LocalBitcoins.com Review 2021 – Scam or Not?

LocalBitcoins is the largest peer-to-peer service which helps to match Bitcoin buyers and sellers who live close to each other, enabling face-to-face and online transactions. The platform also provides an escrow service which is used to ensure fairness of every transaction made by the users.

The company is one of the oldest exchanges in the industry, founded in 2012 by Jeremiah Kangas, a programmer, and entrepreneur. Currently, it operates in 248 countries and 13774 cities, with a base in Helsinki, Finland.

Review Contents



LocalBitcoins respects the anonymous nature of Bitcoin, so it doesn’t have a mandatory I.D. verification, and it doesn’t require any personal details.

Email address is the only thing needed for signup. While the exchange doesn’t require any personal information, some sellers or buyers may request identification in order to proceed with the trade.

When it comes to fiat currencies, users are free to trade in any currency, which means that if there’s someone willing to accept your local fiat currency, you can buy Bitcoins for it.

The exchange allows only trading with fiat currency for Bitcoin. No altcoins are supported.

Fees on LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins leaves everything to the users and tends to keep things simple. It’s the same with the fees. Simple 1 percent fee is applied to all trades. The seller pays the fee.

Of course, standard Bitcoin network fees apply for all transactions. The sellers are free to form their own BTC price, so usually they cover a transaction fee by asking for higher exchange rates.

LocalBitcoins Trading Analysis

The exchange doesn’t have a typical brokerage business model, instead – it’s a peer-to-peer network which connects the sellers with buyers in the local area. The traders post advertisements on the platform, stating exchange rates and accepted payment methods for selling or buying Bitcoins. Other users reply to these ads and arrange to meet the trader in order to make a transaction, in person or online.

LocalBitcoins also has a reputation system and feedback mechanism to help the members distinguish the legit traders from the scammers. The trading platform also offers an escrow service in order to help establish trust between the parties, and a conflict-resolution service which helps users overcome any misunderstandings.

Users are advised to be cautious when trading on LocalBitcoins because it’s possible to get scammed. After all, the deal is made between individuals. Here are a couple of things to keep an eye on when it comes to trading.

The seller should meet these qualifications:

  • Has a feedback score of 98 percent or higher
  • Has traded over 100BTC in trading history
  • Has successfully completed at least 100 trades
  • Has an account older than a year
  • Is verified seller
  • Is trusted by 10 or more people

Do not post ads for buying Bitcoins, because this type of ads usually attracts scammers. Do not choose your seller based solely on the price.

When it comes to communication, do not:

  • Agree to trade outside the exchange
  • Send more information before getting a response from the seller
  • Send payment information outside the exchange (no emails, phone calls, etc.)

Also, major traders may refuse to sell cryptocurrency to the new users without any feedback. In that case, a new user should make a few minor trades with less-reputable sellers in order to get a positive feedback and be accepted into the “big league.”

The exchange doesn’t support derivates or futures trading. Also, it doesn’t have margin trading, short selling or any other option, because it isn’t the traditional trading platform.

Ease of Use

LocalBitcoins.com provides well-outlined information, and the entire website is easy to use and spot-on. All the information needed is available in an instant and without any need to navigate to find it.

Sign up takes only 20 seconds, and the website is very fast. Nothing but praises for the design.



Support team on LocalBitcoins is well organized and competent. Their FAQ section is quite thorough, and they offer special forms to report phishing, lost two-factor authentication or password.

They only offer support via email, but overall service is excellent. The support team typically answers within 1 hour.

User Experience

Many users get scammed on LocalBitcoins, primarily due to peer-to-peer interaction. There are many scam reports all over the web, which damaged the reputation of LocalBitcoins. The exchange is still a great place to buy or sell Bitcoins, but it’s user’s responsibility to stay safe and educate itself about the potential dangers of peer-to-peer trading.

The trading platform also offers a place for fraud and scam warnings, where users can post about their experiences with other traders.

LocalBitcoins Security

The exchange has a strong security with two-factor authentication, HTTPS encryption, and Login Guard. LocalBitcoins also has a great white hat program for the security researchers, which help the exchange to stand out from the competition.

