A Peer-To-Peer alternative, the original way to trade Bitcoins
The original, or intended way to trade bitcoin according to its creator, was through peer-to-peer. That’s exactly what LocalBitcoins offers. It’s a fully decentralized marketplace that allows you to find people nearby your location that are interested in buying/selling bitcoin.

If you’re not too into online, centralized exchanges, perhaps this is what you’re looking for, so stick around for this short review.

What does it offer?

Think of this platform as more of a marketplace rather than an exchange, because that’s exactly what it is. LocalBitcoins goes straight to the point with trading, and offers certain features to make it safe for its users, such as:
  1. An escrow and conflict-resolution service.
  2. A reputation system for both buyers and sellers, alongside their trading history.
  3. Several payment methods, including but not limited to Cash on Delivery, Cash via mail, PayPal, Webmoney, Western Union and Wire exchange.
As you can see, being P2P means that the approach to this marketplace is different from an exchange. However, this doesn’t mean that the platform is insecure, but it does require the user to be more wary of whom they trade with, like they would when buying something from eBay.

What does the community think of it?

The overall reception towards LocalBitcoins is actually really positive. A lot of users appreciate the decentralized nature of it and the company has proven to be very reputable, with only one minor incident happening years ago (the small hack). What’s even more surprising is that no incidents have been reported regarding customer support, which is actually nice to see considering a lot of exchanges find themselves severely lacking in that aspect.


Fees are quite light with LocalBitcoins, with the buyer being free of fees, and the seller that posted an ad paying 1% of the BTC traded. Additionally, transferring from the LocalBitcoins wallet to third-party ones has a fee that ranges from 0.0001 to 0.0010 BTC depending on the current traffic in the blockchain.

Pros & Cons


  1. Available in 249 countries.
  2. Supports over 100 fiat currencies.
  3. Easy to use and straight to the point.
  4. Excellent customer support.
  5. Highly secure.
  6. Lots of payment methods available.
  7. Low fees.
  8. The escrow and conflict-resolution service ensure that trades go as smooth as possible.

  1. Only supports bitcoin.
  2. Cash payment fees are slightly higher.
  3. Although user friendly, it requires them to be vigilant, as the decentralized and anonymous nature of it can attract some undesirable users.

To sum it up

LocalBitcoins is something different, aimed towards people looking for something more personal and straightforward than a centralized exchange, and although it doesn’t offer support for a lot of coins, the level of support they’ve offered for trading BTC around the globe with fiat currency is unparalleled, which is something worth praising. If you like what you’ve seen so far, be sure to check them out.

About LocalBitcoins 

Funded back in June of 2012, LocalBitcoins is a company based in Helsinki, Finland that offers a marketplace that connects buyers and sellers that are nearby that are interested in trading Bitcoins. Although the service was founded in 2012, it didn’t really start to become popular until 2013. LocalBitcoins isn’t exactly your typical exchange. It acts as more of an intermediary that connects people that are close to each other and allows them to trade discreetly and in a pseudo anonymous manner.

Throughout the years the company has had a smooth run with a few hiccups here and there, such as the security breach it suffered in April of 2014 where 30 bitcoins were stolen. Luckily, this event was a one-time occurrence and the loss wasn’t too big.

However, the company has run into issues throughout the years with several regulatory bodies across different countries and states, most notably Germany, New York and Russia. The first two forced LocalBitcoins to terminate their services in those locations, whereas in Russia, the service maintained operations by teaching its customers how to bypass the block that the executive agency for telecommunications in Russia had imposed.

Despite those issues, LocalBitcoins still became widely used cross 249 countries to be exact, and its popularity rose to the point that on December of 2017 registrations were temporarily disabled due to the platform experiencing record traffic.

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