This guide is for those who want to be actively involved in trading Bitcoins.
If you are planning to sell Bitcoins only occasionally, or you're just starting out, please see the how to sell guide.
A typical trade on LocalBitcoins works like this, the example is an online sell trade where you're selling Bitcoins to a buyer. The process is similar when you are buying Bitcoins online, but for this example we're focusing on selling Bitcoins, as that's the most common type of trade.
Before you start trading you need to consider what payment methods you are going to provide and research the payment method so that you know how it works. When you first start trading we recommend you don't choose a high risk payment method. Transfer with specific bank can be a good starting payment method, especially if there are few traders active in your country. A few sections down is more information about different payment methods and their risk level.
If you have a new account with no previous trading history, we recommend you start by replying to existing advertisements in order to buy and sell some Bitcoins. This will help you get a hang of how trading works and it will let you build some trading history which will make your account trustworthy which in turn gives your advertisements better placement in the listings.
The advertisement creation page is where you create new advertisements. You can also find this page from the post a trade link in the menu bar.
There are some options when creating an advertisement which are required, and a lot of extra options which are optional but recommended to set. Using the extra options allows you to tune your advertisement to suite your trading strategy.
You can find all of the advertisements that you have created from your dashboard, you can also find it from the dashboard link in the menu bar (from the icon that looks like a speedometer). In your dashboard you can also see all of your trades, both open and closed.
Enter the country where you want your advertisement to appear.
Select the payment method you want to offer from the dropdown menu. See more in the section about payment methods.
Choose which currency you're selling for. For instance, if you're selling in France you should select EUR. You can use this list to find what your currency acronym is.
Margin or Price equation
The easy way to price your advertisement is to enter a margin you want above the Bitcoin market price. To do that, enter a percentage in the margin field.
If you want more control over your price, you can use the price equation field. This will allow you to create an advanced pricing algorithm taking into account many variables. See more in our pricing guide.
Min. / Max. transaction limit
The minimum transaction limit sets the smallest amount someone can buy. If you set it to five, and you have your currency set to EUR it means that smallest trade someone can open with you will be for 5 EUR.
The maximum transaction limit sets what the biggest trade that you want to accept is. Note that if you put in a larger maximum than what you have Bitcoins for in your wallet, the actual maximum will be your wallet balance.
Terms of Trade
This is the text the buyer sees before he opens up a trade with you. It's a good idea to write instructions for the buyer on how you want the trade to proceed and if you have any specific instructions.
If you require, for example, the buyer to submit a receipt as proof of payment before you release the Bitcoins or if you need the buyer to provide an ID, this is the place to mention it. You can take a look at other traders advertisements for the payment method you want to use to get an idea of what good terms of trade contain.
No-one likes it when someone doesn't reply. By setting your opening hours you can limit the time when your advertisements are shown to exactly those times when you are ready to trade. Tip: Set the times acording to your own local time, but first make sure that you have your own time zone set in your user settings.
Enter here specific information relating to how the buyer should pay, this can be your bank account number or e-mail address (For e.g. PayPal).
You can set a minium required Bitcoin trading volume before a user can open up a trade request for your advertisement. If you set this to 0.1 BTC it will require the person contacting your advertisement to have previously completed trades totalling at least that amount.
Similar to Minimum volume, the feedback minimum allows you to set a minimum required feedback percentage required to have in order to open a trade using your advertisement.
New buyer limit
This is a specific maximum transaction limit for new users. If a new buyer with no previous trading history wants to contact you, this is the largest amount they can open a trade for.
This option works in combination with new buyer limit. If you set the previous option to 0.5 BTC and the transaction coefficient to 1.5 it will slowly raise the maximum amount that the user can purchase from you. For the first trade it will be your new buyer limit, for the following trade it will be 1.5 times the new buyer limit, or 0.75 BTC for our example.
This shows an automatically generated reference code for the trade. It's a convenient feature to use as the buyer can enter the reference as part of the message when purchasing, allowing you to quickly match payments to trades.
Let's you select what kind of reference to display. You can select between short, long, numbers & letters.
How long of a time the buyer has to make payment before the trade is automatically cancelled.
In case you are offering Bitcoins for sale using a payment method that only allows you to accept a certain amount a day you can use this feature to limit yourself to that. Enabling tracking liquidity lowers the maximum limit of the advertisement each time someone makes a purchase.
