Frequently asked questions


General

  1. How to buy bitcoins?
  2. How do I send bitcoins and pay with bitcoins after buying them?
  3. My location is incorrect. How do I change my search location?
  4. Can I change my username?
  5. Can I restote deleted user account?
  6. How long does it take to receive bitcoins to LocalBitcoins.com wallet?
  7. How do I secure my account and wallet?

Common issues and problems

  1. I forgot my username
  2. I don't receive any emails
  3. SMS verification message does not arrive to my phone number
  4. My phone number is verified in another user account
  5. I cannot enter reference message or number with the payment
  6. I made my payment an hour ago and have not received my coins yet. Is this normal?
  7. I made my payment, but forgot to press Mark payment complete or did not press it in time
  8. I made a transfer from LocalBitcoins.com and it is not showing on the receiving end
  9. I'm confused about the wallet. What are receiving addresses?
  10. Two-factor authentication is not working
  11. I have lost mobile phone with two-factor authentication app or paper codes
  12. I am getting an error stating that I cannot send a trade request due to spam limits
  13. I have lost username, password and my email I used with LocalBitcoins

LocalBitcoins.com transaction and escrow services

  1. Why should I use LocalBitcoins.com escrow?
  2. How to use LocalBitcoins.com escrow?
  3. How to use the LocalBitcoins.com transaction service in cash trades?
  4. What are transaction release and verification codes?
  5. I accidentally sent too much funds to the transaction/escrow. What should I do, will I get my money back?
  6. I don't have mobile phone/wifi cafe/smartphone at all. Can I still use LocalBitcoins.com transaction?
  7. How safe is the escrow for the buyer?
  8. Why my bitcoin price is different from the advertisement?
  9. What is the floating price?

Setting up advertisements

  1. Any tips on running my own local bitcoin exchange?
  2. I can't see the advertisement I just made!
  3. The location I entered isn't resolved correctly.
  4. How do I specify dynamic price?
  5. What is the signature on the receipt?
  6. What are the trusted advertisements and people?
  7. When advertisement prices are updated?

Disputes

  1. How to dispute?

Feedback

  1. Can I change my feedback?

Bitcoin generally

  1. How can I transfer bitcoins or pay with them?
  2. How long sending or receiving bitcoins take?
  3. How should I store my bitcoins?
  4. I send bitcoins to wrong address, can I get them back?
  5. I see there are outgoing transactions from the bitcoin address where I sent bitcoins, not done by me

How do I buy bitcoins on LocalBitcoins.com?

Please read our quick start guide for buying bitcoins.

How do I send bitcoins and pay with bitcoins after buying them?

If you purchase bitcoins using LocalBitcoins.com, the bitcoins will appear in your LocalBitcoins.com wallet. From there you can easily send the bitcoins to any possible bitcoin address. All bitcoin services are compatible with each other, so the same bitcoins you buy from localbitcoins will work in your favourite online bitcoin shops, and also in the local shops that accept bitcoin.

Please note that LocalBitcoins.com wallet cannot be used in some spefic cases. For example, you cannot use it with sites like satoshidice, which return bitcoins to you based on the sending address in blockchain. Also, you cannot use LocalBitcoins.com wallet to receive newly generated coins from mining. Please use other wallet services for that.

To use the wallet, just insert the receiving address, amount and possibly the 2 factor authentication code if you have 2FA enabled, and click "Send". Check the screenshot below.

If you want to sell bitcoins, you can load some bitcoins to the wallet. Just send bitcoins to any of your wallet addresses. You can create multiple receiving addresses for improved privacy.

How long does it take to receive bitcoins to the wallet if I sent them from external wallet?

Please see below How long sending or receiving bitcoins take.

LocalBitcoins.com wallet uses three (3) confirmations.

How do I secure my account and wallet?

With bitcoins, the owner of the bitcoins is responsibilit of the security. Bitcoin transactions are not reversible, thus if your user account is compromised you many lose your bitcoins. Read LocalBitcoins.com security guide for more information.

In the case you have an incident that someone else has accessed your account

  • Change your password immediately
  • LocalBitcoins.com support can give you the list of IP addresses which have tried to login to your account.

My location is incorrect. How do I change my search location?

