Frequently Asked Questions


Whether you’re a new user or a seasoned trader you will find answers to all of your questions on this page. You can also find more information in our how to buy bitcoins guide and in the selling bitcoins online guide. You can also ask a question on our forums or open up a support ticket to contact our support directly.

Getting started


LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange. We are a marketplace where users can buy and sell Bitcoins to and from each other. Users, called traders, create trade advertisements and specify the exchange rate and payment method they want to offer. You can browse our website for trade advertisements and search for a payment method you prefer. You will find traders selling Bitcoins online with over 60 different payment methods and traders selling Bitcoins locally near you.
  1. You first need to register an account on LocalBitcoins, you can do that here.
  2. Once you’ve registered we recommend you enable two-factor authentication and Login Guard. These two features secures your account agains theft.
  3. Visit our front page and in the large orange banner enter the amount you would like to buy in currency (e.g. Euro, Dollars).
  4. In the right side of the box type in the city or country where you live.
  5. Choose which payment method you would like to use, or if you want to purchase locally then choose the last option in the list, in-person cash.
  6. Click the find offers button
  7. You’ll now see a list of currently available traders. The numbers in parenthesis after the username shows how many trades the trader has successfully completed and his feedback score. The small green ball indicates when they were last online. The price is how much it would cost to buy one Bitcoin from the trader.
  8. Click ‘Buy’ to open up the specific trade where you can see more detailed information on the trade, make adjustments to how much you wish to buy, type in a message to be sent to the trader. Once you’re happy with the order you can press the ‘Send trade request’ button to send the order to the trader.
  9. You now need to complete payment according to the trader's instructions within the payment window, which varies depending on the payment method you’ve chosen.
  10. If you’ve made the payment you can mark payment complete and the trader will release the Bitcoins to you once he’s confirmed payment. Your Bitcoins will instantly appear in your LocalBitcoins Wallet.
  1. After registering an account you visit our front page and in the large orange banner first select that you wish to sell Bitcoins and then enter the amount you would like to sell in currency (e.g. Euro, Dollars).
  2. Type in the city or country where you live.
  3. Choose which payment method you would like to use, or if you want to sell locally choose the last option in the list, in-person cash.
  4. Click the find offers button
  5. You’ll now see a list of currently available traders. The numbers in parenthesis after the username shows how many trades the trader has successfully completed and his feedback score. The small green ball indicates when they were last online. The price is how much you will receive for selling one Bitcoin from the trader.
  6. Click ‘Buy’ to open up the specific trade where you can see more detailed information on the trader, make adjustments to how much you wish to sell, type in a message to be sent to the trader. Once you’re happy with the order you can press the ‘Send trade request’ button to send the order to the trader.
  7. The trader now has a time window to complete payment, which varies depending on the payment method you’ve chosen.
  8. Once he marks payment complete you can release the Bitcoins once you’re satisfied that you’ve received payment. The Bitcoins will instantly appear in the buyer’s LocalBitcoins Wallet.
We have two different types of trades on LocalBitcoins, Local and Online trades.
Online trades occur online entirely through our trading platform without you ever meeting your trading partner. Escrow is automatically enabled and funded for Online trades, meaning that as a buyer you’re automatically protected by our escrow system.
Local trades are meant to be carried out face-to-face, and escrow is not automatically enabled.
Registering and using the LocalBitcoins Wallet is completely free. As is buying Bitcoin.
Bitcoin sellers get charged a 1% fee for bitcoins released from escrow.
Transactions between LocalBitcoins Wallets are free. Transactions to other Bitcoin wallets have a transfer fee included of about 0.0001-0.0004 BTC, however this fee is adjusted automatically depending on the congestion of the blockchain and may periodically be higher to ensure transactions are confirmed quickly.
The transaction fee is taken from your LocalBitcoins Wallet balance after the transaction is sent.
SMS notifications are free of charge, however the optional SMS messages cost 0.00015 BTC/piece.
You can read our Security Guide which contains comprehensive information on how you can secure your account. But, If you follow these steps, you’ll be protected against the vast majority of phishing and hacking attempts.
  • Enable two-factor authentication for your user account. This protects your account when a third party finds your password. With two-factor authentication enabled, it’s not possible to log in to your account by just knowing the password. Remember to store the backup codes securely, preferably offline.
  • Enable Login guard, which protects you from logins from unknown web browsers. When Login Guard detects alogin from a new web browser it asks you to confirm your session via a confirmation e-mail sent to the address you have associated with your LocalBitcoins account.
  • Use a strong password, one with at least 10 characters. Easily manage difficult passwords with a password manager such as KeePass ( / / ) or 1Password ( / ).
  • Do not reuse your password on other websites and do not give your password to other people.
You can enable all of these security features under Security in your profile.
With Bitcoins, the owner of the wallet and the Bitcoins is responsible for his/her own security. As Bitcoin transactions are NOT reversible, if your user account is compromised you will lose your Bitcoins.
What should I do if someone else has accessed my account?
  • Immediately change your password
  • Immediately open up a support ticket stating your account name, the e-mail you used to register on LocalBitcoins, your name
  • LocalBitcoins.com support can give you the list of IP addresses which have tried to login to your account
If you purchase Bitcoins using LocalBitcoins.com, the Bitcoins will appear in your LocalBitcoins Wallet. From there you can easily send the Bitcoins to other Bitcoin addresses. The vast majority Bitcoin services are compatible with each other, the same Bitcoins you buy from LocalBitcoins will work in your favourite online stores that accept Bitcoin, and also in local shops that accept Bitcoin.
To use your LocalBitcoins Wallet enter the receiving address, amount and your two-factor authentication code (if you have 2FA enabled) and click "Send" as shown in the screenshot below.

