LocalBitcoins: A Pioneer P2P Bitcoin Exchange Closes its Doors After a Decade
The popular peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins is closing its doors after over a decade.
Despite being one of the oldest and most well-known exchanges, the current crypto market has proven to be challenging for the Helsinki-based platform.
In a recent statement, LocalBitcoins expressed their pride in what they achieved but cited the difficulties of the current crypto market as the reason for their shutdown.
The platform will cease new registrations immediately, with trading and deposits ending on February 16th. Customers are encouraged to withdraw their assets as soon as possible, with a 12-month deadline for removing all crypto.
Founded by Jeremias Kangas in Helsinki, LocalBitcoins rose to popularity due to its innovative real-world matchmaking system that allowed buyers to meet with sellers and exchange cash for bitcoin. The platform eventually expanded to include cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin, Polkadot, and Tether’s USDT.
In 2019, a report by blockchain security firm CipherTrace revealed that LocalBitcoins received the highest amount of dirty bitcoin. The company then implemented know-your-customer protocols and stopped facilitating cash trades to comply with Finnish regulators. Despite these efforts, data from Coin Dance shows a decline in trading volume on LocalBitcoins in recent years.
The legacy of LocalBitcoins includes its role in paving the way for the peer-to-peer exchange industry and its contributions to the early days of the cryptocurrency market.