Type your city to Change location field and pick the nearest location from the list.

Can I change my username?

Currently we do not support changing usernames due to security reasons.

Can I restore my deleted user account?

For the security reasons we do not undelete the 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 (for three months).

I cannot enter reference message or number with the payment

Some payment methods and banks (cash deposits, Western Union) do not allow you to set the reference message or number with the payment. Usually in this case you get a transaction id after the payment has been complete.

In this case, contact the the bitcoin seller through LocalBitcoins.com Send message form and give the seller the transaction id, so that the seller can use this transaction id to verify when your payment arrives the seller.

My phone number is verified in another user account

If you have deleted an user account or created many user accounts, your phone number can be only activated at one account at time. Please contact LocalBitcoins.com support and we can manually fix the situation.

SMS verification message does not arrive to my phone number

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. Contact 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 improve our SMS coverage and will announce when we have more coverage available.

I don't receive any emails

Please check the email is corretcly typed in your user profile under Change email address. You can change the email and send new verification email in the case email is mistyped..

I forgot my username!

You should be able to log in with your email as well, try that.

I made my payment an hour ago and have not received my coins yet. Is this normal?

The sellers usually release bitcoins as soon as they spot the payment. Often there can be unexcepted delays with bank transfers and other online payment methods. You can keep touch with the bitcoin trader in 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 you use the escrow feature, there is nothing to worry about. The page will clearly indicate if escrow is enabled or not.

If the seller is not responsive for 48 hours you can start a dispute and LocalBitcoins.com support will look into the matter.

I made my payment, but forgot to press Mark payment complete or did not press it in time

This concerns the cases where you are buying bitcoins online.

After send in a trade request to the seller of bitcoins, you have a time window of 90 minutes to complete the payment (payment window duration may vary depending on the payment method). During this time you need to complete your payment and press Mark payment complete. Then, the seller is notified you made the payment and bitcoins will be held for you in the escrow until the seller releases bitcoins for you when seeing the payment on his/her account.

If you paid 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 under Dashboard in your LocalBitcoins.com user profile. Send a message to the seller and kindly explain your situation.

Reopened purchases get escrow protection re-enabled until the seller can confirm they payment has succefully arrived.

If the seller does not respond to this request for 48 hours please contact LocalBitcoins.com support using Support request form and mention your trade contact id number.

I'm confused about the wallet. What are receiving addresses?

The receiving addresses can be used to receive bitcoins to your LocalBitcoins.com wallet. Note that it takes usually about 30 minutes for the bitcoins to be confirmed. For privacy, you can request new addresses as you have used the old ones.

The address list keeps track on how many bitcoins you have received to each address. Note that these don't show in incoming transactions.

Two-factor authentication is not working

Check that the time of your authentication device is correct and try again. For Google Authenticator app you can find Time correction for codes option in Settings.

For paper-based two factor issues 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.

I have lost mobile phone with two-factor authentication app or paper codes

When enabling two-factor you are asked to back up of the mobile two-factor activation number on paper. Install the authenticator app on alternative device. You can also install it on PC too. Enter the activation number to Set up account menu in Authenticator app and then the Authenticator app will start yielding valid two-factor authentication codes again.

In the case you have lost the back up please request two-factor authentication reset. LocalBitcoins waits two weeks to make sure that there are no valid login attemps coming to the account. We do not shortcut this process for the security reasons.

I am getting error I cannot create trade request due to spam limits

You can send only five trade requests per hour. If you have exceeded this limit you need to wait one hour before you can create additional requests.

I have lost username, password and my email I used with LocalBitcoins

First try reset password by email on login screen.

In the case you have have forgotten and lost access to username, email and password which you have used with LocalBitcoins, open a lost password support request and provide us information of:

  • Account username
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Describe your latest actions on the site
  • Tell your IP address you have used to access the site (http://whatismyipaddress.com/)

I made a transfer from LocalBitcoins.com and it is not showing on the receiving end!

Please read confirming bitcoin transactions below to know where your transaction is stuck.

Why should I use LocalBitcoins.com escrow service?

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 should be pretty fast as well - most sellers release the bitcoins within 10 minutes, and you can use them right away.

Only the buyer can cancel the trade. LocalBitcoins.com staff will handle disputes. Each successfull trade will build up your reputation.