If you want to sell Bitcoins, you first need to transfer some Bitcoins to your LocalBitcoins Wallet. You can create multiple receiving addresses for improved privacy.
Please note that your LocalBitcoins Wallet cannot be used in a few specific situations. For example, you cannot use it with sites like satoshidice that returns Bitcoins to the sending address. Also newly generated Bitcoins from mining cannot be sent to your LocalBitcoins Wallet.
In order to sell Bitcoins on LocalBitcoins.com you'll first need to send some Bitcoins to your LocalBitcoins Wallet. To do that you'll need a LocalBitcoins.com account, access to Bitcoins in another Bitcoin wallet and you need to know your LocalBitcoins.com receiving address.
To find your LocalBitcoins.com receiving address you need to go to visit the Wallet page. The top of the page is divided in two parts allowing you to both send and receive Bitcoins. On the righthand side you'll find your receiving address. Please note that your receiving address changes for each transaction.
We do this to protect your privacy. Once you know your LocalBitcoins.com receiving address, you can go to your other Bitcoin wallet and use this address to send Bitcoins to your LocalBitcoins.com address.
Please not that the minimum you can send to your LocalBitcoins wallet is 0.0002 BTC. Bitcoin deposits less than that are not processed.
Transactions take between 10-60 minutes when you’re sending Bitcoins to your LocalBitcoins Wallet or when your sending Bitcoins out from your LocalBitcoins Wallet. Transactions between LocalBitcoins Wallets is instantaneous.
I've waited 60 minutes and my transaction is still pending, now what? The Bitcoin network might be experiencing congestion, in this case transactions will take much longer to go through. Bitcoin transactions have to be confirmed by the Bitcoin network. When a transaction is made it gets sent into a transaction pool from where it is bundled up into 'blocks' that Bitcoin miners confirm through mining. Blocks get mined on average every ten minutes and only a finite number of transactions can fit into each block. Sometimes blocks can take much longer or much less time to mine. On rare occasions there can be several hours between successfully mined blocks. This means that the pool of unconfirmed transactions grows larger than what can fit into a single block, making it take a long time for transactions to become confirmed. Once the transaction has been included in a block and has been mined, it has been confirmed once. When the confirmation count of the transaction reaches a certain threshold, usually 3-6 confirmations, the transaction appears in the receiving wallets. You can read more about confirmations on the Bitcoin wikipedia and you can see the current number of unconfirmed transactions on the Bitcoin network here.
To check the status of your Bitcoin transaction
  • You need to know the transaction id or receiving wallet address (looks like: 1JF7RrjBzmVymz3cFeGWA7iVg3y6UXxyg) and the amount of Bitcoins transferred. On LocalBitcoins.com you can get the transaction information from your wallet transaction history after you have made the transfer
  • Go to blockchain.info
  • Type in the receiving address to the Search field
  • (Use the Bitcoin amount to quickly identify transactions if the receiving address has several transactions incoming)
  • Click the transaction to view more information about it
  • See how many confirmations the transaction has
The results
  • More than six confirmations: the receiving wallet should have received the transaction. Please contact the provider of the receiving wallet if the transaction still does not appear in the receiving wallet.
  • 0-6 confirmations or unconfirmed: the transaction has left the sending wallet and is still under way.
  • You cannot find the transaction: the transaction never left from the sending wallet. Contact the provider of the sending wallet.
If the receiving Bitcoin address is outside of LocalBitcoins.com service and the transaction has confirmations, please contact the provider of the receiving Bitcoin address. There isn’t much we can help with for outgoing or incoming transactions, as Bitcoin transactions are irreversible. Transaction fees affect how fast confirmations are registered on the Bitcoin network. LocalBitcoins.com reserves this fee from your wallet automatically. Please note that with web wallets like LocalBitcoins Wallet, you cannot make a connection with incoming and outgoing transactions of the same Bitcoin address. Currently the minimum ammount you can send to LocalBitcoins is 0.0002 BTC. Bitcoin deposits less than that are not processed.
Yes. It is enough that only one participant in a trade has a mobile phone. If you are buying Bitcoins, just write the code down on paper, and when seller sends release SMS he/she will receive the release confirmation code to his/her mobile phone. If you are selling, just write down the release code, and hand it to the buyer, so he/she can release the transaction himself/herself.

