Please read our quick start guide for buying bitcoins.
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, 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.
Please see below How long sending or receiving bitcoins take.
LocalBitcoins.com wallet uses three (3) confirmations.
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
It's a security image used to help LocalBitcoins users recognize that they're on the official LocalBitcoins website, and not a phishing website that may be attempting to harvest their login credentials.
The security image shown to you is unique and is dynamically generated based on your IP address. It cannot be displayed on other (potentially malicious) websites.
If you don't recognize the displayed image, the following are possible causes:
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.
Type your city to Change location field and pick the nearest location from the list.
Currently we do not support changing usernames due to security reasons.
For 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).
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.
If you have deleted a 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.
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 improving our SMS coverage and will announce when we have more coverage available.
Please check the email is correctly typed in your user profile under Change email address. You can change the email address and request new verification email in the case it is mistyped. Email provider might also be blocking the emails or marking them as spam.
You should be able to log in with your email as well, try that.
The sellers usually release bitcoins as soon as they spot the payment. Often 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 status of escrow.
If you are buying bitcoins online, you can start a dispute after 24 hrs if you have marked the payment completed.
If you are selling bitcoins online, you can start dispute after 72 hrs.
In the case of newcome buyers with zero feedback, the dispute can be started in six hours after the payment was marked complete.
The time in all cases is counted from the time when the contact was made.
Once you started the dispute, LocalBitcoins.com support will look into the matter.
This concerns the cases where you are buying bitcoins online.
After you 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.
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. LocalBitcoins.com generates new receiving addresses after every transaction for 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.
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.
When enabling two-factor you are asked to make a backup 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.
You can have limited trade requests 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 goes up with your trade volume.
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:
That means your account has been suspended. You won’t be able to make trades and use your wallet.Account can get suspended automatically, if our system notices any unusual activities from the profile, or LocalBitcoin support team manually flags it in case they have a good reason to suspect fraud or account hack.
In order to remove the block from your account, please, make sure you do not have any problematic issues with your prior trades. In case you find them, please, resolve them as soon as possible.
We might ask you to go through identification process on our webpage.
In some cases there might be a need to go through manual identification process and to send us following information:
After you received that message, wait 10 minutes and then log out/log in again.
The reason why you are on forced holiday might be suspicion of fraud or any activity that can become obstacle for successful trade. In case you are on forced holiday, you can not initiate new trades and you advertisement are not visible.
Having your on-line buy advertisement on the front page listing depends on various factors, such as user’s reputation, trade volume, advertisement volume and identity verification.
Having your on-line sell advertisement on the front page listing depends on various factors, such as user’s advertisement limits, price, payment method.
Please read confirming bitcoin transactions below to know where your transaction is stuck.
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.
In on-line trades the escrow is being enabled automatically.
In local-sell, it is possible to ask your trading partner to enable the escrow.
Only the buyer can cancel the trade. LocalBitcoins.com staff will handle disputes. Each successful trade will build up your reputation.
See our separate Escrow process guide.
Please also read how to begin buying bitcoins on LocalBitcoins.com.
LocalBitcoins.com features a transaction service, which makes the bitcoin cash exchange process more convenient and secure.
If LocalBitcoins.com transaction 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:
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.
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.
Yes. It is enough that only one participant does have 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 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.
Very safe. The bitcoins are locked from the seller when they are in the escrow. Only the seller can release them to buyer, or after 72 hours, file a dispute. Usually sellers strive to provide speedy service, and you will get your bitcoins fast. Sometimes delays happen, depending on payment 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.com staff researches the case manually.
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 at 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.
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.
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.
Read our local bitcoin cash exchange guide!
All your advertisements should appear under your user profile. They also should appear in the public searches where each result list is sorted differently.
Your 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 advertisements from the same user. In this case the limitation happens by the price and the 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 not logged in users have virtually 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_SELL advertisement 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.
Use the "map picker" functionality for best result. Also check that the countrycode is right.
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 bitcoin client software.
Some advertisements are marked as Trusted only. These advertisements are only available for your friends you have marked as trusted in LocalBitcoins.
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.
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.
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 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 at the moment the bitcoin buyer sends in the trade request.
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. Escrow is always enabled for buying 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.
If you are buying bitcoins online, you can start dispute after 24 hours if you have marked the payment completed.
If you are selling bitcoins online, you can start dispute after 72 hrs.
In the case of newcome buyers with zero feedback, the dispute can be started in six hours after the payment was marked complete.
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 release escrow if the payment has 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.
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 banned users is automatically removed.
If you are not a tech-savvy user we recommend avoiding 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 withnessed abnormally high attack rates against Tor users. Tor exit nodes intercept HTTPS traffic by doing HTTPS man-in-the-middle attacks with self-signed certificates which are accepted by non-educated users. 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.
You can send bitcoins to any bitcoin address in the world from your LocalBitcoins.com wallet.
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.
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
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.
Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, so once a transaction is initiated, there are no ways to reverse the transaction. Therefore, you should investigate who owns the address and where you got that address in the first place. Please note that the same wallet can have multiple incoming addresses. Bitcoin protocol ensures that bitcoins are not sent to an address which does not exist, but they can be sent to addresses which are inactive or not controlled by anyone.
You can store your bitcoins in the LocalBitcoins.com 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.
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 at your LocalBitcoins.com bitcoin address status on 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 connections with incoming and outgoing transactions for the same bitcoin address. The issue is shared with all web wallet services, like Bitstamp.