LocalBitcoins is a peer to peer bitcoin marketplace based in Helsinki, Finland. Its service facilitates over-the-counter trading of local currency for bitcoins. Users post advertisements on the website, where they state exchange rates and payment methods for buying or selling bitcoins.
|Nicholas Kangas (CEO until 10/2017)|
Jeremias Kangas (former CEO, Founder)
Sebastian Sonntag (CEO)
Other users reply to these advertisements and make the payment in specified payment method. LocalBitcoins has a reputation and feedback mechanism for users and an escrow and conflict resolution service. As of December 2013, LocalBitcoins has around 110,000 active traders with a trade volume of 1,400–3,000 bitcoins per day.
LocalBitcoins was founded in June 2012 by Jeremias Kangas. He implemented an escrow system for the marketplace by the end of 2012. The website started generating revenue by the beginning of 2013. In the same month, LocalBitcoins suffered from a security breach, when thirty bitcoins (then worth US$15k) were stolen from its users.
In August 2015, LocalBitcoins ceased to operate in New York state because sellers would have to purchase a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services to remain in compliance with local financial regulations. In August 2016, LocalBitcoins said that 1.35 million people from 249 countries were using its platform, and that the weekly volume of transactions was US$14 million.
In September 2016, access from Russia to LocalBitcoins was blocked by Roskomnadzor, the executive agency for telecommunications in Russia, after the finance ministry proposed criminalising the use of bitcoin. LocalBitcoins posted instructions for users on how to bypass the access restrictions. In 2018, LocalBitcoins headed the list of best financially performing companies in Finland arranged by the local specialized publication Kauppalehti.
In January 2019, hackers stole bitcoin worth $28,200 from users' LocalBitcoins accounts. In June 2019, LocalBitcoins removed local cash ads from their website. On September 2019, Sebastian Sonntag became the new CEO of Localbitcoins
The website offers a service to facilitate the locating of other Bitcoin users can meet others for person to person trading of bitcoin.:23 The site is suggested for casual traders seeking more privacy.:207 The site uses an escrow system, and the transfer of bitcoin is made after funds are received in the sellers account.:221
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