By marking this checkbox you limit the advertisement so that only users who have verified their ID with LocalBitcoins are able to open a trade.
Real name required
By marketing this checkbox you limit the advertisement so that only users who have entered a real name on their account are able to open a trade. This is only availalbe for Online Sell advertisements.
By marking this checkbox you limit the advertisement so only users who have verified a phone number with us can open a trade.
Marking an ad for trusted users only allows you to create special advertisements for users whom you have trusted. See more in our FAQ.
Below is the list of currently supported payment methods on LocalBitcoins.com. If you are thnking about selling bitcoins with a certain payment method, check its risk level and read the topic on risk mitigation below.
If you want to see a new payment method added or have questions about the risk of a payment method, please contact LocalBitcoins support.
It's a good idea to research a payment method before you start trading with it. Familiarise yourself with the terms of service and search online for other trader's experience with the payment method.
|Other online payment||The advertiser gives payment details in the advertisement message||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Hal-cash||Hal-Cash is a bank service that allows you to send money to any mobile phone, and be withdrawn instantly at an ATM of any of the financial institutions associated with the worldwide system, anytime and anywhere without needing a credit card.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Vipps||Send money to anyone who has a Norwegian phone number.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Visa - Visa||Debit cards, Credit cards, payment systems. Visa - Visa transfer between cards.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Mastercard - Mastercard||Debit cards, Credit cards, payment systems. Mastercard - Mastercard transfer between cards.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Card to card||Transfer money from card to card on-line.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Mir||Debit cards, Credit cards, payment systems. Mir is a national payment system established by the Central Bank of Russia.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|SBP - Fast Bank Transfer||The quick payment system is a Bank of Russia service that allows individuals to make instant transfers by mobile phone number to any bank participating in SBP, as well as make payments for goods and services in retail stores and the Internet using a QR code.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Chase Quickpay||Person-to-person payments through Chase's quickpay system.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Chipper Cash||Chipper is a mobile cross-border money transfer platform in Africa.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|OKPay||OKPAY allows you to accept bank wire and cash money transfers and all e-currencies quickly and affordably. Currently OKPay advertises as irreversible payment.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Paypal||Transfer money to anybody with an email address.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|WebMoney||Secure and immediate transactions online.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Moneybookers / Skrill||The simple and secure way to send and receive money.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Neteller||Instant deposits, withdrawals and payouts online.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Apple Pay||Online payment method to transfer funds between two Apple Pay users.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|TWINT||Online payment method to transfer funds between two Twint users.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Cashier's check||Checks signed by cashiers.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Venmo||Send money to friends using a mobile app in US. Can be funded using a credit card.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Zelle||Send money to friends and family||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Dwolla||Send money online using Dwolla.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Perfect Money||Instant payments and confidential money transfers online.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|CashU||Pay online securely without bank account or credit card and fund your account using variety of methods.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Payza||Send and receive money online. Fund your account with wire transfer or credit card.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Bluebird Card||Card to card payments offered by American Express.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|GreenDot Card||Green Dot Corporation is an issuer of prepaid MasterCard and Visa cards in the United States. Card to card transfers.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Other Online Wallet||Other online wallets that do not have their own category. The advertiser gives payment details in the advertisement description.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Other Online Wallet (Global)||International online wallets that do not have their own category.. The advertiser gives payment details in the advertisement descirption||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Other Remittance||Remittance vendors not already on the list. The advertiser gives payment details in the advertisement message||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Credit card||Buy Bitcoins using your credit card.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Google Pay||Online payment method to transfer funds between two Google Pay users.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Cash App||Send money to friends using a mobile app in US. Can be funded with debit cards.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|National bank transfer||Wire transfer within a specific country||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|SEPA (EU) bank transfer||Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) wire transfers. Usually recallable up to 10 days.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Transfers with specific bank||Transfers to and from other customers with the same bank as you.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Cash deposit||Go to a bank / ATM and deposit cash directly to the bank account||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Swish||Send and receive Swedish Kroner to and from mobile phone numbers.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|QIWI||Send money to anyone with a Qiwi account. All you need to know is their phone number, simple easy and fast.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Mobile top-up||Mobile top-up is a transfer where you add credit to the recipient's mobile number. All you need to know is their phone number.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Sberbank||Sberbank is a state-owned Russian banking and financial services company headquartered in Moscow.