious sellers.

LocalBitcoins LocalBitcoins
4.5
Fees: No fees
Account minimum: $0
Pros:
  • 150+ payment methods
  • Over 8 million customers
  • Peer-to-peer marketplace
  • No fees for buying or selling crypto
Cons:
  • Unregulated in the U.S.
  • Risk of scammers on the platform
Promotion: First month = Trading fees 0% (applies to new customers only)

Are you looking for a secure platform to exchange Bitcoin? Cryptocurrency exchanges slumped just over a year ago. As more exchanges struggle to stay open, it’s surprising to see that LocalBitcoins, with over a decade of experience, is still running.

Many users claim that LocalBitcoins is a scam or an unsafe marketplace to use. Let’s look at what makes LocalBitcoins work and who this platform is best for.

What is LocalBitcoins?

LocalBitcoins homepage
Localbitcoins.com website

Jeremias Kangas founded LocalBitcoins in Finland in 2012. It is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange with a dashboard for sellers to list Bitcoin sales. Buyers can make offers on those sales via peer-to-peer trading.

LocalBitcoins is like a classified ads page for Bitcoin. LocalBitcoins can attract fraudulent activity because of the way the marketplace works.

Anyone, including a new user, can list a sale on LocalBitcoins, making it a platform for scammers to try and steal your money. This scares away beginners, but there are systems in place that prevent scamming.

How Does LocalBitcoins Work?

LocalBitcoins serves as a classified ad platform as well as an escrow holder for Bitcoin transactions. LocalBitcoins sellers list Bitcoin sales on the website.

A Bitcoin buyer finds an advertisement that suits their criteria and states the amount in their currency that they are prepared to pay. It is the users who set the exchange rate, not the platform or current market prices.

The buyer transfers money to LocalBitcoins via a wire transfer, cash deposit, PayPal, credit card or any other variety of payment methods. LocalBitcoins’ escrow service holds the cash deposit until you complete the sale.

LocalBitcoins gets its income from escrow fees rather than transaction fees across a range of cryptocurrency pairs. The seller pays a 1% escrow fee. Investors make their money from their profitable sales.

Once the seller releases the Bitcoin to the buyer and the buyer marks that they have received the Bitcoin, LocalBitcoins releases the payment to the seller.

LocalBitcoins Features

LocalBitcoins.com has features that help facilitate exchanges on the trading platform:

LocalBitcoins Bitcoin Marketplace

LocalBitcoins started as a web-based marketplace, like many other Bitcoin exchanges. As the trading volume for Bitcoin increased and more regulations came into effect, the exchange had to follow the Know Your Client (KYC) rules.

Users opening a new LocalBitcoins account need to provide identification such as a driver’s license and a phone number as part of the verification process. These security measures help the platform stay in line with the rules and protect users against scams and phishing.

Another benefit of KYC measures is the reputation system. Users that transact fairly in LocalBitcoins receive positive reviews and high feedback scores. This indicates to other users that the account holder is not a scammer, thus helping to keep LocalBitcoins legit.

LocalBitcoins maintains a record of a seller’s transactions, which is further proof of its legitimacy and reliability for potential buyers. There are no transaction fees across a range of cryptocurrency pairs.

Instead, LocalBitcoins charges a 1% escrow fee for transferring money during a sale.

Best for: Experienced Bitcoin investors who want to trade Bitcoin with others who have KYC authentication and good reviews.

LocalBitcoins App

All the LocalBitcoins marketplace features are also on the LocalBitcoins mobile app, which is accessible on Android and iOS devices. You can download and use the app in 190 countries, and there are more than 100 payment methods.

Who Should LocalBitcoins?

LocalBitcoins is best for investors who want to stay true to Bitcoin’s original mission to be a decentralized method of exchange. The LocalBitcoins platform is more complex than a big exchange, so it won’t make sense to beginner Bitcoin clients.

Big exchanges use tools to pair buyers and sellers, meaning the two parties don’t interact beyond the interface on the exchange platform. LocalBitcoins buyers and sellers must go through a verification process to prevent corrupt activity.

How Does LocalBitcoins Compare?

 
4.5
4.5
4.0
$0
$0
$10 trade minimum
No fees
0% - 3.99% varies by type of transaction
No fee to buy crypto
First month = Trading fees 0% (applies to new customers only)
Sign up and get up to $200 in crypto
No current promotions
4.5
$0
No fees
First month = Trading fees 0% (applies to new customers only)
4.5
$0
0% - 3.99% varies by type of transaction
Sign up and get up to $200 in crypto
4.0
$10 trade minimum
No fee to buy crypto
No current promotions

Getting Started with LocalBitcoins

Follow these steps to start trading Bitcoin with LocalBitcoins:

  1. Create an account by providing your email address, a valid government-issued ID, etc.
  2. Choose a trading partner who has good reviews from other users.
  3. Start buying, selling and trading crypto.

Once approved, a new user can buy and sell up to 20,000 euros per year. Companies can trade more than this after passing a longer, more detailed verification process.

Should I Use LocalBitcoins to Trade Bitcoin?

LocalBitcoins is one of the few exchanges offering an experience like that of early and decentralized Bitcoin. While this is a novel concept, there are issues with the exchange.

Possible scams and complexity make the platform tougher for new or retail crypto investors. LocalBitcoins won’t make sense for most users, especially when you factor in the 1% escrow fee.

Many other exchanges charge smaller fees, and it takes less effort to get Bitcoin.

LocalBitcoins FAQs

Some common questions about LocalBitcoins are:

Is LocalBitcoins safe and legit?

Yes, LocalBitcoins is legit. It has mixed reviews, but the security team is constantly solving problems and busting fraudulent accounts.

As a new user, you must do your due diligence on every listing to avoid scammers.

Can you make money on LocalBitcoins?

You can make money on LocalBitcoins with smart buying and selling. LocalBitcoins takes a sizeable fee for its escrow service, so you must score big margins to make money on LocalBitcoins.

What crypto can you trade on LocalBitcoins?

LocalBitcoins allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin to other users. You can pay for Bitcoin with other cryptocurrencies, but other coins or tokens are not available for you to buy on the platform.

Where is LocalBitcoins located?

LocalBitcoins has its headquarters in Helsinki, Finland.

LocalBitcoins

Buy and sell bitcoins near you. Fast, easy and private. Join the most trusted Bitcoin marketplace!

We earn a commission if you make a trade, at no additional cost to you.
LocalBitcoins
localbitcoins review

Buy and sell bitcoins near you. Fast, easy and private with LocalBitcoins.

Product Brand: LocalBitcoins

Editor's Rating:
4.5

I'm Donny. I'm a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.

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