The trading platform has been hacked in 2015. They have SMS and email alerts and the coins placed in Escrow are kept online on the site. The PGP encryption is used for email communication.

Supported Payment Methods

  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card
  • Wire Transfer
  • SEPA
  • Perfect Money
  • Cash Deposit
  • Tele2
  • Swish
  • Qiwi
  • Payza
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • Payoneer
  • Alipay
  • Paypal
  • OKPay

Supported Countries

All countries except: Germany, Iran, States of New York and Washington in the USA

LocalBitcoins Review Conclusion

The LocalBitcoins are the great way to buy Bitcoins if you’re looking to protect your privacy and trade locally. Otherwise, it may be too much of a hassle.


  • Private and fast
  • Easy to Use


  • Need to keep an eye for scams
  • Now a ID verification is required
  • Not suitable for large buyers

Overall great exchange, but might not be the best choice for beginners.


Do you have good or bad experiences with this Bitcoin Exchange? Please share them!

Go to LocalBitcoins.com
Share your Experiences about LocalBitcoins.com:

33 User-Reviews for LocalBitcoins.com
  1. Lemmy, 26. June 2022

    I had LBC account for 7 years and completed two buys early on. One other order had glitches and I canceled it. When BTC – BCH forked they converted the BCH into more BTC. Turned out well. Since 2016 just a HODLER with no more transactions. Rarely checked bc it seemed safe but really not safe as LBC logged many unsuccessful login attempts to my account. I had a printed page of 2FA numbers which scammers could not steal. Also completed KYC reqts. in order to keep my coins. My email address for LBC was rarely used. In Jan 2021 LBC sent me notification that my state of residence was no longer being supported for LBC accounts. They said if I didn’t move it they could keep funds and lock me out. Two weeks this sat in my inbox. I found it with less than two weeks remaining. After verifying with LBC support that it wasn’t a scam I had to scramble, obtain cold storage and remove my coins. This account was well into 6 figures. I managed to move all of my coins with a few days to spare. I was very lucky I didn’t lose it!!! LBC did not freeze the account and allowed me to get every last satioshi safely stashed in cold storage. Now I hold the keys and forget the exchange. After 5 years LBC will delete my account records. By that time BTC should be to the moon I’m hoping.

  2. Nathen, 23. July 2021

    Now apparently Alaska is not allowed to use Localbitcoins, I have a tier 1 account, trusted and made many trades for the past couple years, i tried to access tier 2 which requires an address verification, I had to attach a copy of my power bill, and now I’m locked out and can’t buy or sell Bitcoin, so the account is worthless.

  3. Mike, 16. July 2021

    I have just been scammed of 450 dollars, after transferring money to Localbitcoins and money doesn’t appear in my account, i contacted them, they ask me to prove the transfer which i did, I was finally told I send my money to a wrong wallet due to virus on my computer, how could my computer generated a wallet address though your server, I regret signing up with this scammers

  4. Sandra Hawking, 15. May 2021

    Please be advised that LocalBitCoins.com is currently under investigation for fraud, and is not the same company you once knew and trusted. Here’s how it works:
    You deposit funds -> funds are locked -> verification requested -> verification completed -> funds remain locked and LBC keeps your money. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLOSE YOUR ACCOUNT, the scammers will then delete all the evidence of your transactions and you will not receive your money.
    If your funds have been locked and you are unable to remove them because of failure in their KYC verification process, you are a victim of fraud. Please contact your local authorities immediately and ask them to help you file a complaint with their cyber crimes division, they will work with Interpol to bring in the responsible parties.
    Also, if you are an American citizen, please contact the FBI and file a complaint on ic3 immediately.

