Ever since Bitcoin was introduced in the year 2009, the user base has increased to a considerable number. Ever since the inception of Bitcoin, a lot of people involved themselves in the world of cryptocurrencies.
When introduced Bitcoin was considered as an investment opportunity for people apart from properties and mutual funds. But over the time people have used it for various purposes such as purchasing things from online stores, traders and business people have used bitcoin to make payments for their purchases. This was made possible with the help of various apps and websites that allowed cryptocurrency transactions.
Various applications helped in providing wallets for the people where they stored their bitcoins and made the transactions. One such website that helped people in a significant way was LocalBitcoins, a bitcoin startup company that is based in Helsinki, Finland founded by Jeremias Kangsas in the year 2012.
A huge number of people used the website. Reportedly it was said that in the year 2016, about 1.35 million were using the website and it made a weekly volume transactions of about $14 million.
What made LocalBitcoins so famous amongst the masses?
Like any other website, LocalBitcoin was allowing the users to make transactions as well as exchange bitcoins with users. But what stood apart was the option of personally meeting the user and exchanging the bitcoin for hard cash.
LocalBitcoin gave the facility of over-the-counter trade, which allowed the users to exchange their bitcoin into the local currency or any desired currency that they wanted. The users would post advertisements on the website where they would state the rate of exchange along with the payment methods for selling or buying bitcoins.
Other users would reply to the advertisements and agree to meet the person for the trade. This helped the people to make the trades by keeping them private, and no registration or hidden charge is there.
LocalBitcoins act as the mediator between two parties. There are no limitations imposed on the users by the site, so it allows the users to set their own selling prices and limits for their personal safety. But this also brings the problem of verification to be done by sellers when they plan to sell larger amounts.
Pros and Cons
LocalBitcoins offers one of the most private and secure ways to purchase or sell bitcoins. It provides many ways in which the purchase can be made, but with this comes the risk of getting scammed. Anybody using this will have to be extra cautious when making payments or purchases. The fess can also be high since people are willing to pay extra for the privacy that is offered by LocalBitcoins.
LocalBitcoins is available in almost every country except Germany and New York. LocalBitcoins left New York because to trade using Bitcoins; the users would have to get BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services to follow the local financial rules and regulations. Recently Iran also imposed a ban on traders from using peer-to-peer trading using LocalBitcoins.com.
Is LocalBitcoin trustworthy?
LocalBitcoins provides fast, secure, and private transactions of bitcoin between users. Used by over 1.5 million and counting users, it has become one of the first user choices whenever they wish to make a trade. Being one of the oldest bitcoin exchange platforms, it has a trusted user base.
It has a spectacular rate of transfer speed as the transfer usually takes 15-30 minutes once a purchase is made using cash. In-person trades are fast and easy to organize, and it gives the users a sense of security as they are meeting personally.
LocalBitcoin has always aimed at providing its users with the best experience to help them make the most out of their investments and skills by providing a user-friendly interface.
Every user has a feedback history from where you can view their profile and have an idea about how their service will be depending upon the number of transfers they’ve made. For example, if a member has made 20 trades with 2 or 3 different trading partners, then this means that there were little or no issues with scams during the trade.
Issues faced by LocalBitcoins.com
But recently bitcoin, as well as the company has seen a lot of criticism for the way things work. Governments and various agencies have suspected that some people may have been using these websites to hide their undeclared money as well as use these websites for money laundering.
In the year 2016, Roskomnadzor, an executive agency of telecommunications, banned the usage of LocalBitcoins.com after the finance ministry proposed the bill to criminalize the use of Bitcoin. After some time, LocalBitcoins.com posted instructions on their website on how to bypass the access restrictions.
In the year 2018, a publication house from Finland, Kauppalehti, arranged a list of the companies that were performing well financially and LocalBitcoins managed to bag the topmost position.
The company faced a huge blow when users who used the site in the years 2014, 2016, and 2018 were arrested under the charges of money laundering.
In the recent news, a lot of government agencies took a strict route and this caused issues for the site so they decided to remove the service of in-person trading — this lead to barring users from buying or selling bitcoins using cash. But there are still several ways using which people can still make these transactions.
Despite this setback, LocalBitcoins has still seen rapid growth in the number of users in its database. Being the oldest platform to be available for trade, people still prefer to use it as it provides privacy and secure usage.
In the past few years, LocalBitcoins has seen steady growth in various countries that are planning to indulge in the trade using cryptocurrencies. A lot of countries like Argentina, Chile, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela are some that have seen a sudden boom in the number of users and traders using this platform for various purposes.
But there are other things to focus on as well, a new platform known as Paxful is also competing against LocalBitcoins to make it to the top. Launched in the year 2015, and founded by Ray Youssef and Artur Schaback, Paxful is another platform that provides peer-to-peer bitcoin purchase and sellers services to the users.
Paxful allows you to buy bitcoins by using bank transfer, Paytm Online Wallet, Amazon Gift Card, and various other ways that can be used. With a user base of more than 800,000 happy customers, Paxful helps the users to buy bitcoins just by signing up and choosing the preferred mode of transaction. Paxful has seen a growth in its user base in India, Kenya, United Arab Emirates, and the USA.
Over the years, the world has moved from cash to credit and debit cards and online transactions. With the introduction of bitcoin, things changed further, and they have helped many businesses to work correctly and carry on their trade effortlessly. And platforms like LocalBitcoins.com and Paxful bring a huge change in the market with their secure and fast services.
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