LocalBitcoins is an extremely popular site for trading Bitcoin on. But is it safe, is it legitimate, and is it anonymous?
If you’re looking for the quick answers:
- Is LocalBitcoins safe?: … somewhat?
- Is LocalBitcoin legit: yes, they’re a legitimate site, offering a legitimate service.
- Is LocalBitcoins anonymous: no, absolutely not.
Lets explore some of the reasons behind these answers.
LocalBitcoins can be incredibly unsafe, if you’re stupid
The site allows for free trade between users anywhere in the world, which is great. However, the 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.
Simple steps you can take to stay safe
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..
Sometimes it 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
- Think through potential vulnerabilities you’re opening yourself to
- Refuse/cancel the trade
- Secure any vulnerabilities
- Contact support
LocalBitcoins, as a 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 fulfill trades out of turn.
Make sure to use common sense when trading.
Often, people don’t understand that vulnerabilities behind the payment methods they’re using. For example:
- Paypal makes it extremely easy to chargeback
- Paypal does not cover sellers that are selling digital goods; and thus, will refund any buyer purchasing such an item if they choose to complain.
Despite these gaping vulnerabilities with PayPal, people still choose to use it. In their masses.
Is LocalBitcoins legit?
Yes, LocalBitcoins is a legitimate site. And they do have many security features too:
- LocalBitcoins has an escrow system. It keeps your payments safe.
- LocalBitcoins has a customer support system. They help when things go wrong.
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.
Although LocalBitcoins is legit, the legitimacy sits with the users that you interact with.
- Malicious people are lurking on the internet
- Bitcoin is attractive to scammers
- LocalBitcoins gives you global exposure
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).
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:
- Only trade with people that have aged accounts
- Only deal with people that have good feedback
- Only trade with people that have lots of feedback
- Only trade with people that are ID verified and mobile verified
- Never release Bitcoin before you receive payment
- Never accept third party payments
- Write a good set of trade terms
- 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.