About Bitcoin


You can store your Bitcoins in the LocalBitcoins Wallet, but we try to promote other Bitcoin wallets. Our favourite standalone Bitcoin clients are Electrum and Multibit. Paper wallets are a good idea if you want to store Bitcoin securely. Wallets on your smartphone can also be a convenient way of carrying Bitcoins around with you wherever you are.
You can read more in our related blogpost.
You can send Bitcoins to any Bitcoin address in the world from your LocalBitcoins Wallet.
  • Pay your purchases with Bitcoins
  • Transfer Bitcoins to another wallet
It's easy:
  • Go to Wallet under your user profile
  • Type in the receiving Bitcoin address
  • Type in the amount of Bitcoin you wish to send
  • (If you are using two-factor authentication to protect your account, you'll also need to enter the two-factor security code to transfer money out from LocalBitcoins)
Please note that if you are using gambling services or other services which automatically refund Bitcoins to the sender address: This feature does not work with LocalBitcoins.com web wallet.
Transactions take between 10-60 minutes when you’re sending Bitcoins to your LocalBitcoins Wallet or when your sending Bitcoins out from your LocalBitcoins Wallet. Transactions between LocalBitcoins Wallets is instantaneous.
I've waited 60 minutes and my transaction is still pending, now what? The Bitcoin network might be experiencing congestion, in this case transactions will take much longer to go through. Bitcoin transactions have to be confirmed by the Bitcoin network. When a transaction is made it gets sent into a transaction pool from where it is bundled up into 'blocks' that Bitcoin miners confirm through mining. Blocks get mined on average every ten minutes and only a finite number of transactions can fit into each block. Sometimes blocks can take much longer or much less time to mine. On rare occasions there can be several hours between successfully mined blocks. This means that the pool of unconfirmed transactions grows larger than what can fit into a single block, making it take a long time for transactions to become confirmed. Once the transaction has been included in a block and has been mined, it has been confirmed once. When the confirmation count of the transaction reaches a certain threshold, usually 3-6 confirmations, the transaction appears in the receiving wallets. You can read more about confirmations on the Bitcoin wikipedia and you can see the current number of unconfirmed transactions on the Bitcoin network here.
To check the status of your Bitcoin transaction
  • You need to know the transaction id or receiving wallet address (looks like: 1JF7RrjBzmVymz3cFeGWA7iVg3y6UXxyg) and the amount of Bitcoins transferred. On LocalBitcoins.com you can get the transaction information from your wallet transaction history after you have made the transfer
  • Go to blockchain.info
  • Type in the receiving address to the Search field
  • (Use the Bitcoin amount to quickly identify transactions if the receiving address has several transactions incoming)
  • Click the transaction to view more information about it
  • See how many confirmations the transaction has
The results
  • More than six confirmations: the receiving wallet should have received the transaction. Please contact the provider of the receiving wallet if the transaction still does not appear in the receiving wallet.
  • 0-6 confirmations or unconfirmed: the transaction has left the sending wallet and is still under way.
  • You cannot find the transaction: the transaction never left from the sending wallet. Contact the provider of the sending wallet.
If the receiving Bitcoin address is outside of LocalBitcoins.com service and the transaction has confirmations, please contact the provider of the receiving Bitcoin address. There isn’t much we can help with for outgoing or incoming transactions, as Bitcoin transactions are irreversible. Transaction fees affect how fast confirmations are registered on the Bitcoin network. LocalBitcoins.com reserves this fee from your wallet automatically. Please note that with web wallets like LocalBitcoins Wallet, you cannot make a connection with incoming and outgoing transactions of the same Bitcoin address.
Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, once you’ve sent money to another Bitcoin address it is not possible for you or LocalBitcoins.com to reverse it.
In this case, you should investigate who owns the address. Where you got that address in the first place? Why was it the wrong address?
Please note that the same wallet can have multiple incoming addresses. The Bitcoin protocol ensures that Bitcoins are not sent to an address that does not exist, but they can be sent to addresses which are inactive or not controlled by anyone.
LocalBitcoins Wallet is a web wallet. Sending and receiving transactions are not connected to each other. If you are looking at your LocalBitcoins.com Bitcoin address status on blockchain.info or from any other Bitcoin transaction exploration service you will see unrelated transactions from your Bitcoin address (LocalBitcoins Wallet address, LocalBitcoins.com escrow funding address).
This is how web wallets operate. You cannot make connections with incoming and outgoing transactions for the same Bitcoin address. The issue is shared with all web wallet services, like Bitstamp.

Using LocalBitcoins


The LocalBitcoins Wallet is a web wallet. That means that it works a little differently from wallets that you have in programs on your computer or smartphone. A web wallet is an online account where you can store your Bitcoins.