  5. Erakey, 27. April 2021

    They are 100% scammer suddenly they will lock you out from the site and ask details about your life and work that even CIA wont ask for

  6. Rajni, 5. April 2021

    They support scammers. I sold bitcoins to someone who had 100+ trades and 100% feedback. His Driver liocense and phone number was verified. He had IP address from UK. This guy sent me proof of paymnet and told me to release bitcoins right a away. Suddenly, amessage popped up that I have to release bitcoins within 1 hour of being buyers confirmed payment notification. No matter what happened Localbitcoin would have to release bitcoins to scammer after 1 hour. When I didnt receive money in 2 hours I reported transaction to customer service. Reply I got shocked me. Very easily they said I was victim of fraud and nothing they can do. They did suspended buyer’s account but my question is where will buyers bitcoin will go. They had option to send me back my bitcoins or give me details of buyers wallet or Id so I could do something but they refused to provide me any detail. It was $5300 transaction. Localbitcoins is a scam. How can they verify kenyan number and IP address from UK. Atleast we have right to see nationality of person whom we are dealing with. My bad I didn’t notice this guy has kenyan number verified.

  7. Michael Baker, 17. March 2021

    LocalBitcoins stole almost $200 worth of BTC from me. Here’s how they did it. They let me sign up, and then I bought BTC from traders there. Then they sent me a notice, on my account page, that they do not permit trading from the state that I live in (Alaska) on their platform. Then, they told me that I would have to delete my account in order to get my BTC, Then, when I went to do that, and they asked where to send my BTC, I gave them the wallet address, but they never sent it, and locked my out of their site altogether. Wow!

  8. Godwin, 13. February 2021

    Big Scam! Came back after 2 years logged in. No bitcoin

  9. 247coinanytime, 27. January 2021

    My ticket #1291734 was closed without my issue been reserved .I was giving 30 days to withdraw my coin and I still have not been able to do that , I wrote the support about this and all I could get was that my ticket was closed because they have not heard from me which it’s a lie .. I wish I was able to upload the proof of the conversations and I kept wondering what happens to my coin after the 30 days to withdraw is complete and yet I am unable to get the coin even after the support assured me that my account has been verified and I should be able to get the coin … I wish I am able to get a response back

  10. Charles, 27. December 2020

    Nightmare ! Can’t send always some reason, today reason not enough btc 0.02536767 ? 657.00 us Try sending less or buy more ? Just a scam to buy more btc that is not available, just want btc and never ever due business with this rippoff site what a joke.

  11. Disappointed, 20. December 2020

    USELESS SITE. Required more KYC than Coinbase and wanted me to send KYC and Financial Infor to a USER in order to get my crypto!! Seems to be populated with scammers hoping you don’t want to give all your personal info allowing them to keep your money. Very risky, no more anonymous, and more expensive than other sites. Use at your own risk.

  12. Bummed, 21. September 2020

    I would,t recommend this one.

    What it says on this site is incorrect, localbitcoins.com does require that that you confirm your identity, sending them photos of your I.D. Cards, and your face.

    I can’t confirm what else they require since their software isn’t working, and I can get verified on their system further.

    It tries to tell you you phone doesn’t work, but I’ve confirmed their wrong.

    They use a third party ID site ONFIDO.COM that they don’t own.

    Looks like once again a web site has been sold and the new owners are not running it correctly.

    It might worked in the past, but things have changed.

  13. Kevin fraley, 22. June 2020

    I was sUrprised my account was scammed using a mail localbitcoins.report, i don’t have access to log in to my localbitcoins account, and i have Bitcoin in it

  14. victim of localbitcoins thievery, 24. May 2020

    Local bitcoins is a total scam do not use this garbage site they take 50% of your deposit and they lie and say there biggest take away is 1% out of the 3 feea they give you do not use them ever they owe me over 1000$ dollars in so called errors that i haven’t received back never use this fraudelent site

  15. btcfriend, 12. April 2020

    Nowadays they are at least requiring:
    Too bad!

  16. Gwen Crawford, 24. February 2020

    Scammers! Stay away (Feb 2020)

    They are now locking accounts for no reason/stupid reason. You can’t take out your bitcoins. Some people were able to get some back after deleting their account and waiting 14 days!!

    Its been 16 days since I deleted my account but they haven’t yet released any of my money!!


