Frequently Asked Questions

Need help getting started with the purchase? We tried to answer the most common questions in the form of the following questions. If Did not find your answer here, please use one of the following methods to ask your questions:

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Getting started

To help you get started with your first Bitcoin trade we've made two short guides to answer all your questions.

How to buy Bitcoins

Step 1. Register

Register an account with LocalBitcoins. You get a free and secure online bitcoin wallet. No additional apps are needed.

Step 2. Search for advertisements

Go to the main page and in the search box fill in the form with the amount you want to buy in your currency, your location and choose a payment method. If you're unsure how you want to pay, choose "All online offers" as your payment method. The site will list bitcoin traders available in your region.

Step 3. Select an advertisement

From the list of advertisements, choose one from a trader with a good reputation score and a high amount of trades. The response time indicator shows if a trader replies within five minutes (green), within 30 minutes (yellow) or slower than 30 minutes (grey). You can click the 'Buy' button to view more information about an advertisement.

Step 4. Pay the seller

After you press the 'Buy' button you'll see more information about the advertisement, including the terms of the trade. Read through them before submitting the trade request, if you don't agree with them you can go back to the previous page and choose another advertisement. To start the trade, type in the blue box how much you want to buy, enter a message for the seller and click the Send trade request button to the start the trade. Be sure you're ready to pay when clicking the button, if you don't pay before the payment window is over, the trade will be automatically cancelled.

Step 5. Mark payment complete

Once you have made the payment, click the I have paid button. Once the trader has verified that your payment has been received your Bitcoin will be released from escrow and they are instantly available in your LocalBitcoins wallet.

And that's all there is to it, congratulations on your first Bitcoin trade!


How to sell Bitcoins

Step 1. Register

Register an account with LocalBitcoins. You get a free and secure online bitcoin wallet. No additional apps are needed. To sell Bitcoin you need to first send them to your LocalBitcoins wallet.

Step 2. Search for advertisements

Go to the main page and in the search box select the option QUICK SELL. Fill in the form with the amount you want to sell in your currency and choose a payment method. If you're unsure how you want to be paid, choose All online offers as your payment method. The site will then list all Bitcoin offers available.
Note about payment methods: Some payment methods are considered high risk. Bitcoin transactions are completely irreversible. Once you sell your Bitcoins it's not possible for you to recover them, even if the buyers payment is reversed. That's why we recommend you sell with a low risk payment method to experienced users with a large amount of previous trades and 100% feedback. Read more about payment method risk levels.

Step 3. Select an advertisement

From the list of offers, choose one where the trader has a good reputation score and a high amount of completed trades. The response time indicator shows if a trader replies within five minutes (green), within 30 minutes (yellow) or slower than 30 minutes (grey). You can click the sell button to view more information about an offer.

Step 4. Open a trade

After you press the Sell button you'll see more information about the offer, including the terms of the trade. Read through them before submitting the trade request and if you don't agree with them you can go back to the previous page and choose another offer. To start the trade, type in the blue box how much you want to sell, enter a message for the buyer and click the Send trade request button to the start the trade.

Step 5. Wait for the buyer to pay

After you've sent the trade request the buyer will ask you for your payment details (e.g. if you want to sell for a bank transfer the buyer will ask for your bank account information). After you have given the seller the payment information the buyer will pay for the Bitcoins and confirm it to you.
Please make sure that you have received the money into your account before releasing the bitcoins. NEVER release Bitcoins before you have received payment. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible, once you send the Bitcoins to the buyer there no way to get them back, even if the buyers payment doesn't show up.
Once you have confirmed that the payment has been made you can scroll down the page and select Release Bitcoins. This will send the Bitcoins from the trade escrow to the buyer and complete the trade.

All online trades are protected by escrow. When a trade is started the amount of Bitcoins for the trade is automatically reserved from the seller's LocalBitcoins Wallet. This means that if the seller runs away with your money and does not release your Bitcoins LocalBitcoins.com support can release the Bitcoins to you from escrow. If you're selling Bitcoins, never release the escrow before you know that you have received money from the Bitcoin buyer.
Please note that local trades do not have escrow enabled by default.

Next to each advertisement on the website the price of a Bitcoin for that advertisement is shown as currency per Bitcoin. For example, if we are buying Bitcoin with the currency US dollars the price would be shown as 10420 USD / BTC. This means that if I wanted to buy 1 Bitcoin it would cost me 10420 US dollars.

Can I buy less than 1 Bitcoin?

Absolutely! In each advertisement you see what's called limits. That shows you the least and the most amount of Bitcoins that you can buy from that advertisement. One Bitcoin can be divided into much much smaller pieces, the smallest piece is called one satoshi and is the same as 0.00000001 BTC.

We have two different types of trades on LocalBitcoins, local trades 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. Most of trades on LocalBitcoins are online trades.

Local trades : are meant to be carried out face-to-face, and escrow is not automatically enabled. Because of this it is not safe to pay the seller using an online payment method in a local trade.

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 favorite online stores that accept Bitcoin, and also in local shops that accept Bitcoin.

On the following page review the details, and enter your password (and your two-factor authentication code, if you have 2FA enabled) to send the transaction.

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 and click the Receive Bitcoins button.