How to use the LocalBitcoins.com escrow service?

See our separate Escrow process guide.

How to use the LocalBitcoins.com transaction service in cash trade

Please also read how to begin buying bitcoins on LocalBitcoins.com.

LocalBitcoins.com features a transaction service, which makes bitcoin cash exchange process more convenient and secure. If LocalBitcoins.com transaction service is used, the buyer can verify that bitcoins actually exist, and seller can show his/her willingness to sell by funding the transaction.

For the buyer, the process is following:

  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. Take down the code, keep it secret.
  4. Meet the seller.
  5. 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 offer if you are advertiser / make an offer if you are contacter
  2. Fund the transaction, get SMS release code and number, write them down to your phone
  3. Meet and receive the cash
  4. Send the release SMS message or release the transaction online via laptop
  5. Both receive confirmation SMS (if they have provided phone numbers)
  6. Bitcoins transfered to buyer

What are transaction release and verification codes?

The release code is a secret known only to seller. It is used when sending the text message that releases the transaction to buyer.

The verify code is a secret known only to the buyer. After the transaction is released, the traders will receive an SMS text message showing the verify code. Since the seller doesn't know this code, then the buyer can be assured that the SMS text that confirms successful transfer of funds is authentic. Also if the seller is able to show the buyer the verify code, buyer can be 100% sure that the bitcoins have been transfered.

I sent accidentally too much funds to the transactin/escrow. What should I do, will I get my money back?

No worries - you will automatically get the overfunded amount back if you either cancel or otherwise finalize the deal. If you release the coins to the buyer, the overfunded amount will be sent to your LocalBitcoins.com wallet at the time of the release.

Also if you receive extra unconfirmed coins that later will be confirmed, and release the bitcoins to the buyer, the extra bitcoins will be automatically credited to your LocalBitcoins.com wallet when they get confirmed.

I don't have mobile phone at all. Can I still use LocalBitcoins.com?

Yes. It is enough that only one participant does have mobile phone. If you are buying bitcoins, just write the code down to the paper, and when seller sends release SMS, he/she will recieve the release confirmation code to his/her cell too. 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.

How safe is the escrow if I'm buying bitcoins?

Very safe. The bitcoins are locked from the seller when they are in the escrow. The seller can only release them to buyer, or after 24 hours, file a dispute. Usually sellers strive to provide speedy service, and you will get your bitcoins fast. Sometimes delays happen, depending on transfer method, and patience is required. However there isn't a risk that the seller can run with the bitcoins. The seller can file a dispute, and then the localbitcoins staff researches the case manually.

Why my bitcoin price is different from the advertisement?

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.

When you open a trade request the exchange rate of the moment of sending the trade request is used. It may slightly differ what did you bid for, because the prices are constantly being updated. You see the used 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.

What is a floating price?

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 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.

My location is incorrect. How do I change my search location?

Insert your zip code or town in ZIP-field, and your countrycode in ISO-format (i.e. US, GB, DE, CA, ...) and click "Change". Alternatively you can try the "Map Picker" button. With it you should be able to pick up your location using Google Maps.

Any tips on running my own local bitcoin exchange?

Read our local bitcoin cash exchange guide!

I can't see the advertisement I just made!

First, please note that if you are adding and online selling advertisement, there is minimum amount you have to have in your wallet to be able to see it. Currently it is 0.4 BTC. Also you can't specify minimum purchasable amount of 0. Secondly, check that all the information is correct and you are searching the right location.

Also, your minimum sellable amount can't be greater than your funds in your wallet. You can't sell more than you have in your wallet, so the maximum number will follow your wallet amount.

The location I entered isn't resolved correctly.

Use the "map picker" functionality for best result. Also check that the countrycode is right.

How do I specify dynamic price?

You can see pricing howto to use more complex formulas. If you have javascript enabled, you can use weighted (USD24) or market price (mtgox) as a base price, and enter your comission percentace to "comission" field. You can use negative comission percentage too, if you want to sell below market price (or pay extra).

What does the signature mean on the receipt?

After the online trade has been completed, the seller has the 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.

What are the trusted advertisements and people?

Some advertisements are marked as Trusted only. These advertisements are only available for your friends you have marked as trusted in LocalBitcoins.