You can access your wallet here or clicking on your Bitcoin balance in the navbar.
Here you can see your Bitcoin balance, transaction history incoming addresses and more. Please note that your LocalBitcoins Wallet cannot be used in a few specific situations. For example, you cannot use it with sites like satoshidice that return Bitcoins to the sending address. Also newly generated Bitcoins from mining cannot be sent to your LocalBitcoins Wallet.
LocalBitcoins.com generates new receiving addresses after every transaction to increase your privacy. The address list keeps track on how many Bitcoins you have received to each address. Note that these don't show in incoming transactions.
It’s generally not recommended to keep all of your Bitcoins in a web wallet as you do not have direct control over the wallet. We recommend that you keep the amount of Bitcoins in your LocalBitcoins Wallet that you need to conduct trades, and add or remove Bitcoins as your balance differs. This way you protect your Bitcoins from being stolen in case you become the victim of a phishing attack or your password gets stolen.
LocalBitcoins.com uses a feedback system that shows a score on your public profile. This score, a percentage, shows how much positive feedback a user has.
Feedback can be given only once and can be one of four types; Trust, Positive, Neutral, Block and Block without feedback. Once given, feedback will be visible on a user's public profile if certain conditions are met, otherwise the feedback remains unconfirmed. Unconfirmed feedback is only visible for the receiving user and to LocalBitcoins administrators and does not affect the feedback score.
Users that have never traded can’t leave feedback, however if they mark each other as trusted or not trusted they are able to leave trustworthy, neutral or block feedback.
When you visit a user’s profile there is a large button that you can use to mark the user trusted. Trusted users can view trade advertisements that you’ve created and set to viewable only for trusted users. Traders can use this functionality e.g in order to create ad’s with better prices for their regular customers and ‘reward’ repeat business.
Feedback that has been given can be either confirmed or unconfirmed. Confirmed feedback is shown on a user's public profile and affects the user's feedback score. Unconfirmed feedback is only visible to the receiving user and LocalBitcoins.com administrators. For an unconfirmed feedback to become confirmed, the following conditions must be met:
  • Trades between the user giving and receiving feedback must be more than 0.5 btc
  • The total trade volume of the feedback giver must be more than 50 btc
  • The feedback giver has verified his ID
There are in total four different kinds of feedback that can be left by users. Feedback can only be given if users have completed a trade or have marked each other as trusted.
Trustworthy Giving trustworthy feedback increases the receiver's feedback score while at the same time marks the receiver as a trusted person. People who you mark as trusted can view your Trusted Only advertisements. You can find a list of people whom you've marked as trusted under your profile.
Positive Giving positive feedback increases the receiver's feedback score.
Neutral Giving neutral feedback doesn't affect the receiver's feedback score.
Block By blocking a user he can no longer contact you, and he receives negative feedback from you which lowers his feedback score.
Block without feedback This option blocks the user from contacting you, but his feedback score remains unaffected.
Only your trading partners can change the feedback they have left. If you believe the feedback has mistakes you can contact your old trading partners through Closed contacts in your Dashboard and ask them to change their feedback. LocalBitcoins.com never edits or removes feedback left by users. The only exception is feedback containing personal information and feedback from banned users which is removed.
If there are issues with a trade and it cannot be properly cancelled or finished you can start a dispute. It’s possible to initiate a dispute only for trades where escrow protection has been enabled. Escrow is always enabled for all online advertisements. Once the dispute has been initiated a LocalBitcoins support person is notified and will resolve the dispute.
Disputes are always specific to a trade where you are an involved party.
If you are buying Bitcoins online, you can start the dispute after 72 hours if you have marked the payment completed.
If you are selling Bitcoins online, you can start the dispute after 24 hours.
After the payment window ends a 'Start dispute’ button appears on the contact page.
A dispute can no longer be started if the Bitcoins have been released from escrow. The Bitcoin seller should never release escrow if the payment has not cleared. Transferring Bitcoins outside escrow is risky: LocalBitcoins.com support cannot return Bitcoins released from escrow.
If the dispute parties have verified SMS number, they will receive a SMS notification when a dispute is initiated.
In many cases of unresponsive trade party this will alert the party that immediate action is needed.
Examples when a dispute should be started:
  • The Bitcoin buyer claims they have paid even if the Bitcoin seller has not received the money. It might be that the transaction simply takes longer than usual.
  • The Bitcoin buyer is not responsive, Mark payment button has been pressed. The seller's Bitcoins are held in escrow. The LocalBitcoins support team will manually check the case for potential abuse, and cancel the escrow if appropriate.
  • There are issues with the payment: the bank account is temporarily frozen due to money laundering and fraud checks. This may happen even if the transfer is legitimate, as sometimes local regulation enforcement causes banks to do this.
The sellers usually release Bitcoins as soon as they see your payment. Sometimes there can be unexpected delays with bank transfers and other online payment methods. You can keep touch with the Bitcoin trader in your profile Dashboard. You find your old Contacts there, grouped by Active (open trades), closed and cancelled. You can still message the seller even if you cancel your trade.
If it is an online trade, there is nothing to worry about, since the escrow will be automatically enabled. The page will clearly indicate the status of the escrow.
If you are buying Bitcoins online, you can start a dispute after 24 hours if you have marked the payment completed but not received your Bitcoins.
If you are selling Bitcoins online, you can start dispute after 72 hours.
In case you trade with a new buyer who has zero feedback, the dispute can be started 6 hours after the payment was marked complete.
The time in all cases is counted from when the trade was opened.
Once you've initiated the dispute LocalBitcoins.com support is automatically contacted and will resolve it.
Below all the listings on the front page you can find a locations search field, type in your location into the field (city, country) and press enter. After the page reloads you should now see ad listings for the correct location!
Currently we do not allow username changes due to security reasons.
For security reasons we do not restore user accounts. Please register a new user account.
Please note that your phone number may be still reserved in your old user account. In this case we cannot release the phone number until your account data is permanently deleted three months after deactivating your account.
If you are not a tech-savvy user we recommend avoid using a Tor browser when purchasing Bitcoins. When using a Tor browser you are at risk for man-in-the-middle-attacks by malicious Tor exit nodes. A malicious Tor exit node intercepts the traffic between your computer and LocalBitcoins and then steals your Bitcoins.
If you want to maintain safety and privacy we recommend purchasing Bitcoins in LocalBitcoins using a normal web browser. After the purchase send Bitcoins to a desktop application wallet from where you can make further payments.
See Bitcoin wallet alternatives for your device.
Read more about maintaining your security.
LocalBitcoins has witnessed high attack rates against Tor users. Tor exit nodes intercept HTTPS traffic by doing HTTPS man-in-the-middle attacks with self-signed certificates.
Read research by Tor authors about the malicious Tor exit nodes.
Two-factor authentication does not protect against traffic interception attacks as the attacker can modify Bitcoin send requests to go to a wrong receiving Bitcoin address.
It's a security image used to help you recognise that you're on the official LocalBitcoins website, and not a phishing website that is attempting to harvest your login credentials and steal your Bitcoins. The security image shown to you is unique and is dynamically generated based on your IP address. The same image you see cannot be displayed on other (potentially malicious) websites.
If you don't recognize the image that is displayed, the following are possible causes:
  • It's your very first visit to LocalBitcoins, in that case Welcome! :)
  • Your IP address has changed since your last visit
  • The LocalBitcoins website has changed the way it generates security images. We'll let you know if this happens
  • You forgot what your image looks like. Take a moment to get to know it better
  • You may be on a phishing site that is attempting to steal your login credentials, make sure that the address is correct and that the SSL certificate is correct
When logging in to LocalBitcoins, always ensure that your browser URL is set to www.localbitcoins.com. If you think you've discovered a LocalBitcoins phishing website, please report it immediately.
  1. No direct or indirect personal attacks or insults will be allowed. Posts that antagonize, insult, belittle users or moderators will not be tolerated. Nor will racism, sexism, bigotry or foul language be accepted.
  2. No Bitcoin trades, or advertisements of any other kind may be posted to the forum.
  3. Posts talking about, referring to or suggesting tips etc. for illegal actions are strictly forbidden.
  4. Posts linking to copyrighted material or web pages containing guides on how to obtain or engage in actions which are illegal are strictly forbidden.
  5. Posts containing personally identifiable information (i.e. names, addresses, emails, phone numbers etc.) are not allowed.
  6. Posting links to phishing, scamming or hacking websites & guides is not allowed.
  7. Spamming the forums either with multiple topics or replies is forbidden.
Users who are found breaking the rules will have their posts removed and may have their LocalBitcoins.com account banned either for a time period or indefinitely.

