LocalBitcoins Review

Not sure whether to use LocalBitcoins? I’ve laid out the many pros and cons of using their site in this LocalBitcoins review — skip all the others.

An honest LocalBitcoins review, taking you through the pros and cons of the extremely popular peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform.

  • LocalBitcoins is safe, however, you could run into unsafe traders.
  • They offer a legitimate service and have great customer support.
  • LocalBitcoins is not anonymous, they take ID upon sign-up.

We’ll cover a number of popular questions on LocalBitcoins’ safety, legitimacy, and anonymity. The platform is the largest of its kind at present, with only Paxful approaching anything near LocalBitcoins’ popularity.

LocalBitcoins can be incredibly dangerous, here’s why

The site allows for free trade between users anywhere in the world, which is great. However, openness comes with some inherent risks

People are the root of the safety issues

  • You never really know who you’re going to run into.
  • You never really know what other traders’ intentions are.
  • You never really know where the Bitcoin is coming from or going to.

Because of the above reasons, you should be more concerned about who you are trading with than the site itself.

How to stay safe when trading Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins

Avoid people with bad feedback

There is literally no reason on planet earth, as to why you should be trading with people that have anything less than nigh-on perfect feedback.

You have to be pretty stupid to ever consider trading with the likes of these guys…

image 2 1
LocalBitcoins traders with poor feedback. They have only a handful of trades and already have under 95% feedback.

Sometimes it is unavoidable, and you’ll run into someone that just doesn’t seem quite right. In which case, there’s a simple formula you should apply to these situations.

If you find yourself entangled with someone fishy

  1. Think through potential vulnerabilities you’re opening yourself to
  2. Refuse/cancel the trade
  3. Secure any vulnerabilities
  4. Contact support

LocalBitcoins, the site, is secure

  • It has not been hacked
  • It has not lost it’s users’ Bitcoin, unlike some other exchanges
  • It utilizes 2FA; you can set it up with Authy very easily

I’ll repeat: currently, the only real reason why you might be unsafe on LocalBitcoins, will be down to you as a person, and the people you choose to trade with.

Newbies that aren’t accustomed to online transacting can easily fall prey to scammers; make sure you do your due diligence and don’t fulfil trades out of turn.

Often, people don’t understand the vulnerabilities behind the payment methods they’re using.

  1. 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?!

  2. 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.

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