2020 - A Year in Review

. 9 min read

Sometimes it’s great to look back, and after such a tough year for so many people, we’re proud to say LocalCoinSwap has risen to the challenges we’ve faced, resulting in 2020 being our best year yet across the board. We’ve achieved a significant amount thanks to our team’s hard work and the strong support provided by our community and traders from across the world. As we move into the new year, we want to look back at some of the project’s standout developments during this last year.

The Non-Custodial Revolution Began

At LocalCoinSwap, we aren’t interested in what was the best for traders a decade ago; we want to provide what’s best for traders today and tomorrow. This approach has led us to place significant development resources into non-custodial trading across the platform.

Starting with the roll out of client-side encryption for all user accounts, we went to work preparing secure and practical non-custodial trading of ethereum and ERC-20 tokens on the platform. Earlier in the year, fully functional non-custodial wallets and P2P trading of ethereum and tokens were rolled out on the platform with the same great user experience our traders have grown to be familiar with already.

Some of the benefits of non-custodial wallets & trading include:

  • Self-custody of funds (you always have control)
  • Escrow performed securely on-chain
  • Your funds cannot be seized by us or anyone else
  • The ability to export your private keys for use in other wallets

MetaMask Integration:
Alongside the roll out of non-custodial trading for ETH/ERC-20 tokens comes the ability to trade directly from MetaMask, one of the most popular ethereum wallets, further streamlining the workflow for many traders.

Bitcoin Followed in a Big Way

Trading P2P is synonymous with bitcoin, and this was one reason we spent extra time working on the non-custodial introduction of trading for BTC. Ensuring that the user experience was excellent, as well as security and stability being up to the same level you can always expect from us at LocalCoinSwap, were vital in our efforts to bring this feature to our traders.

Currently, trading is possible via custodial and non-custodial means for bitcoin, allowing traders to prioritize what suits their needs best. For peak speed, custodial trading is still a popular choice. However, you can now just as easily by-pass our internal wallets entirely and use your own fully non-custodial bitcoin wallet for which only you have control over. Doing this allows you to complete escrowed trades on-chain using customized bitcoin scripts written by our fantastic development team and extensively tested before becoming available for use.

If you are yet to try out non-custodial trading on the platform, you can activate it for your pre-existing listings with a few clicks. Due to our attention to UX/UI when implementing non-custodial trading across the platform, there is next to no learning curve when making the switch or adding it to your offers, which can be completed with just a few clicks.

We strongly believe that non-custodial trading will play a big part in the future of P2P trading, and we’re enthusiastic about continuing to rise to the challenges of the changing crypto-sphere not just in 2020 but beyond.

Learn More About these Advances in Bitcoin Trading:

LocalCoinSwap Builds on Kusama

The Kusama project by the Web3 Foundation is one we see a lot of promise in at LocalCoinSwap, and in this last year, we’ve been able to bring it to the platform with fully non-custodial trading and wallet support.

Thanks to the community-led Kusama Treasury DAO, LocalCoinSwap was able to bring non-custodial trading to Kusama as well. LocalCoinSwap is one of the first projects successfully approved through the Kusama treasury process, so we went to work building out the open-source functionality to allow multi-signature trading using the Kusama protocols and libraries.

As a successful grant recipient, we were able to not only bring Kusama to LocalCoinSwap but provide the framework for non-custodial P2P trading of Kusama to the broader crypto community. Being able to share our efforts with a project on the forefront of cryptocurrency while providing even more flexibility from our traders was fantastic and something we are looking to do more in the future.

Find out More About Kusama on LocalCoinSwap:

Strong Burns as Support Grows

After the transition to a buyback and burn mechanism to help provide value to LCS token holders, we’ve now held five burns on a quarterly cycle. 20% of platform revenue has been used to help reduce the token supply and provide value for the token via a very direct mechanism.

In a little over a year, we’ve burnt a total of 1,550,849.478 LCS. Our Latest burn on December 20th destroyed a total of 442,678.3 LCS, which was the largest to date, helping show our significant achievements in growth quarter after quarter.

Moving to fortnightly burns at random times in the new year, thanks to community feedback, will make these events more common and provide more consistent burns as we continue to grow and contribute more revenue to the burns. The next burn will be held early in the new year, starting this much shorter cycle as we also begin a rotation between the burns being conduction on Uniswap and Hotbit.

Keep your eye on LCS on the 3rd of January 2021 to catch the next burn, starting the fortnightly rotation with Uniswap. You can even provide liquidity yourself; for help, read our guide on adding LCS liquidity on Uniswap.

Relaunching the LocalCoinSwap API

We love seeing traders, projects, and even hobby developers building using our API, and to help facilitate that, we wanted to ensure it was top tier. We’ve entirely reworked and relaunched our API that resulted in significant undertakings across the platform to update to conform with these changes and further decoupling the API from the frontend to provide enhancements to our development cycle.

The API provides full access to non-custodial trading, wallets, offer management, in-trade features, notification collection, and so much more. Check out our in-depth API documentation to see how you might be able to take advantage of the LocalCoinSwap API yourself. You’ll find examples for using it in Python, Javascript, and even Bash for shell scripting. You can find even more usage examples over on our API Examples repository on GitHub.

Since the relaunch of the API, we’ve assisted several platforms in integrating it, and we look forward to seeing more of this as we move forward. If you’re working with our API and have any questions or feature requests, reach out and let us know, we’re happy to help where we can!