Escrow


The escrow service provided by LocalBitcoins.com protects you as a user when making Online Buys or Sells. When a trade is started the amount of Bitcoins requested by the buyer is automatically reserved from the seller's LocalBitcoins Wallet. This means that if the seller runs away with your money and doesn’t release your Bitcoins LocalBitcoins.com support can release the Bitcoins to you from escrow.
Please keep in mind that local trades do not have escrow protection enabled by default and that you should cancel the trade if the seller doesn’t want to meet up and requests you to pay online.
Be aware of local sellers asking you to pay online, you are not protected by escrow in such cases and LocalBitcoins.com cannot help you if the seller doesn't give you Bitcoins.
If you want to purchase Bitcoins with bank transfer or other electronic payment methods without meeting the advertiser, the escrow service is here to protect you as a buyer. It's also fast - most sellers release their Bitcoins within 10 minutes, and you can use them right away.
In Online Trades escrow is automatically enabled.
In Local Sell Trades you can ask the seller to enable escrow.
If you’re buying Bitcoins, it’s enabled by default when you answer an online trade advertisement. For more information see our separate Escrow process guide.
Please also read how to begin buying Bitcoins on LocalBitcoins.com. LocalBitcoins.com features an escrow service, which makes the Bitcoin cash exchange process more convenient and secure. If LocalBitcoins.com escrow service is used, the buyer can verify that the Bitcoins actually exist, and seller can show his/her willingness to sell by funding the transaction.
For the buyer, the process is as follows:
  1. Make an offer by responding to any buy Bitcoins with cash advertisements, or create your own sell Bitcoins with cash advertisement.
  2. Ask the Bitcoin seller to send the right amount of Bitcoins to the temporary Bitcoin address. More professional traders do this automatically.
  3. You get a secret transaction verification code. Write the code down and keep it secret.
  4. Meet the seller.
  5. The seller should be able to show you the transaction verify code - by seeing it, you can be sure that the transaction is finalized, as the seller does not get the code until the Bitcoins have been released into your wallet.

For the seller:
  1. Receive an offer if you are advertiser and make an offer if you are a seller.
  2. Fund the transaction, get the SMS release code and number, write them down or store them on your phone.
  3. Meet and make the cash payment.
  4. Send the release SMS message or release the transaction online.
  5. Both parties of the trade receive a confirmation SMS (if they have provided phone numbers).
  6. The Bitcoins are transferred to buyer.
The release code is a secret code known only by the seller. It is used when sending the verification SMS to release the Bitcoins to the buyer.
The verification code is a secret known only by the buyer. After the transaction is released, the traders will receive an SMS text message showing the verification code. Since the seller doesn't know this code the buyer can be assured by the SMS that the trade has occurred. If the seller is able to show the buyer the verification code, the buyer can be 100% sure that the Bitcoins have been transferred.
No worries - you will automatically get the overfunded amount back if you either cancel or finalize the trade.
If you release the coins to the buyer, the overfunded amount will be sent to your LocalBitcoins Wallet at the time of the release.
Very safe. The Bitcoins are locked from the seller in escrow when an online trade is started. Once the trade is complete the seller can release the Bitcoins or a dispute can be initated after 72 hours.
Sellers strive to provide speedy service, and you will get your Bitcoins fast.
Sometimes delays may happen depending on what payment method is used. However, there is no risk that a seller can run away with the Bitcoins when they are in escrow. The seller can file a dispute, and then the LocalBitcoins.com staff reviews the case manually.

