LocalBitcoins is a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange that facilitates people buying and selling Bitcoin amongst their peers. With the recent phishing attack and loss of user funds via the LocalBitcoins forum, many P2P traders are looking for alternatives to LocalBitcoins to ensure they can continue to buy, sell and store their Bitcoin safe and securely.
There are now many alternatives to LocalBitcoins that are starting to make their mark in the P2P industry due to improved security, feature set, and customer service. Let’s take a look at 3 of the top alternatives that you can use to buy and sell Bitcoin amongst your peers in 2019…
LOCALCOINSWAP P2P EXCHANGE
LocalCoinSwap is a worldwide P2P cryptocurrency exchange that enables you to buy and sell Bitcoin as well as 22 other altcoin cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Monero, Dash, Dai, Tether, XRP, Litecoin to name a few. Due to the increased flexibility, P2P trading is available to more people around the world who don’t always have access to centralized exchanges, and traders are able to determine their own risk when trading with users with different levels of reputation.
Similar to LocalBitcoins, registering and creating a buy/sell trade advertisement on LocalCoinSwap is free, and you are only charged a 1% fee for every completed trade you created. Unlike LocalBitcoins, LocalCoinSwap has a very generous referral program that lets you and your referred friend both keep 10% of the 1% trade fee each. This is quite a substantial reduction in the trading fee. You can even earn up to 30% of the trade fee.
What’s unique about the LocalCoinSwap P2P exchange, is that it is also the world’s first community-owned P2P exchange. Unlike any other Bitcoin exchange in the world, LocalCoinSwap gives 100% of the profit, back to the crypto community via dividends. Essentially, if you own their LCS Cryptoshares token, you are able to firstly make money by trading Bitcoin on the exchange and then secondly by receiving a passive income every 3 months in the form of the cryptocurrency traded on the platform. It’s this unique profit share element that makes LocalCoinSwap a favorite in the crypto space.
The LCS Cryptoshares token also provides voting rights, so when it comes to deciding on important changes to the exchange, the community decides, thus ensuring continued positive growth as the community is incentivized to make good decisions that benefit trades and the community.
Who Should Use it: LocalCoinSwap is easy to use with a clean UI, and gives users a lot of options making it suitable for both new and experienced P2P traders. Their recent redesign has resulted in a fully functional set of advanced features that will also attract professional OTC Bitcoin traders.
- Bitcoin plus 20+ other cryptocurrencies
- 250+ payment methods
- 180+ fiat currencies
- Available in 190+ countries worldwide
- Referral program gives 10% to you and 10% to your friend
- No withdrawal or deposit limits
- LCS Cryptoshares provide profit sharing and voting rights to token holders
- Trades can be set to follow market price to avoid worrying about sudden market moves
- Ability to set your own terms for trades
LocalCoinSwap exceeds when we talk about payment methods on offer. They currently support over 250+ payment methods, that’s everything from cash, local bank transfers, debit card, credit card, PayPal, Alipay, PrivatBank, Qiwi, M-Pesa, Amazon gift cards, iTunes gift cards and many more. A wide range of payment methods is a huge benefit of this exchange as the majority of their payment methods are not available on centralized exchanges. Less accessible payment types often provide sellers with the opportunity to make money through arbitrage as the buyer is often willing to pay more for the convenience and privacy of the exchange.
BISQ P2P EXCHANGE
Formally Bitsquare, Bisq is an open-source, decentralised, P2P exchange platform that leverages peer-to-peer networking, as well as The Onion Router (TOR), resulting in a unique P2P exchange.
The integration of TOR helps P2P traders expose only the bare minimum information about themselves required to trade safely on Bisq. Even a user’s IP address is masked, which provides traders with a fairly discrete environment to make transactions with only their chosen trade partner, or in cases of a dispute, an arbitrator who would have access to very little except the relevant payment information required to resolve a dispute.