Making trusted people

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 find 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 selling advertisement, only people who you have marked as trusted can access it. For a buying advertisement, only people who trust you can access it.

When advertisement prices are updated?

LocalBitcoins system fetches market data, currency and bitcoin exchange rates, every five minutes. Your advertisement prices are updated correspondingly.

Sometimes, especially when bitcoin price is fluctuating fast, advertisements with the same price equation may display different price due to the asynchronous nature of the process. Also, sometimes market data is not available for some currencies, which leads to delays updating the advertisement prices.

The price of the purchase is determined on the moment the bitcoin buyer sends in the trade request.

Starting disputes

If there are issues with a trade and it cannot be properly cancelled or finished you can start a dispute. Dispute is available only for trades where escrow protection has been enabled (always enabled for buy bitcoin online advertisements). In the case of a dispute, LocalBitcoins.com support team manually resolves the trade.

Disputes are always specific to a trade where you are an involved party. A dispute can be started 24 hours after the buyer pressed Mark payment complete button or 24 hours after the escrow has been funded. After the payment window, Start dispute button appears on the contact page. You can find your old contacts from your profile page, under Dashboard.

A dispute can no longer be started if the bitcoins have been released from the escrow. The bitcoin seller should never the release escrow if they payment is not cleared. Transferring bitcoins outside the escrow is a risk: LocalBitcoins.com support cannot examine and clear any issues then.

If the dispute parties have verified SMS number, they will receive a SMS notification. In many cases of unresponsive trade party this will alert the party that immediate action is needed.

Dispute case examples

  • 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.
  • The are issues with the payment: the bank account is temporary frozen due to money laundering and fraud checks. This may happen even if the transfer is legimate, as sometimes local regulation enforces banks to do this.

Can I change my feedback?

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 the feedback..

LocalBitcoins.com team never edits the feedback left by users.

Feedback from the banned users is automatically removed.

How can I transfer bitcoins or pay with them?

You can send bitcoins to any bitcoin address in the world from your LocalBitcoins.com 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.

How long sending or receiving bitcoins take?

Bitcoin transactions are confirmed by the bitcoin network. Each individual computer in the bitcoin network confirms the transaction, increasing the total confirmation count of the transaction. When the confirmation count of the transaction reaches a certain threshold, usually 3-6 confirmations, the transaction appears in the receiving wallets. Reaching six confirmations usually takes 10-60 minutes and you can follow the status of the transaction in various services, as described below.

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 discriminate 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
  • You cannot find the transaction: the transaction never left from the sending wallet. Contact the provider of the sending wallet.
  • 0-6 confirmations or uncofirmed: the transaction has left the sending wallet and is still under way.
  • 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.
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. LocalBitcoins.com cannot help with transactions that have left from the wallet. LocalBitcoins.com cannot reverse the transactions.

Paid transaction fee affects how fast confirmations are registered by the bitcoin network. LocalBitcoins.com reserves this fee from your wallet.

Please note that with web wallets like LocalBitcoins.com wallet, you cannot make a connection with incoming and outgoing transactions of the same bitcoin address.

I send bitcoins to wrong address, can I get them back?

Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, so once transaction is initiated, there are no way to reverse the transaction. Therefore you should investigate who owns the address and where did you got that address in the first place. Please note that same wallet can have multiple incoming addresses. Bitcoin protocol ensures that bitcoins are not sent to address which does not exist, but they can be sent to address which is inactive or not controlled by anyone.

How should I store my bitcoins?

You can store your bitcoins in the LocalBitcoins.com wallet, but we try to promote also 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.

I see there are outgoing transactions from the bitcoin address where I sent bitcoins, not done by me

LocalBitcoins.com wallet is a web wallet. The bitcoin transactions of sending and receiving bitcoins are not connected to each other. If you are looking your LocalBitcoins.com bitcoin address status in blockchain.info or other bitcoin transaction exploration service, you may see unrelated transactions from your bitcoin address (LocalBitcoins.com wallet address, LocalBitcoins.com escrow funding address).

This is how web wallets operate. You cannot make connection with incoming and outgoing transactions for the same bitcoin address. The issue is shared with all web wallet services, like MtGox.