Common problems & solutions


You can also login using your email by typing it in the username field. If you’ve forgotten both you can open up a support ticket and we can help you in regaining access to your account.
Please check that the email in your user profile is correct. You can change your email address and request new verification email in the case it is mistyped. Your e-mail provider might also be blocking the emails or marking them as spam so make sure to check your spam folder.
Sometimes a trader may ask for your real name or for your ID. Usually this is not required for local trades or for safe online payment methods. When you verify your ID with us, your real name is never publicly exposed. ID verification may be required for online bitcoin purchases, it’s not required when you’re selling bitcoin. If you have a new account with little trading history a bitcoin seller may ask for you to identify yourself. This seller does this to protect himself from a variety of Bitcoin scams. If you do not want to send your ID to the seller, you can cancel the trade.
The best way to send the ID to the buyer is via the trade chat, our trade chat messages are kept encrypted on our servers and are deleted after ninety days.
Due to international contracts between mobile phone operators and local regulation, SMS messages are not always delivered to you from our service. In this case we cannot verify your mobile number. Go to our regional discussion forums and ask your fellow countrymen how they have dealt with this issue.
Currently at least the following countries may have SMS delivery problems: India, Argentina We are constantly improving our SMS coverage and will announce when we have more coverage available.
Your phone number can only be verified with one account. If you have deleted a user account or created several user accounts, please contact LocalBitcoins.com support.
Some payment methods and banks (cash deposits, Western Union) do not allow you to send a reference message or number with the payment. Usually in this case you get a transaction id after the payment has been complete.
Contact the the Bitcoin seller through the active trade from your Dashboard and give the seller the transaction id your received after making the payment, so that the seller can use this transaction id to verify when your payment arrives the seller.
You can check the status of Bitcoin transactions on websites such as blockchain.info. For that you will need the txid or either the sending or receiving Bitcoin address.
To find them, go to your LocalBitcoins Wallet page. There you will see a list of your most recent Bitcoin transactions. Next to each transaction you’ll see an address and the txid. Copy the txid into the search field on blockchain.info and it will show you the status of your transaction. If your transaction has three or less transactions it will still take some time for it to show up in the receiving wallet.
Check that the time of your authentication device is correct and try again. For the Google Authenticator app you can find a Time correction for codes option in the Settings of the app.
For paper-based two factor codes make sure you are typing only the six digits which are part of the two-factor code, not the digit from the first column which is the code counter.
When enabling two-factor authentication you are asked to make a backup of the mobile two-factor activation number on paper. Install the authenticator app on alternative device and use the backup to restore. Enter the activation number to Set up account menu in Authenticator app and then the Authenticator app will start giving you valid two-factor authentication codes again.
In the case you have lost the backup please contact support and request two-factor authentication reset. For security reasons this process takes two weeks so make sure you have written down your backup two-factor codes!
LocalBitcoins.com limits the amount of trade requests you can make per hour. If you are new user with no trade volume you can have only 1 open trade request at a time.The amount of trade requests you can make goes up with your trade volume.
First try the reset password by email on login screen.
In case you have have forgotten your username, email and password which you have used with LocalBitcoins, open a lost password support request and provide us with the following information:
  • Account username
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Describe your latest actions on the site
  • Provide an IP address you have used to access the site (www.whatismyipaddress.com)
Your account has most likely been suspended. You won’t be able to make trades or use your wallet. Accounts can get automatically suspended if our system notices any unusual activity on the account or LocalBitcoins support team manually flags it.
In order to remove the block from your account, please, make sure you do not have any issues with your prior trades.
In case you find them, please, resolve them as soon as possible.
LocalBitcoins support may also ask you to go through the identification process on our webpage.
In some cases there might be a need to go through a manual identification process and to send us following information:
  • Photo of your ID
  • Photo of you holding your ID
  • Recent utility bill with your name on it
This is done to ensure that you as the original account holder is still the one who is accessing the accounts and to protect the Bitcoins you have stored in our service. As Bitcoin transactions are irreversible once a malicious party has transferred the Bitcoins out of your LocalBitcoins Wallet they are unrecoverable.
After you received that message, wait 10 minutes and then log out of your LocalBitcoins.com account log back in again.
That means your account has been suspended. You won’t be able to make trades or use your wallet. Accounts can get automatically suspended if our system notices any unusual activity on the account or LocalBitcoins support team manually flags it.
In order to remove the block from your account, please, make sure you do not have any issues with your prior trades. In case you find them, please, resolve them as soon as possible.
LocalBitcoins support may also ask you to go through the identification process on our webpage.
In some cases there might be a need to go through a manual identification process and to send us following information:
  • Photo of your ID
  • Photo of you holding your ID
  • Recent utility bill with your name on it
This is done to ensure that you as the original account holder is still the one who is accessing the accounts and to protect the Bitcoins you have stored in our service. As Bitcoin transactions are irreversible once a malicious party has transferred the Bitcoins out of your LocalBitcoins Wallet they are unrecoverable.
This answer concerns the case when you are buying Bitcoins online.
After you send in a trade request to the seller of Bitcoins, you have a time window to complete the payment before the trade is automatically canceled (the payment window varies depending on the payment method of the trade). During this time you need to complete your payment and press the Mark payment complete button. The seller is notified that you've made the payment and the Bitcoins will be held in escrow until the seller releases them for you when seeing the payment in his/her account.
If you paid for the purchase, but did not mark the payment complete before the payment time window expired, please contact the seller. The Bitcoin seller has functionality to Reopen the purchase. You can contact the seller and your other existing trade contacts from the Dashboard in your LocalBitcoins User Profile. Send a message to the seller and kindly explain the situation and why you couldn't complete payment within the time window. Reopened purchases get escrow protection re-enabled until the seller can confirm the payment has successfully arrived.
If the seller does not respond to this request within 48 hours please contact LocalBitcoins.com support using the Support request form and mention your trade contact id number.
When you transfer money between Bitcoin addresses you need to pay a transaction fee. This fee works as an incentive and is given to Bitcoin miners to pay for their costs in running their equipment. We automatically take this fee from your wallet when you transfer Bitcoins out from your wallet.
If you make a transaction for the full amount of Bitcoins in your LocalBitcoins Wallet your balance will become negative. And the next time that you purchase Bitcoins or transfer money into your wallet the fee will be charged from that amount.
From the wallet page you can download a csv file of all transactional activity on your LocalBitcoins account.