The Bisq P2P platform’s network relies on an application rather than a central website, this results in it requiring the trader to leave the application running when they have an active trade offer open. This is very similar to the process of seeding a torrent and having to leave your torrent client open, as you would if you were downloading or seeding your favorite Linux Distribution.
This P2P networking aspect is a little more complicated than the usual user experience on many P2P exchanges, however, the process isn’t difficult to get the hang of and there’s always documentation available if you find it a little different. One of the interesting benefits for P2P traders of this type of exchange network is that it is resistant to DDOS attacks as it is a distributed network with no central IP address to target.
Using Bisq requires no KYC or verification wait times, however, it does impose the requirement of security deposits and trade limits on users. The limits vary depending on the age of the account and the risk of chargeback involved with the chosen payment type.
If you are a trader who loves using programs like BitTorrent for file sharing or Mastodon as a mainstream social media alternative, then you should definitely check out this P2P exchange as an alternative to LocalBitcoins as you are literally part of the network itself.
Who Should Use it: Bisq is a well-built platform, that is best suited for more advanced users who find it meets their specific circumstances and requirements.
- Open sourced under version 3 of the GPL
- Uses TOR network to enhance privacy
- Application-based reducing phishing risks compared to online exchanges
- P2P network based removing downtime caused by DDOS attacks
- Bisq holds no user funds directly and only uses multi-sig wallets
- Low fees with makers paying 0.1% and takers paying 0.3% of the trade amount
- Dispute resolution requires arbitrators to stake tokens to avoid collusion with traders
- No registration or verification wait time
Bisq has fewer payment methods than some alternative P2P exchanges, instead choosing to focus on accepting methods where transactional proof can be provided, that also come with a lower risk of chargebacks.
BITQUICK P2P EXCHANGE
BitQuick, originally known as BuyBitcoin.US, is an older P2P Bitcoin option launched in 2013. This alternative to LocalBitcoins does well catering to users that want to trade P2P, but prefer a very simple experience.
The P2P platform is available for trading in 49 US states, with the exception of New York State due to the implementation of Bitlicence and the cost of getting a license. They also have international support for traders in other countries such as Canada, Europe, Russia, and Australia. One benefit for buyers on this exchange is that they require all Bitcoin to be escrowed before they allow it to be listed for sale on the P2P platform.
The service has a slightly different fee structure to LocalBitcoins, it’s free for buyers which helps encourage buy volume, however if you want to sell on BitQuick this requires a 2% fee, once the coin is escrowed if you want to cancel that order though you will be required to pay a 5% fee, though this does max out at 0.02 BTC.
This structure helps to ensure that only serious traders actually wanting to sell are likely putting offers on the platform, reducing the odds of dealing with a less serious seller. The simplicity of the user interface, as well as the low average trade completion time of 3hrs, does somewhat make up for those pricing complexities.
BitQuick allows users to trade a small amount before requiring full KYC/AML verification. This includes providing a copy of your government ID, drivers license, or similar. As well as SMS verification to fully comply with their verification requirements. BitQuick is registered as a Money Service Business by the US Treasury, this is why KYC is quite stringent as they are required to meet certain criteria to comply with US Anti-Money Laundering regulations.
Who Should Use it: US residents that only want to purchase Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash and would like to avoid centralized exchanges, but don’t mind the reduced flexibility regarding payment types and minimal cryptocurrency choices, with a tolerance for lower privacy for the sake of convenience.
- Only supports Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash
- 5% fee to cancel sell orders once escrowed, though this maxes out at 0.02 BTC
- 2% fee to buy but free to sell
- All coins listed for sale are held in escrow so you know they exist
- Simple to understand interface
- Standard wait time of 3 hours often less
The exchange is quite limited in this regard as it only supports a list of banks, but it does include Moneygram and Western Union if none of the available banks are suitable for you or you’d simply prefer to use those methods instead. While limiting, the list is quite long and should cover the needs of most target users in the US.