Just a reminder - LocalBitcoins isn't your only option!
TL;DR: LocalBitcoins is locking out customers and traders from buying and selling Bitcoin due to a flawed verification system. If you want to trade with me, head over to LocalCoinSwap.com
In the last few months you may have noticed some changes over on LocalBitcoins – due to regulatory pressure, the site has had “no choice” but to submit to European regulatory requirements, which in part, requires all users to verify their identity, source of income and other identifying and privacy questioning submissions, depending on your trading habits.
While I can empathize with their situation – having been battling with a similar situation here with Australian regulators – their execution on their verification process has been (excuse the language) fucking disgraceful. I can confirm that the whole situation - which I will now affectionately name “the shit show” - has resulted in a complete restructuring of the company, LocalBitcoins OY, which has resulted in the replacement of their CEO, key personnel walking away, or being fired from their positions due to the stress and the uncertainty surrounding the situation (such as our beloved Max), the immediate removal of all “cash in person” payment methods, along with other payment methods, sometimes without warning – the reason for these lack of warnings has been due to actions made emotionally on whims due to the distress the regulation of LocalBitcoins has caused, as one insider has reported to me (In other words, someone chucked a massive tantrum!).
This seems to have left LocalBitcoins in a disarray of unanswered support tickets, unprocessed verification submissions and much more, which has even left LocalBitcoins to warn users not to expect a response from their support staff for up to 5-7 days at a time – however even this can’t be counted on with some users reporting support tickets and verification submissions not being answered after months of waiting. Not to mention, it seems decisions are being made at LocalBitcoins HQ with the emotional instability of 14 year old hormonal teenage girl (trust me, I know, I was there once)
To give an account about my own experience with this deplorable roll out, I was asked to verify my own LocalBitcoins account “as a company account” this morning. After submitting all the required information, and advised my submission was now “pending” LocalBitcoins suspended my account from trading without warning, until (I assume) my submission is “approved”. Given the wait times already being experienced by other users, I am not holding my breath for a timely response. It also seems, that according to this reddit post, I am not the only person effected by this, and I would certainly see a rapid spike in “missing” reputable traders leaving LocalBitcoins, due to their inability to trade.
Having traded on the site for over 5 years, it really saddens me to see this site literally cutting itself off at the legs, and choking itself of its own income, by means of depriving itself of fees received from prominent trading figures on the site. Not to mention, as a recent report shows, LocalBitcoins trade volume has already decreased by 30% due to locking customers out of their accounts thanks to unprocessed verification submissions.
I also believe the copious amounts of repeated verification requirements for users is just plain unsafe – it’s bad enough customers have to verify with each and every trader on the site they choose to trade with (if the trader requires it), and now, they need to verify again with the website itself to continue trading. The double handling of sensitive information, in my opinion is extremely risky, especially when handing your documents to an overseas entity that appears to have no idea on how to get a grip on this shit show.
Therefore, I am urging my customers, and other traders in the space, to please find alternatives to LocalBitcoins!
Some months ago I made the jump over to LocalCoinSwap to offer a trading alternative – Not only do they offer the safety and security of escrow, but they also offer me the opportunity to trade in other Cryptos such as Ethereum and Litecoin, as well not requiring ID verification to register for an account.
If you are an existing customer with me on LocalBitcoins, simply sign up with your LocalBitcoins username, so I can identify you, and I will merge it with your LocalBitcoins verification submission from the payment processor. That way, you can continue to trade seamlessly, and without limits.
I want to add, this isn’t an ad for LocalCoinSwap – I have traded with a few P2P sites now, and in my humble and professional opinion, it is the next site I feel comfortable with trading on compared to LocalBitcoins.
I will give a heads up though, I am working on redeveloping the payment processor to integrate with LocalCoinSwap’s systems as we speak. Until such a time where this is set up and ready to go, I will be manually processing all LocalCoinSwap orders, so your patience is appreciated!
All the best, and I hope to see you on LocalCoinSwap soon!