Setting up advertisements


Online buy Your Online Buy advertisements visibility on the front page listings depend on various factors such as your user reputation, trade volume, advertisement, and identity verification.
Online sell Your Online Sell advertisements visibility on the front page listings depend on various factors such as your user advertisement limits, price, payment method.
Your account may also be on forced holiday due to it being flagged for suspicious activity. In this case if you are the original account holder you can open up a support ticket and re-activate your account.
All your advertisements appear under your user profile. They also appear in the public searches where each result list is sorted differently.
Selling Bitcoins online advertisements are sorted by a combination of several different factors. Price plays an important role, but also the popularity of your payment method and your reputation. We may limit the number of visible advertisements in the result listing so that we do not show several advertisements from the same user at the same price and payment method.
Your buying Bitcoins online advertisements are sorted by volume, user reputation and price. The trade conducted by the advertiser and the trade conducted through a specific ad are weighted here.
Local buy and sell advertisements are sorted by distance.
The top six spots on the front page are filtered to include the most popular payment methods depending on the country.
If your advertisement does not appear to logged out users, the reason is probably that you have first time buyer limits or minimum required trade volume limits set. Since non-logged in users have no reputation and prior trades, they cannot see advertisements with these kinds of limits. Also if you do not have enough reputation yourself for your own advertisement, you may not see your advertisement in the listing.
For online advertisements you need to have minimum of 0.4 BTC in your LocalBitcoins Wallet to have your advertisements running. You can still sell smaller amounts with advertisement limits. This is spam protection measurement.
Below all the listings on the front page you can find a locations search field, type in your location into the field (city, country) and press enter. You should now see ad listings for the correct location!
Advertisement prices are based on Bitcoin exchange rates. The Bitcoin exchange rate is volatile and may change rapidly.
LocalBitcoins updates its exchange rates and advertisement prices every five minutes.
The exchange rate is determined at the time you start a new trade. It may slightly differ what you bid for, because the prices are constantly being updated. You can view the exchange rate in the trade discussion with your trading partner. If you do not accept the used exchange rate you can always cancel the trade.
When the price is floating, the purchased Bitcoin amount fluctuates with the Bitcoin exchange rate. The traded Bitcoin amount is determined when the trade is closed, instead of when the trade is opened. This reduces market rate risks in local cash transactions where the time between opening the trade and closing the trade can be several days.
The floating price is based on the LocalBitcoins_sell exchange rate variable. The seller can specify an additional margin on top of that. You can see the history of the variable at charts.localbitcoins.com.
You can see pricing how-to to use more complex formulas. If you have javascript enabled, you can use weighted (USD24) or market price (bitstamp) as a base price, and enter your commission percentage to "commission" field.
You can use negative commission percentage too, if you want to sell below market price (or pay extra).
After the online trade has been completed, the seller has proof that the buyer has received the coins. LocalBitcoins.com generates and signs the receipt for this.
Our signing Bitcoin address is 1Q1wVsNNiUo68caU7BfyFFQ8fVBqxC2DSc. You can verify the validity of the receipt with a Bitcoin client software.
Some advertisements are marked as Trusted only. These advertisements are only available for accounts that you have marked as trusted in LocalBitcoins.
How can I mark someone as trusted? To add people to your trusted list, you can invite your friends by email, visit their public LocalBitcoins User Profile or give trustworthy feedback after finishing a trade with them. You can find a list of people you trust under your profile.
Creating special deals for trusted people To create a trusted only advertisement, check the option on the advertisement edit form. The seller of Bitcoins decides trust. For a sell advertisement, only people who you have marked as trusted can access it. For a buying advertisement, only people who trust you can access it.
LocalBitcoins system fetches market data, currency and Bitcoin exchange rates every five minutes. Your advertisement prices are updated accordingly.
Sometimes, especially when Bitcoin price is rapidly fluctuating, advertisements with the same price equation may display different price due to the asynchronous nature of the process. Sometimes market data is not available for some currencies, which leads to delays updating the advertisement prices.
The price of the purchase is determined at the moment the Bitcoin buyer sends in the trade request.