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Tinkoff||Tinkoff Bank, formerly Tinkoff Credit Systems is a Russian commercial bank based in Moscow. The bank does not have branches and is considered a neobank.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Alfa-Bank||Alfa Bank JSC, the corporate treasury of the Alfa Group, is one of the largest private commercial banks in Russia.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|VTB Bank (VTB)||VTB Bank is one of the leading universal banks of Russia. VTB Bank and its subsidiaries form a leading Russian financial group - VTB Group,||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Revolut||An electronic money institution providing online wallet. Not the same as a traditional bank. Funds with Revolut remain safeguarded in accounts with a tier-one UK bank, as per our obligations under the e-money regulations.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|M-PESA Kenya (Safaricom)||Send and receive money with your mobile phone in Africa.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PayID||Enables customers of different banks to make and receive real-time payments.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Ethereum altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Litecoin altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Dogecoin altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Stellar altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Ripple altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Verge altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|OKB altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Cardano (ADA) altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Bitcoin Cash (BCH) altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Polkadot (DOT) altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Chainlink (Link) altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|USD Coin (USDC) altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Tether (USDT) altcoin||Altcoins are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PagoFacil||PagoFacil is a popular payment method in Argentina.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Rapipago||Sending and receiving money through an ATM or Rapipago agency anywhere in Argentina.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Boleto Bancário (Boleto)||Boleto Bancário, commonly known as Boleto, is Brazil’s most popular cash-based payment method that is virtually fraud-proof.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Via Baloto||Baloto is one of Colombias most popular cash payment methods.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Efecty||Efecty is an offline cash payment voucher option in Colombia.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|International Wire (SWIFT)||International wire transfer with SWIFT code||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|MobilePay FI||Easy way to send money with phone numbers, works with all Finnish banks.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|IMPS Bank Transfer India||IMPS bank transfers in India.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|UPI Transfer||Transfer money between bank accounts in India.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Interac e-transfer||Canadian online transfers||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Pingit||Barclays mobile payments in UK.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Paym||Pay your friends and family using just their mobile number.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PYC||Pay your contacts - mobile payments by Natwest / Royal Bank of Scotland||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Western Union||Send and receive money internationally. The receiver can redeem the transfer as cash.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PostePay||Italian online payments.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Moneygram||Send and receive money internationally. The receiver can redeem the transfer as cash.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|AirTM||Airtm is a virtual wallet for sending and receiving payments around the world.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Bhim||BHIM is an Indian mobile payment App.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Bunq||Launched in 2015, bunq B.V. is an innovative direct bank, focused on providing banking products online using its mobile application.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Chime||Chime is an American technology neobank company which provides fee-free financial services through a mobile app.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Freecharge||Freecharge is a mobile payment app in India, owned by Axis Bank.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|ЕРИП "Settlement" system (ERIP)||The Unified Settlement Information Space (ERIP) is an electronic system created to instantly pay bills for goods or services.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|GEO Pay||GEO Pay is a P2P payment network deployed in one of the regions of Ukraine used for simple and fast payments without intermediaries and bank charges.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|MobilePay||Easy way to send money with phone numbers, works with all Danish banks.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|MobilePay NO||Easy way to send money with phone numbers, works with all Norwegian banks.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|MTN Mobile Money||MTN Mobile Money is a secure electronic service that enables MTN Mobile Money wallet holders to store funds, send and receive money, make payments and do a number of other transactions simply using their mobile phone. And it’s offered by MTN in partnership with over 10 partner banks, in a number of countries across Africa.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|OneMoney||OneMoney is a mobile payments solution service that allows one to send and receive money from a mobile phone at a very low cost.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Mukuru||Mukuru is an online remittance company. Through our transactional Website, we offer customers in the United Kingdom or the European Union the ability to send money to 13 countries: Bangladesh, Botswana, DR Congo, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Orange Money||Orange Money is the mobile money service of Orange S.A., available in most of the group's affiliates in Africa.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Paysend||PaySend is a global online money transfer service that offers the new solution to transfer money abroad by means of a Card2Card technology.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PhonePe||PhonePe is an Indian digital wallet platform and online payment.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|RIA Money Transfer||Send and receive money internationally. The receiver can redeem the transfer as cash.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Serve2Serve||Reloadable debit cards and transfers between them.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Uphold||Uphold is a digital wallet and trading platform that enables cryptocurrencies and other assets affordable and accessible for everyone.