LocalBitcoins Review: Pros and Cons of Buying Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins Review: Pros and Cons of Buying Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins



LocalBitcoins is a popular peer-to-peer exchange that allows users to trade bitcoin. In this LocalBitcoins review, you will learn how to use the platform and discover the pros and cons of buying and selling bitcoin on LocalBitcoins.

Getting Started on LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins

Founded in 2012, LocalBitcoins aims to connect the masses to the bitcoin economy guided by the belief that bitcoin will transform the global financial landscape. LocalBitcoins acts as a gateway into the often complicated world of bitcoin trading and allows newbies to buy and sell the digital currency with relative ease.

To trade on LocalBitcoins, you are required to create a username, provide your email address and input a password. Once the registration is complete you will be sent a message to the email address you provided for account verification purposes. It is important to verify your account so as to activate the ‘Login Guard’ that will ensure any receive a confirmation email anytime you sign in with a different device.

Upon logging in, you will find a simple user interface on the main page of your account. On the dashboard, you will see the main sections which include buying and selling bitcoin, posting trades, customer support, inbox, and your online wallet.

At the top of the page, you will notice a search bar for you to narrow down advertisements. The rest of the page will show the most popular advertisements including volume limits and payment methods.

How to Buy Bitcoin

To buy bitcoin on LocalBitcoins, the first step would be to search for vendors who are selling bitcoin and are in your geographic location. On the search box at the top of the main page, fill in the amount you want to purchase in your currency, together with your location and the payment method you prefer. If you are uncertain on how you want to pay, then select the ‘All offers’ option on the drop-down menu. The platform will give you a list of all bitcoin traders in your area.

LocalBitcoins Review

You will have to select a trader with a good reputation score and a high number of trades from the list of advertisements. Each advertisement has a response time indicator, which shows how prompt the trader replies to requests. To get more information about the advertisement you can click on the ‘Buy’ tab.

After clicking on the ‘Buy’ tab you can view the terms of trade. If you find them acceptable, input how much you want to purchase in the amount box, type a message for the seller and press the ‘Send trade request’ to initiate the trade. After clicking the button you must pay before the payment window is over or else the trade will automatically be cancelled.

Once you have executed the payment, press the ‘I have paid’ tab. The seller will have to verify the payment is received only then will your bitcoin be released from the escrow and made available on your LocalBitcoins wallet. If you are looking to sell bitcoin the process is almost similar and you can learn through a ‘How to Sell Bitcoin‘ guide on the site.

Main Features and Payment Options

LocalBitcoins incorporates a number of features that optimise the trading process. Top among them is its escrow service. The escrow is useful for online transactions where any cash sent during a trade is held by the escrow administration until the vendor confirms a successful exchange.

To ensure you end up selecting the right trader the site has a reputation rating system in place. Traders are ranked based on their activity, trading history, and user feedback.

Localbitcoins also offers conflict resolution in the event a dispute arises during a trade. The conflict resolution is enforced through its customer support team who are ready to handle any issues between buyers and sellers.

Perhaps the biggest selling point of LocalBitcoins is the high number of payment options available. Its payment options include but are not limited to:

  • Cash on delivery
  • M-Pesa
  • PayPal
  • Wire transfer
  • Western Union
  • Webmoney

Fees and Security

Bitcoin ETF ProposalsLocalBitcoin charges a 1 percent fee on individuals who post the adverts. It is important to note, that some payment methods are more expensive on the site due to vendors running the risk of selling BTC to individuals who may initiate a chargeback, particularly for PayPal or credit card transactions. Therefore, to protect themselves against loss they increase the price for certain payment methods. Transactions to other LocalBitcoin wallets are free. When using the site merchant invoicing services a fee of 0.5 percent is deducted from the deposit. You can view more of the fee structure on the Fees Section.

While LocalBitcoins has developed a reputation for being a safe and trustworthy platform to transact in BTC, users are still advised to be cautious. The site has a 2FA Authentication procedure where you have an additional PIN code to protect you against hackers. 2FA enables you to confirm your log-ins by having a PIN code sent to your mobile device.

Having said that, it is important for you to follow certain safety measures to achieve successful trades. They include:

  • Scrutinise the seller’s profile to ensure they are suitable to trade with. You can opt for traders who have been on the site for more than a year, have a 98 percent score and have successfully completed a minimum of 100 BTC trades. You can also identify verified vendors who provide their account details as well as phone numbers and addresses.
  • Avoid trading with merchants externally as it negates the escrow service leaving you vulnerable. If possible ensure all communication with the seller happens on the LocalBitcoins platform.
  • Do not hesitate to contact customer care or make use of the forums if you are not sure about a particular seller.

Customer Service

LocalBitcoins offers a variety of customer service options. When you click on the HELP tab on your dashboard, it will provide you with a drop-down list of options to choose. You can access any of the guides or go through the FAQs page for a more customised experience. In addition, you can create a customer support ticket and have your issue addressed more directly by the customer care team.

Pros

  • Relatively low trading fees
  • Variety of payment options
  • Escrow service
  • Good customer support
  • Reputation ratings
  • Simple user interface

Cons

  • Need to be vigilant
  • Bitcoin trading only, no altcoins supported
  • Higher fees for cash
  • Bid/Offer spread can be very wide in illiquid markets

LocalBitcoins has established itself as the world’s leading peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange. The site is an excellent choice for those who are new to trading bitcoin as well as more experienced traders who want to use a range of payment options. LocalBitcoins proves particularly popular among developing markets where most of the bitcoin trading occurs on a peer-to-peer basis.

Provided you stick to basic security practices and choose your counterparties carefully, you should have no issues whatsoever trading bitcoin on LocalBitcoins. In fact, if there is no local bitcoin exchange in your location, LocalBitcoins will probably be your go-to marketplace for buying and selling bitcoin.

Post a Comment

0 Comments