  17. nnamdi, 13. November 2019

    been trying to get a hold of them since sep 2018; now in november 2018 still no response received. cannot access my btc wallet

  18. Niven, 18. September 2019

    I did an exchange received an email transfer then released my bitcoin. The buyer then reported to his bank that he wants a refund. Interact etransfer then had a freeze put on my account. I am no longer allowed to send or receive etransfers on my bank acount and the seller taiyo araki has claimed my bitcoins. I have been reported as accepting fraudulant funds and have no help from the banks and local bitcoin has not responded to be about this. I dont understand how someone can get away with reclaiming there funds after sending an etransfer but. Now i am being looked at as the frauder. BEWARE!!! the banks and local bitcoin dont seem to want to help

  19. John Titor, 11. August 2019

    They charge Astronomical fees to receive and send. Go through anyone but these people because they take what they are not entitled to charge for.

  20. Mrbuyandsell, 29. June 2019

    By him having his limits stuck at 13 coin allows him to keep the escrow from being triggered. He used his trusted status to get results.

  21. Gerrard, 18. May 2019

    Accordingly, what conclusion can we draw from this? I think it is not necessary to be a very smart person in order to understand that this resource is draining information to the goverment..

  22. admin, 19. February 2019

    Thanks for your comment, has been corrected.

  23. Rosie, 18. February 2019

    Your article is wrong. LocalBitcoins has been hacked. You should update this as you have a responsibility to readers to be ethical and stay up to date. Thank you.

  24. Mahdi Mohammadi, 24. June 2018

    This is the best exchange I’ve ever seen for fiat currencies. High security and doesn’t care about politics and sanctions against countries. If you’re a PRO, it’s the best option. If not, stick to the simpler options.

  25. mike, 23. May 2018

    when trying to verify phone number the SMS with the code does not arrive

  26. Roger, 29. March 2018

    Use this site at your own risk. If anything goes wrong then support will do little to help you. Take ages to respond to tickets and have a “Dont Care” attitude.

  27. Achiler, 1. October 2017

    Bought some bitcoin off a scammer from this site who kept my money and told me he never received it. I had to go to the police to get my money back. Reported it to LocalBitcoins who did nothing and resolved the dispute in his favour! Steer cleer of LocalBitcoins, they will not help you if you are scammed.

  28. Mubarak, 19. September 2017

    I have a suspended account, because I opened a second lbc.I have written to support severally but the am still not satisfied with the decision.if u like me explain to pls do something about my situation.

    Few days back my email de*****@yahoo.com was hacked by an unknown person.he change my username and password for login to my account, I could not reset my password.so I wrote to support to help me then they told me the fellow stole my bitcoin and can not be recover but I can recover my account by replying to support with a new email address. They also stated that I can't send a mail unless I use the link.so when I tried doing that password and username was also my issue to reply to support. So I thought I should forfeit the account since its been held my someone else. So I decided to open another account with my Gmail de*****@gmail.com with no intention of fraud or any play just to continue enjoying my trade on localbitcoin.I did all verification no error that I have an account and I can't open another ,everything went successful. I sent my passport page for verification no error message telling me anything about another account.
    I felt it's done let me buy some bitcoin, I also did that without any error telling me I have an another acct else where. The purchase was successful after few hours I tried to open another trade then I got this error message,you are on a forced holiday …since then support have been telling me the same thing about having two accounts.

    Please help me out my bitcoin are stucked in the new account with a larger volume, please am losing hope already try and help me do something about this. I really need the bitcoin in my wallet,I beg u
    Thanks I just hope u will do something

  29. Kevin Joseph, 29. August 2017

    Localbitcoins are blocking accounts one you complete payments. Beware that this is a scam company. They want to steal your bitcoins. You better use another company but not localbitcoins. I don`t recommend people to use that website. YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BITCOINS.

    Don’t say you were not told.

  30. admin, 17. August 2017

    Hi Edward,

    as said, more details would ne neccessary.

  31. admin, 17. August 2017

    Hi Edward Donie – can you give us more details please?

  32. Edward Donie, 9. August 2017

    They have confiscated my bitcoins by blocking my account. Beware.

  33. Edward Donie, 9. August 2017

    They blocked my account capriciously. The seller and I completed the transaction though them. They will not let me use the bitcoins that i bought. Their responses are rude.