A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, or in the case of LocalCoinSwap, a single line of code.
Before we ever launched a platform or even conceived the name itself, LocalCoinSwap began in August 2017 as the work of a single programmer sat hunched over his computer late at night.
By the beginning of January 2018, development on the Whitepaper had only just begun, the platform itself was barely more than a proof of concept, and a bunch of documentation. We had only a handful of staff members, united with the shared dream of creating the world’s best P2P trading platform.
Over the first few months of 2018, we were preparing night and day for an ICO run to fund the platform. Unlike many projects we didn’t white-label our token or ICO portal, everything was programmed from scratch - as we knew the knowledge we gained from doing this would be vital down the line for the development of the final software.
After the ICO closed in June we had two months to launch a working platform, a tremendous undertaking considering the time constraint involved. However, we worked hard and persevered, and by the end of August, we were ready for soft launch.
Our soft launch platform was minimal with very few features apart from basic deposits, withdrawals, and trades. It wasn’t mobile optimized, the homepage had limited searching functionality, and it was only a glimmer of what we currently have in place with a limited cryptocurrency and fiat currency selection.
Since soft launch, we have made a huge number of additions to the site. We’ve added more than 152 fiat currencies, 11 cryptocurrencies (Monero, Ripple, Tether, Bitcoin Cash, TrueUSD, Litecoin, Dash, Paxos, Gemini Dollar, Ethereum Classic, and USDC) and more than 20 new payment methods.
We’ve completely revamped the process of creating a trade advertisement, and searching for trades. The searching process, the look of the homepage, and UX/UI for posting a trade has almost no resemblance to the basic display we first launched with. Users can now also pause, edit, and delete their live trade advertisements.
Since launch, we’ve also implemented custom profile pages, site notifications, SMS notifications, Google MFA, and customizable alerts, among many other features.
We’ve also made huge improvements to the wallet systems. Users will notice now there are few delays anymore with deposits and withdrawals, as time and experience has allowed us to test and stabilize the way we process transactions. We can now deal in an automated fashion with situations such as incorrect withdrawal addresses, withdrawals to smart contracts, and other user errors. We’ve also improved the UX and UI of the wallet pages, with better calculations and historical display.
On the marketing side, we’ve revamped our entire development architecture to support web indexing and better SEO. We’ve given users the ability to share trades on social media and added a new marketing-based landing page to explain the site better for new users.
In addition to all of these feature improvements, we have tirelessly cataloged and worked on every bug and issue reported to us by users, fixing everything from generic spelling mistakes, mobile display issues, and graphical errors to sitemap and SEO bugs. We are greatly indebted to all our users who have helped with our quality assurance process.
And these are just the user-facing features. Away from public view, we’ve completely revamped the administration and support process to scale to hundreds of thousands of users, and implemented a number of new security features to better protect against attempted hacks and denial of service attacks. We’ve also made massive improvements to the speed and scalability of the site, reducing potential downtime and ensuring we can handle large numbers of users after hard launch.
Coming up to hard launch we have a number of new features still on the horizon, including localization, and advanced pricing. On hard launch, we will be featuring a site metrics and dividend calculator, as well as launching the referral program which the community recently voted on.
After hard launch, we don’t plan to slow down. We have many exciting features planned for 2019 and will, of course, continue to constantly improve the UX, UI, and general trading experience. We have several partnerships in the works, and other exciting ideas being cooked into plans.
It’s easy to get bogged down in week-to-week minutiae and lose a long-term perspective on our achievements. Sometimes we need to ‘zoom out’ to see how far we’ve really come from our humble beginnings.
In a single year, LocalCoinSwap has come from almost nothing to making a global impact as a major player in the P2P trading scene. We’ve gone from being almost unnoticed, to being someone our competitors copy ideas from. We’ve gone from a couple lines of code to hundreds of thousands. We’ve come from a shared dream to a shared reality. LocalCoinSwap now exists, it’s a fact rather than just a promise, and it’s here to stay. It’s something we can all be proud of as it continues to expand.
And so, as we say goodbye to what has certainly been an amazing year, we look forward into 2019 with unwavering conviction that the best is yet to come.
To infinity, and beyond.
Nathan Worsley is CTO and cofounder of LocalCoinSwap.