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.
LocalBitcoins is the leading P2P Bitcoin trading platform with over 1 000 000 registered users from 249 countries. On LocalBitcoins.com you can trade Bitcoins for traditional currencies through person-to-person trades. This is also known as over-the-counter (OTC) trading.
People prefer to buy and sell Bitcoins OTC because it allows for fast transactions and more diverse payment methods. Centralized bitcoin exchanges are slow and cumbersome, trading directly with other people using the same payment provider makes the money move much faster. This creates a better user experience for the customer.
Hundreds of Bitcoin traders from all over the world already earn a living trading Bitcoins on LocalBitcoins using more than 60+ payment methods, this guide will help you become one of them.
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.
Restrict amounts to
You can restrict the advertisement to only being able to open trades for specific amounts. If you enter 20,30,60 into the box a potential trade partner could only open a trade for 20, 30 or 60 EUR.
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|
|Cash by mail||Send cash to the receiver via mail.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Chase Quickpay||Person-to-person payments through Chase's quickpay system.||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|
|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|
|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|
|PaySafeCard||Pay online securely without bank account or credit card in Europe. Fund your account with redeemable coupons.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Payza||Send and receive money online. Fund your account with wire transfer or credit card.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Gift Card Code||A gift card code.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Gift Card Code (Global)||A gift card code.||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|
|Other Pre-Paid Debit Card||National pre-paid debit cards that do not have their own category. The advertiser gives payment details in the advertisement descirption||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Google Wallet||Online payment method to transfer funds between two Google Wallet users.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Amazon Gift Card Code||A gift card code.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Vanilla||Redeemable coupons and debit cards.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Reloadit||Redeemable coupons and debit cards.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|PayPal My Cash||Coupons which can be used to load your PayPal account.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Apple Store Gift Card Code||A gift card code.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Walmart Gift Card Code||A gift card code.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|SolidTrustPay||International instant payment processor. Multiple funding options.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Square Cash||Send money to friends using a mobile app in US. Can be funded with debit cards.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Steam Gift Card Code||A gift card code.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|iTunes Gift Card Code||A gift card code.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Ebay Gift Card Code||A gift card code.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Credit card||Buy Bitcoins using your credit card.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Starbucks Gift Card Code||A gift card code.||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|
|M-PESA Kenya (Safaricom)||Send and receive money with your mobile phone in Africa.||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|
|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|
|Postal order||Sending money through the mail in UK and US.||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|
|NetSpend Reload Pack||Redeemable coupon for NetSpend card||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|
|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|
|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|
|Yandex Money||Mobile payment solution.||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|
|BPAY Bill Payment||Bpay allows Australians different ways to pay their bills.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Easypaisa||Send money to other people in Pakistan using your mobile phone.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Transferwise||Transfer money online internationally||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|hyperWALLET||hyperWALLET is online payment solution which offers instant bank transfer funding in Canada.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Paxum||Send money anywhere in the world with just an email address.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Telegramatic Order||Payment method in Croatia||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Tigo-Pesa Tanzania||Send and receive money with mobile phone in Africa.||Selling bitcoins Buying bitcoins|
|Payeer||Send money anywhere in the world, receiver does not need be registered.||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.
LocalBitcoins have not researched this payment method or there is little to no history with it being used for Bitcoin trading.
You can ask in our forums about these payment methods before you start 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.
Please also read our terms of service.
LocalBitcoins wishes you happy trading!