Read about the API relaunch and our overhaul of the API:
LocalCoinSwap API: Relaunched & Refactored

Completely New Homepage

First impressions matter, and we’ve been working on making sure that we always put our best foot forward across the platform. One area we spent a lot of time ensuring was the best possible was our landing page. When you head over to LocalCoinSwap.com, you’re now greeted with our much more refined and considered homepage, which helps show new users what we are about and what we can do for you LocalCoinSwap.

Just about every part of the platform has had a rethink and refinements made over the last year, which will only continue as time goes on. While it may be easy to forget how far we’ve come sometimes, that’s only because we spend so much time with our eyes on the future. With so much of this work ongoing all the time, we wanted to point you to a great example of these efforts on the homepage.

Check out the new homepage for yourself at LocalCoinSwap.com if you haven’t already!

Scaling to Meet Demand

Over the last year, we’ve been pushing hard to meet our users’ demands as we’ve grown, and while this has been challenging at times, that hasn’t stopped us from meeting these goals. For anyone that has dealt with our support team, you’ll have experienced this yourself as we strive to keep our support times low and our responses helpful.

We’ve increased our support team’s size recently in response to our growth in recent months to provide further the high-level support that our users are familiar with receiving. You shouldn’t have to wait weeks or months just to get your issue resolved, and that’s only one of the reasons that more and more traders are moving to LocalCoinSwap or expanding their trading operations over to our platform. We welcome this and will do our best to ensure that this only increases in the coming year.

We’re very proud of the work our support team puts in as they help the wheels keep turning quickly and efficiently for everyone at LocalCoinSwap. Our ability to run as efficiently as we do is a team effort and one that we take seriously across all facets of the project.

Did You Want Fast Crypto Swaps?

Since the launch of the project, it’s been a common request to be able to swap crypto-to-crypto, and while we want to focus on being the best P2P marketplace we can be, providing options where we can always is a fantastic thing.

Providing the ability to integrate crypto-to-crypto swaps was something that we found in a partnership with the team at ChangeNow. Thanks to their project and our integration, you can now trade a range of cryptocurrencies between each other, all with only a LocalCoinSwap account. There’s no need to deal with order-books and different order types; it’s quick, fast, and easy to swap crypto with LocalCoinSwap. While this feature has only recently rolled out with support primarily for cryptos already on the platform, keep an eye out for an increase as we add more to this list in the coming months. You can read more in our announcement for this addition to the platform.

There’s value in flexibility, and being able to do more without having to look beyond LocalCoinSwap sounds excellent to us, so this is something we will be exploring more of as we move into 2021.

BECH32 Support Increased Connectivity

Being able to support the latest standards is essential for users who want to use the latest blockchain technology. With the initial strong support of BECH32 bitcoin addresses, it was only fitting that we delved into this ourselves and provided support for our traders.

You can now withdraw to BECH32 addresses and deposit from them without issue on LocalCoinSwap. If you aren’t sure what form of address you are using, you can recognize a BECH32 address as one that begins with “bc1”.

Adding this feature allows users to reduce fees when performing bitcoin transactions, reduce mistakes due to the lowercase-only format, and avoid cross-chain mix ups as only the bitcoin network supports the BECH32 address format.

Since the launch of this feature when BECH32 address usage was at around 2% of stored bitcoin, the use has tripled to around 6%. You can view more BECH32 statistics here or read more about this in our feature launch announcement for BECH32 support on LocalCoinSwap.

Ethereum Name Service Support

Further in-line with our desire to adopt the latest in blockchain, we added support for ENS (ethereum name service). LocalCoinSwap was the first P2P exchange to add support for this address format that provides human-readable addresses showing our commitment to staying up to date with the latest options for our community.

If you have or are considering getting your own ENS address, you can freely send and receive from these addresses on LocalCoinSwap. Thanks to the support for trading directly from MetaMask on LocalCoinSwap, you can even directly use your ENS address for ethereum and token transactions via our MetaMask support as well to take things one step further.

No Need to Pre-Fund Trade Offers

Sometimes there are things we find lacking when we look at our competitors, and one of those was the ability to place trade offers without pre-funding them. Many modern P2P vendors are reactive to trade requests allowing them to provide better prices and smaller margins to their customers without worrying about having funds trapped waiting for trades.

If you are currently trading on other P2P exchanges, there’s no reason not to spread your trade offers over to LocalCoinSwap when you can do so without having to put up any crypto for the opportunities to expand your exposure to more traders. We’re seeing increasing numbers of traders choosing LocalCoinSwap as their new place to trade. This feature is just one of the many reasons LocalCoinSwap has become the most popular non-custodial P2P marketplace.

Stop having your cryptocurrency trapped waiting for trades; instead, enjoy more freedom, flexibility, and less risk when you trade on LocalCoinSwap, where your reputation speaks for itself. Trade your way with all the power that modern P2P trading can bring.

Heading Into 2021 as Strong as Ever

The LocalCoinSwap team is hard at work to continue bringing you the best way to trade and help provide more opportunities for connecting through trading P2P. We have a lot more to come, including many ongoing developments in the works, which we are excited to bring you in 2021. As we see more bitcoin adoption than ever before, P2P trading is all the more essential to help keep the world connected and ensure that everyone, no matter their circumstances, can access first-class tools to take control of their value exchange.

While 2020 has been a tough year for the world, we’ve continued to strive, thrive, and continue to do our best. We’re proud to say it’s been the best year yet for LocalCoinSwap, but we’re far from finished. Take care, enjoy the new year, and thanks for your support.

- The Entire Team at LocalCoinSwap