LocalBitcoins is a popular Bitcoin trading site. But it can be a dangerous place for newbies. I have several years of experience trading on LocalBitcoins. I have had trades with over 800 people.

This article may put across a negative message. LocalBitcoins is a great platform when you use it correctly. Just make sure you have your guard up!

My LocalBitcoins stats

Is LocalBitcoins safe?

Hah. LocalBitcoins is not safe. Here’s why:

  1. You are trading with people you don’t know
  2. You can’t verify a person intentions

However, people are ID-verified. Which is an added benefit to your safety?

Make sure to use common sense when trading. Stay safe by acting on any suspicions.

Research the payment methods that you’re trading with. For example, Paypal is very dangerous. Paypal makes it easy to chargeback payments.

Is LocalBitcoins legit?

Yes, LocalBitcoins is a legitimate site. And they do have many security features too:

You will rarely have problems with LocalBitcoins. Their customer support does a great job at solving problems.

However, there is only so much they can do.

The problem

Although LocalBitcoins is legit, the legitimacy sits with the users that you interact with.

The internet opens you to the world. People can target you from the other side of the world. They may try to scam you. It is easy to use a VPN to mask your identity.

Is LocalBitcoins anonymous?

Bitcoin is not anonymous, and by extension, LocalBitcoins is not anonymous. Every transaction is tracked, stored and reviewable.

ID verification is a requirement

Traders on LocalBitcoins need to verify their identity. Send in photos of your ID and verify your mobile phone number.

Never trade with people that have poor feedback

You can trade without, but I assure you, no one will trade with you. After all, a user trying to trade with you that hasn’t verified themselves looks the most untrustworthy. Only an idiot would trade with someone with poor feedback and no verification.

Is LocalBitcoins’ wallet safe?

LocalBitcoins has robust security on their site. I’ve never been hacked, nor has the site lost everyone’s money(unlike some other exchanges).

2FA

They have 2-factor authentication available, which I heavily advise you get. And this adds another layer of security.

You can use Authy to generate a secure pin that will verify that you are you!

Can you get scammed on LocalBitcoins?

Yes. You can get scammed on LocalBitcoins. And if you’re not careful, it’s easier than you think to get scammed. Here are a few tips that will keep you safe from getting scammed:

  1. Only trade with people that have aged accounts
  2. Only deal with people that have good feedback
  3. Only trade with people that have lots of feedback
  4. Only trade with people that are ID verified and mobile verified
  5. Never release Bitcoin before you receive payment
  6. Never accept third party payments
  7. Write a good set of trade terms
  8. Don’t accept payments that can be charged back easily; Paypal.

Have you guys had any bad experiences with LocalBitcoins? Have you been close to being scammed? Have any questions? Leave a comment below, and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Until next time, Josh.

2 comments
  1. 1. The cash will be received to whichever payment method you choose; bank transfer, Paypal, similar alternatives.
    2. Paypal is easy to chargeback, especially when buying and selling goods without physical delivery. There is little to no seller protection for virtual goods.
    3. Unfortunately not, I don’t have any experience with Australian banks!
    4. There is a 1% fee when trading, but you don’t pay any bitcoin transfer fees.

  2. Hey Josh, I want to join LocalBitcoins, but have a few questions. The site is a bit unclear on how it works!
    1. If I upload BTC to my wallet on LocalBitcoins, and then sell it for $USD or GBP (not as a trader, just hit button). What happens with the $ I receive:
    – can I specify say a PayPal account or say Australian bank account for it to be sent to (will have to be converted to $AUD)?
    – or does it go into my LocatBitcoins wallet and then I can transfer it myself where-ever or use it to buy BTC?
    2. Why is PayPal unsafe to use, and what other way do you recommend to Buy/Sell as a Trader or just as a client?
    3. Can you recommend any good Exchanges that can send/receive $ to Australian bank accounts. I currently use IndependentReserver.com but they are super-super slow in processing transactions, especially $ transfers.
    4. There must be fees & charges when placing ads on LocalBitcoins doing transactions to Buy/Sell and for transfers which would eat into the Buy/Sell gap?!
    Thanks,
    Rob
    [email protected]

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