LocalBitcoins Review 2022

8.30 / 10
Recommended by Cryptomaniaks
Visit LocalBitcoins Show more choices
Reviewed by
Zachary R.
Crypto Analyst

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In this 2022 LocalBitcoins review, I will examine what LocalBitcoins is, its history, the team, the pros and cons of the platform, and more.

LocalBitcoins is a Finnish exchange that facilitates peer-to-peer transactions of Bitcoin.

The peer-to-peer trading model for centralized exchanges (CEXes) is fairly uncommon although it is a reputable strategy. 

Usually, there are market makers that provide liquidity to traders but this model results in many unforeseen consequences. Peer-to-peer trading is arguably, for lack of a better term, more organic.

Is LocalBitcoins safe? Is LocalBitcoins legit? Is there such a thing as a LocalBitcoins scam? What are LocalBitcoins' supported countries? This review answers all these questions and more. 

Let's go!

Should you create a LocalBitcoins account today?
 


LocalBitcoins Exchange Review: Home Page


 

1. Key Takeaways 

I understand you may not have enough time to read my full 2022 LocalBitcoins review, so here is an actionable summary to help you.
 

Pros of LocalBitcoins

Unique peer-to-peer trading method.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Users post advertisements for how much Bitcoin they want to sell and what they would sell it for.
Huge amount of payment methods.
Pros Description (Normal): 
With plenty of fiat and crypto options to choose from, you’ll be sure to have a way to buy Bitcoin on the platform.
High quality mobile app.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Buy Bitcoin on the go!
Active user base.
Pros Description (Normal): 
Many accounts are regularly trading on the platform.

 

Cons of LocalBitcoins

Cons Title (Bold): 
Only Bitcoin is available.
Cons Description (Normal): 
If there are a lot of cryptocurrencies you want to trade, you might want to look elsewhere.
Cons Title (Bold): 
Prices might change.
Cons Description (Normal): 
The price you pay may be different than what you could pay elsewhere. If this difference results in you losing money, then you may have been better off trading on a regular exchange.
Cons Title (Bold): 
Liquidity may be fragmented.
Cons Description (Normal): 
Because there is no market maker ensuring that every order goes through, you may not be able to buy or sell exactly what you want when you want.

 
 

2. Background

Year founded: 
2012

Headquarters: 
Helsinki, Finland

Licences: 
Registered with and operates under the supervision of the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland.

Fiat Currencies: 
USD
EUR
Canadian dollar
Australian dollar
Russian ruble
Chinese yuan
Japanese yen
Swiss franc
New Zealand dollar
South African rand

Coins Available: 
Bitcoin

Products and Services: 
Peer-to-Peer Exchange

Markets: 
1

 

  
 

3. Reputation and Security 8.0/10

LocalBitcoins License

LocalBitcoins is registered in Helsinki, Finland, and also with the Financial Supervisory Authority of Finland. 
 

Security Features

The LocalBitcoins website has the standard SSL certificate so you can be sure that any information you submit to the site is encrypted. They also use HTTPS encryption which is even safer.

Depending on where you live, you may have to submit documents verifying your identity before you can trade. This is an important measure that exchanges take called Know Your Customer (KYC). 

US exchanges are required to prove to the government that they know all of their customers.
 

Complaints Received

There are a number of complaints that are unfortunately not responded to on TrustPilot. This can happen when exchanges don’t claim their profile and stay on top of reviews. It's a forgivable offense. 

Over 50% of the reviews on TrustPilot are negative but nearly all of these reference losing money using the platform. 

TrustPilot is a reputable third-party site but sometimes the general consensus reached on that platform is based on emotional losses from trading. 
 

Team

LocalBitcoins is one of the oldest operating crypto exchanges. It began in 2012 when Jeremiah Kangas, an entrepreneur, and programmer, saw an opportunity and founded it. The team is now based in Helsinki and the exchange operates in over 248 countries. 

Workers on the team proudly display LocalBitcoins as their place of work on websites like LinkedIn - signifying that the exchange is legitimate.
 
 

4. Prohibited Countries

Before I move forward with the essence of my LocalBitcoins review, make sure you don’t use this platform if you reside in New York or Germany. Any other jurisdiction is fair game. All other countries are LocalBitcoins supported countries.

Interestingly enough, LocalBitcoins is a service that is built to be decentralized. There is no need to use banks since transactions can be paid in cash, although the majority on the platform is not.
 
 

5. Exchange Features 8.0/10

Pairs Available

The only coin available to purchase is Bitcoin but you can buy it with dozens of cryptocurrencies that are available for deposit on the platform. 
 

Order Types Available

Every order type is an auction. Users, referred to as traders, post advertisements of what they are willing to sell or buy once another trader contacts them. The funds in question are automatically put in a secure escrow managed by LocalBitcoins. 

If a trade is confirmed, the funds are sent to the buyer. If the trade is canceled, the funds return to the original owner.
 