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Walmart 2 Walmart||Send and receive money between two Walmart locations. The receiver can redeem the transfer as cash.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Xoom||Xoom Corporation is a digital money transfer company based in San Francisco. It provides consumer remittance services to Europe, Canada, Australia, Latin America, the Philippines and India.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Yandex Money||Mobile payment solution.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Zipit||ZIPIT stands for Zimswitch Instant Payment Interchange Technology. It is a solution that was developed to enable instant inter-bank funds transfers between Zimswitch member institutions.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PaySera||PaySeraPaysera is a virtual bank with a particularly comprehensive range of services that offers suitable banking products for both private individuals and online businesses.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Remitly||Remitly is an online international money transfer service allowing people in the U.S., Canada, the Eurozone, Australia, and the U.K. to send money to over 85+ countries around the world.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|MercadoPago||MercadoPago is an online payment platform that makes it easy to send and receive online payments. Mercado Pago only allows payments in the local currency. That is, the account created in Colombia only accepts payments in Colombian pesos (COP) and from clients that have an account in the same country.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PIX instant payment||Pix is the Brazilian instant payment. The payment method created by the Central Bank (BC) in which funds are transferred between accounts in a few seconds, at any time or day.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PicPay||PicPay is a digital wallet app that enables users to send and receive money, pay bills, store loyalty cards and discount coupons, and more.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Mach||Mach is the first digital account in Chile. The MACH virtual card is an alternative for people who do not have access to traditional credit cards.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|MOVII||Movii is a digital service that offers a wallet for storing funds and making transfers to other Movii users.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Nequi||Nequi is a financial mobile banking service from Bancolombia. Through the application users can manage their money from their cell phone.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PSE||PSE allows its users to make purchases and payments over the internet.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Vodafone cash||Vodafone cash can be used to send and receive money, top-up airtime for self and other Vodafone numbers, pay bills (Vodafone Bills) as well as buy goods and services.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Monese||Monese bank is a financial service provider from the FinTech sector offering banking services exclusively online.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Airtel Money||Airtel Money is an electronic wallet service that works on smartphones and basic feature phones on the Airtel network.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Eversend||Eversend is a multi-currency e-wallet that allows customers to exchange, spend and send money.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Sendwave||Sendwave works by allowing you to send money from a debit card to select countries abroad.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|JazzCash||JazzCash, formerly known as MobiCash, is a Pakistani mobile wallet, mobile payments, and branchless banking services provider.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|YAPE||Yape is a mobile application created by the Banco de Crédito del Perú.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|GCash||GCash is mobile money or “e-money” that allows you to send or receive money with the use of your smartphone.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|MBWay||MB WAY is the leading Payments App in Portugal.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Bizum||Bizum is a payment service launched by Spanish banks to allow users to conduct Person-to-Person ( Person-to-Person. ) payments through a smartphone.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|MonCash||Mon Cash is a money management service that allows registered customers to make financial transactions from their mobile phones.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|N26||N26 is a German bank that works with the network from its mobile phone.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|EcoCash||Send money to and receive money in Zimbabwe with your mobile phone.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PayTM||Indian mobile payment method (Pay Through Mobile).||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Lydia||French mobile payment method.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Alipay||Alipay is a major Chinese online payment system.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Superflash||Italian debit card with an IBAN number.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|AstroPay||AstroPay Card is an easy and safe way to make payments online in latin american countries.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|M-PESA Tanzania (Vodacom)||Send and receive money with mobile phone in Africa.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|advcash||Advanced cash is an online wallet service that lets you send and receive money.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Cash at ATM||Cash at ATM is a service some banks that lets you withdraw or deposit money from/to ATMs with a PIN code.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Easypaisa||Send money to other people in Pakistan using your mobile phone.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|hyperWALLET||hyperWALLET is online payment solution which offers instant bank transfer funding in Canada.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Payeer||Send money anywhere in the world, receiver does not need be registered.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Payoneer||Payoneer is a financial services business that provides online money transfer and e-commerce payment services.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Tigo-Pesa Tanzania||Send and receive money with mobile phone in Africa.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Transferwise||Transfer money online internationally||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|WeChat Pay is a digital wallet service incorporated into WeChat, which allows users to perform mobile payments and send money between contacts.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Worldremit||Send money anywhere in the world.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
These risk levels apply only when you are selling bitcoins online as the risk comes from accepting payments that can later be charged back. When you are buying Bitcoins you are completely protected by escrow as long as you have proof of payment.