LocalBitcoins Glossary

Address

A Bitcoin address looks like a long string of random letters and numbers. Addresses are used when you want to send or receive Bitcoins. Each wallet has at least one receiving and one sending address. When you want to receive Bitcoins to your wallet you need to give the sender your receiving wallet address.

AML and KYC

Anti Money Laundering and Know Your Customer is a group of laws in the United States that require Bitcoin sellers to know who their customers are. Certain sellers will ask for your identification to comply with these laws. Other countries around the world may have similar laws and requirements.

Blockchain

The Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoins. It’s what makes it work. Bitcoin transactions are sent to the blockchain so that miners can put them into the blocks that they mine. Once a block containing your transaction is mined it has been added to the blockchain and your transaction receives one confirmation.

Blockchain.info

Not to be confused with the blockchain, blockchain.info is one of many websites that work as blockchain explorers. These websites allow you to ‘see’ the blockchain and what’s going on in it. In practical terms this lets you view your transactions and see if they are confirmed or not. You can also check to see how many unconfirmed transactions there are, the more the longer it will take for your transaction to become confirmed.

Bitcoin Block

A Bitcoin block is one “link” in the blockchain. One block contains a group of Bitcoin transactions that have been confirmed. When Bitcoin miners ‘mine’ these blocks they calculate through computer algorithms which when put in the blockchain, confirms transctions. In turn miners receive transaction fees and newly created Bitcoins for confirming transactions.

BTC/Coin

BTC is the acronym for Bitcoin. Coin, coins et. al. are also slang terms for Bitcoin.

Circle/Coinbase

Two Bitcoin exchanges based in the U.S. that require you to verify your identity before being allowed to trade, along with other limitations.

Cold storage/Cold wallet

This refers to a way of storing Bitcoins in a safe and secure way, offline. This is also how the vast majority of Bitcoins LocalBitcoins hold on to are stored.

Confirmation

For a Bitcoin transaction to be completed it needs to be confirmed. Good habits are to wait for at least 3-6 confirmations before you can consider a transaction good. A confirmation happens when a transaction has been added to a block that Bitcoin miners successfully mine.

Exchange

An exchange is a platform/service where users can change one type of currency for another.

Fiat

Fiat comes from Latin and means “let it be done” or “it shall be”. It’s used as a term to mean all currencies that derive their value from governmental regulation or other central authorities.

Hot wallet

The opposite of a cold wallet / cold storage. A hot wallet is located on a computer connected to the internet. At LocalBitcoins the hot wallet is where we store a small amount of Bitcoins at a time. It’s from here where your transactions are sent. We only keep a very small amount of Bitcoin here to protect ourselves form hackers.

LBC

LBC is where you are, it’s the acronym for LocalBitcoins :)

Mining

This is what Bitcoin Miners do in order to confirm transactions and add them to the blockchain. When a Bitcoin miner mines, he uses computers to do difficult calculations which answers are easily proven to be correct. This way, when a miner completes a calculation anyone can easily see that the miner has actually done work. This work can then be used to create a Bitcoin block. What miners get in return from mining is new Bitcoins and transaction fees.

Multisig

Multisignature, often heard in combination with wallet. A multisignature wallet is one that has several cryptographic keys concerned with it. This way if you have two of three keys, say, you can move money out of it. But with only one you cannot do anything.

P2P

Peer-to-Peer. It’s a form of network structure. Rather than having everything go via a centralized node, in a peer-to-peer structure everything goes from user to user. There’s no centralized part to rely on.

Satoshi

A satoshi is the smallest amount of Bitcoin that can be sent, or 0.00000001 BTC.

Satoshi Nakamoto

The pseudonym of the person who invented Bitcoin. No one knows who he is, but he does own quite a nice amount of BTC.

SEPA

Single Euro Payment Area, SEPA transfers are a special kind of bank transfers within the EU.

Transaction

A Bitcoin transaction, the actual act of moving Bitcoin from one wallet to another.

Transaction fee

Since the Bitcoin miners work to confirm your transactions, they won’t do this for free. Rather you pay a tiny amount of Bitcoin to them to help them continue to confirm. This is why each time you move Bitcoin, it costs a tiny bit.

txid

Transaction Id. This is a long string of numbers and letters that is the ID of a single transaction. It’s handy to know as you can paste this into a blockchain explorer and see what’s up with your transaction. It’s mainly used to see how many confirmations a transaction has.

Wallet

The place where you store your Bitcoins. This can be quite confusing to new users, but a wallet is essentially just a Bitcoin address. A Bitcoin wallet can exist on a service such as LocalBitcoins, in an app on your phone or computer, or even on a piece of paper! As it’s just a series of numbers and letters it does not matter where it’s stored. It’s completely OK to use your LocalBitcoins account as your wallet when you’re still new. But when you start to accumulate more and more Bitcoin you way want to think of different ways to store them.

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