Secure Escrow Services

When you communicate with a potential buyer and seller on the platform, the funds are automatically deposited into a secure escrow account. 

This protects both the buyers and sellers and all funds are returned if a trade is canceled. 
 

User Profiles

Since you are trusting users in order to trade with them, LocalBitcoins implemented profiles with trust scores for each trader. 

Below is an example of what information you can find for any profile. You can also see how long their average trade times are. Most of the trade times I found were within 6 to 12 hours. 
 


LocalBitcoins Exchange Review: User Profile


 

6. User Experience 

Platform Functionality

The platform functions well and the pages are very responsive. You know exactly where to find what you're looking for and there are prompts letting you know where you should go if you’re, for example, trying to buy Bitcoin.

There are not too many bells and whistles as the platform serves only one purpose - connecting people to sell Bitcoin. Bitcoin has a passionate following that appreciates peer-to-peer transactions. Actually, the Bitcoin white paper describes Bitcoin as just that - a peer-to-peer method for transacting. 

With LocalBitcoins’ simple and effective platform existing, they are ensuring Bitcoin has an avenue to be traded as it was intended. 

The site is up to date and you can see plenty of active trades taking place on the platform.
 

Design and Appearance

The design and appearance of LocalBitcoins are pretty simple. As stated earlier, there is only one function the exchange is serving so they don’t need to add too many cosmetic details. 

As you can see in the photo below, the website does look a little outdated or as if it were competing against eBay in the early 2000s, but you can be sure that there are plenty of users active here. I found a number of accounts that were active within the last few hours.
 


LocalBitcoins Exchange Review: Simple Design

Registration Process

Registering for LocalBitcoins is a simple process. Set up your account, upload identity documents like a driver's license if you live in the US, fund your account, and you’re good to go!

As you can see in the image below, there are videos that help you every step of the way. These videos have high-quality animations and explain each step thoroughly. 
 


LocalBitcoins Exchange Review: Registration


 

7. LocalBitcoin Fees 10.0/10

LocalBitcoins transaction fees are low. They don't take any fee from the buyer but do take a 1% fee from the seller for any amount that is deposited into their escrow service. Remember, depositing funds into this escrow service is what is required for trades to be made.

Sure, this is a centralized activity occurring with a decentralized currency, but you can be sure the escrow is secure as there is insurance and a number of public audits. 
 
 

8. Payments 9.0/10

Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

There are over a dozen methods for payment to traders. Bitcoins can be bought with mailed cash, delivered cash, CAD, ETH, USD, etc. Basically, any fiat currency and dozens of cryptocurrencies are accepted on the platform. 

Below is a list of the supported payment methods.

  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card
  • Wire Transfer
  • SEPA
  • Perfect Money
  • Cash Deposit
  • Tele2
  • Swish
  • Qiwi
  • Payza
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Payoneer
  • Alipay
  • Paypal
  • OKPay

Limits 

There are no limits on trades at LocalBitcoins. This also means there is no LocalBitcoins minimum deposit. If you are moving high amounts of volume, you should definitely see what they have to offer.

LocalBitcoins withdrawal methods are plentiful. You can be sure that you’ll find a way to withdraw your capital from the platform. There are also no LocalBitcoins withdrawal fees!
 
 

9. Customer Service 7.0/10

There are a few hurdles traders will have to jump that don’t exist at other exchanges. Primarily the fact that you have to trust the counterparty you’re dealing with in order to make a trade. There are many mistakes someone could make when finding a person to trade with and it is possible to get scammed - although you are unlikely to lose any money because of the secure escrow service.

To deal with issues like being scammed, LocalBitcoins has implemented a robust customer service department. Requests can take one to three days to be responded to but the website notes that all requests are taken in earnest. There is also a Facebook page, Instagram page, Twitter page, and YouTube page for you to learn more about best practices on the platform. 
 
 

10. Noteworthy Features 8.0/10

Guides, Webinars, FAQ, and Blog

LocalBitcoins has built an impressive set of products to help educate its users on how to use the platform and cryptocurrency at large. With dozens of articles and guides, you can be sure to find the information you’re looking for and maybe even learn something!
 


LocalBitcoins Exchange Review: Blog Page

Mobile App

The ability to connect with traders on the go is not to be understated. LocalBitcoins has built an impressive mobile app for both Android and iOS so you can always open and close trades on the go. 
 


LocalBitcoins Exchange Review: Mobile App


 

LocalBitcoins Review: Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this review of LocalBitcoins

For those who are looking for an alternative to traditional centralized exchanges with order books and market makers, you’re in luck. LocalBitcoins’ good reputation and secure facilitation of Bitcoin auctions make it one of the best peer-to-peer exchanges around.

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We are CryptoManiaks.  Collectively, we have over 25 years of experience in the crypto world and are all passionate about guiding people through the complex world of crypto investing.

Written by

Zachary R.

Classical musician turned crypto analyst & entrepreneur. Working hard on building web 3.0 and sharing what I can with the community. Technology will increasingly become blockchain based and I’ll be right there with it.

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