|Risk level||Typical payment provider features||Mitigation|
|Low||The payment method is irreversible or almost irreversible.||It is safe to use this payment method, LocalBitcoins are aware of few or no issues with it.|
|Medium||The payment is reversible and LocalBitcoins receive the occasional report of fraud.||
Set first time buyer limits.
Require reputation and account history.
Check the ID of the buyer.
|High||It is easy for the buyer to reverse the payment, reversals can occur weeks or months after the trade. The payment provider may lock your account without a refund after receiving payments for Bitcoin. LocalBitcoins are aware of several cases of fraud or other problems with trades. Proceed with caution.||
Set very low first time buyer limits.
Require high user reputation and long account history.
Use trusted listings.
Check the buyer id.
|Unknown||LocalBitcoins have not researched this payment method or there is little to no history with it being used for Bitcoin trading.|
It's important to having good digital security, but it's especially important when you're trading Bitcoins. When you have advertisements up selling Bitcoin you also tell the world that you have Bitcoins, which can make you an attractive target to cyber criminals if you don't have your security in check.
Most common attacks are done using spear phishing techniques. That's where the attackers will first attempt to get access to other services that you use, mainly your e-mail or cell phone account. From there they will try to get access to your financial services. This is why it's very important to keep all of your online accounts secure, not just your LocalBitcoins account. By following these steps you can be sure that your account is protected from most security threats.
If you are selling Bitcoins for a payment method that is reversible you should verify that it is the buyer who is making the payment with his own account.
When you receive a new trade, take a look at the buyer's LocalBitcoins profile to gauge the reputation of the buyer. Go through the buyer's previous feedback and his trading history.
On the page for the trade itself you will see a box showing security information of your buyer. Always view this information to get a picture of who your trading partner is, check whether the real name of his account matches the name attached to his payment. Check that the users IP address is from the same country as the payment is coming from. Below is an example of what the security information box looks like.
If you're selling using a payment method such as transfer with specific bank where the buyer's name is visible, limiting your advertisement to only users who has verified their ID with LocalBitcoins is a good idea.
A large part of fraud occurs from new accounts. Setting first time buyer limits on your advertisement helps you limit the risk you expose yourself to and any potential damage from fraudulent buys. They prevent a no-reputation buyer sending high volume trade requests. Setting the limits itself discourages the fraudulent buyers to contact you. See more above in the section Setting up an advertisement.
Most of online payment methods are reversible. The payment provider can take back a payment even after it has arrived to your account. For example, PayPal payments are reversible up to 180 days.
In many countries, online banking is not protected by two-factor authentication. This means that whoever gains the control of user computer, using malware or otherwise hijacked computer, can do unauthorized bank transfers. This is an issue for SWIFT, SEPA and wire transfers. Receiving money from a stolen source may lead to freezing your bank accounts for the duration of criminal investigation. The way to mitigate this risk is to check that the buyer id matches the sender bank account name.
Recommended reading: The May Scale of Money Hardness and BitCoin.
Scammers take advantage of the fact that Bitcoin transaction are irreversible or they try to trick you into releasing Bitcoins without sending payment. That's why it is important to never release Bitcoins from escrow until you have payment. Even if it's a regular buyer and someone you know, as once the Bitcoins have been released from escrow, there is no way for you to get them back.
With reversible payments, scammers will attempt to pay using stolen credentials or purchase proof. Requiring the buyer to have ID verified their LocalBitcoins account, and always checking that the users real name matches that of the payment information helps you stop these attempts.
In case you encounter a suspicious user you can always open a dispute for the trade and LocalBitcoins support will help you ensure a safe trade.
Buying Bitcoin with online payment methods is a generally safe process protected by LocalBitcoins’ escrow service. Nonetheless, you can ensure the best BTC buying experience following the tips below:
Please also read our terms of service.
LocalBitcoins wishes you happy trading!