LocalBitcoins Review

If you’re looking for a simple to use platform to purchase bitcoin for fiat currency, this is the place to go.

Our Take

The Bottom Line: Offering a wide variety of global payment options, LocalBitcoins opens up accessibility to crypto on a global scale. While no altcoins can be traded, LocalBitcoins accepts any FIAT currency that a seller is willing to accept. 

on Coinbase's website

FEES

Vendor Dependent

the seller sets the fee amount

PAYMENT OPTIONS

Excellent

100+ payment options

REPUTATION

TRUSTED

LocalBitcoins

Usability 4.0

As LocalBitcoins ethically aligns itself with the anonymity of Bitcoin, there isn’t a mandatory verification process on the platform. However, some sellers may request ID from you personally, especially if you’re trading large amounts.

LocalBitcoins is reserved for FIAT to Bitcoin trades, meaning you can use any FIAT currency but you cannot use altcoins.

The platform is simple to use. Recent available sales and purchase orders are visible on the landing page, with more trades available by clicking through the relevant top tabs.. It is your responsibility to avoid scams, so ensure that you select a buyer or seller based on their profile rating, transaction history, and feedback score . All this information is available on their public profile.

As trades are being carried out, FIAT funds are held in Escrow until the trade is complete on both sides.There are a variety of payment methods for purchasing bitcoin, including wire transfer, PayPal, Western Union, cash in the mail, WebMoney, and cash in person.

While LocalBitcoin notes that its withdrawal times can take up to 12 hours, it usually takes around 2 hours.

Security 4.0

While verification isn’t mandatory, LocalBitcoins are still a stickler for security. Once you’re registered, you’ll be directed toward 2-Factor-Authentication setup, to provide a double security layer to your account. Note that this does not activate directly – you’ll have to do this yourself.

Secondly, an email verification process is initiated if the user is logging in from a different IP address. This alerts you of fraudulent login attempts and provides another barrier to entry.

In terms of keeping your trades secure, LocalBitcoins employs Escrow protection. These means that funds are locked until it has been confirmed that bitcoin has been sent.

LocalBitcoins have also employed a rating system to help you identify the security of a potential buyer or trader. These measures include a mechanism where sellers can be certified as ‘trusted’ by previous buyers, ratings and feedback scores, and transaction history. There is also a forum for users to alert the community to scammers.

Range of Offerings 2.5

LocalBitcoins is a simple platform that enables users to buy and sell bitcoin using any FIAT currency that another user will accept. There are no altcoins featured on LocalBitcoins, and no place for trading them either.

The website does not have a hardware wallet option, so it is best to store coins off LocalBitcoins for security reasons.

Education and Research 3.0

LocalBitcoins has a ‘Guides’ section in their support center on the website. Here there are step by step instructions on how to buy and sell bitcoin using LocalBitcoins, as well as security tips. If you’re a beginner, LocalBitcoins doesn’t offer education to train you on the ins and outs of crypto trading and blockchain – their resources are reserved solely for introducing users to the platform.

For more advanced users, you’ll find a guide to the APIs.

Customer Service and Help 2.5

The LocalBitcoins website has the ‘Guides’ section and an in-depth FAQ. Both of these are great places to start.

LocalBitcoins provides support via social media and email support tickets. While the social media channels are faster to communicate, the respondents tend to be less knowledgeable and are more suited to answering general questions rather than specific personal queries.

Email tickets tend to be answered within 10 days, which is quite a long period. That said, responses are comprehensive and most often fix the issue.

Costs 4.0

One of the major advantages of using LocalBitcoins is the low cost. Buying and selling of bitcoin are essentially free on the platform – the cost comes if you want to advertise your trade. Those who advertise bitcoins for sale get charged 1% of the completed trade. Be aware that the bitcoin network itself does charge network fees, but these are very low.

Merchant invoicing costs 0.5%, which is deducted from the amount on the invoice. Interestingly, there are no limits on LocalBitcoins.

What You Need to Know

LocalBitcoins is a really simple p2p platform for buying and selling bitcoins. If you’re a beginner, this is a great place to start out, thanks to its simple-to-use interface and easy-to-follow process. The fees are extremely low, with multiple payment methods including payment options for a wide variety of countries that have no other outlet for purchasing and selling bitcoin. If you’re looking for a simple platform to purchase bitcoin for fiat currency at a bargain price, this is the place to go.

Methodology

Cryptopia’s mission is to provide unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of cryptocurrency exchanges. Everything you find on Cryptopia is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We are proud to share with you how our team of finance and cryptocurrency experts combined with readers feedback create the foundation of these reviews. Our reviews are the result of months of evaluating all aspects of an exchange’s platform, including the user experience, security, products available on their platforms, costs and fees, and customer service.