At the top of the page you'll find your receiving address. Please note that your receiving address changes after each transaction. We do this to protect your privacy. Your old receiving addresses will eventually expire. The expiring time for receiving addresses is 12 months. Once you have 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 note that the minimum you can send to your LocalBitcoins wallet is deposit fee. Bitcoin deposits smaller than that are not processed and cannot be recovered as they are used to pay the fee.

If all goes well Bitcoin transactions sent with the correct fee take between 10-60 minutes when you are sending Bitcoins to your LocalBitcoins Wallet. If your transaction is taking longer than this, please check that the fee is correct.
Transactions between LocalBitcoins users are instantaneous.
Transactions you send from your LocalBitcoins wallet are sent with a high priority fee to ensure they confirm within approximately 30 minutes (within the next three blocks).

I've waited 60 minutes and my transaction is still pending, now what? Your Bitcoin transaction was most likely sent with a fee that's too low or 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 before they are usable from the wallet they are sent to. You can read more about confirmations on the Bitcoin wikipedia.

To check the status of your Bitcoin transaction:
1. You need to know the transaction id (TX ID) or the 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 page after you have sent the transaction.
2. Go to Tradeblock.com .
3. Type in the receiving address or the transactions ID (TXID) into the Search field. Use the Bitcoin amount to quickly identify transactions if the receiving address has several transactions incoming.
4. Click the transaction to view more information about it.
5. Look for where it shows you how many confirmations the transaction has.
If your transaction has...
...more than six confirmations: the receiving wallet has received the transaction. Please contact the provider of the 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.

You can buy Bitcoins without having a mobile phone, but you will be limited to which advertisements you can reply to. By verifying your phone number with LocalBitcoins increases the number of advertisements that you can contact.

Next to usernames on the front page and on user's public profile you can find a small green, yellow or grey dot. This dot shows how quickly the trader will usually reply to trades.

A green dot means the user replies within 5 minutes to trades.

A yellow dot means the user replies within 30 minutes to trades.

A grey dot means the user takes longer than 30 minutes to reply to trades.

The response time is calculated from the median reply time of all trade of a user from the past 30 days.


About Bitcoin

To answer above question you can read following posts:

What is Bitcoin?
How Bitcoin Works?

You can store your Bitcoins in the LocalBitcoins Wallet, but we try to promote other Bitcoin wallets. The best way is to store your Bitcoins in a wallet on your computer or mobile phone, as that gives you complete control over your Bitcoins. Our favourite standalone Bitcoin wallet is Electrum. 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.


Using LocalBitcoins

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.

You can only give one feedback to a user. The feedback can be one of four types: Trustworthy, 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.


Explanation of feedback types

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.

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, one of the following conditions must be met:
Trades between the user giving and receiving feedback must be more than 0.2 BTC
OR
The total trade volume of the feedback giver must be more than 5 BTC
OR
The feedback giver has verified his ID and a total trade volume of at least 0.1 BTC

Yes, you can change the feedback you've given someone else. To do so, visit their public profile and scroll down to the feedback section and click the Update your feedback button. You can't change feedback that someone else has given you, however, 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 abusive, racist language, threats or exposes personal information.

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 have created and set to viewable only for trusted users. Traders can use this functionality e.g in order to create ads with better prices for their regular customers and reward repeat business.

Currently we do not allow username changes due to security reasons.

Web notifications allow you to receive pop-up notifications through your browser whenever you get a new notification on LocalBitcoins. If you're trading Bitcoins and want to know immediately when something happens, enable web notifications from your profile.
Tick the box that says Enable Web notifications and when your browser asks you for permission to show web notifications, press accept. You're now all set and will start receiving web notifications.

Sometimes you want to take a look at your login history, you can find in the security options a page called Login History. It shows you a list of each login to your account.

Login Guard protects your account from logins when someone else knows your username and password. Whenever someone logs in to your account from a new computer or a new web browser an email is sent to address used to register your LocalBitcoins account. This email contains some information on who started the login and a link. You need to click the link to verify your login.

You can take a look at all the browsers that are authorized by Login Guard to login to your account from the Authorized Browsers page in the security options. This page lets you revoke access from a browser if you do not recognize it, e.g. because the location is not yours.

If you have trouble getting access to your account using Login Guard you can open up a support ticket to get help.


Common problems & solutions

Sometimes a trader may ask for your ID. If you are trading for the first time with a trader he/she may ask for you to identify yourself, even if you've already verified your ID with LocalBitcoins. This is because in certain countries sellers are required by local laws to know who their customers are. Most sellers explain in the terms of the trade if they require ID verification or not.

If you do not wish to give the seller your ID, you can always cancel the trade and search for a trader with less strict requirements.

Always send your ID to the seller via the trade chat, our trade chat messages are kept encrypted on our servers and are deleted after 180 days. All photographs sent to the trade chat is also marked with a watermark to prevent misuse of the images.

The sellers usually release Bitcoins as soon as they see your payment, which can sometimes take an hour or two. If you've paid but are still waiting there is nothing to worry about, for all online trades are protected by escrow and the seller cannot run away with your Bitcoin.

If there are any issues with a trade and the seller won't release your Bitcoins, you can dispute the trade to have LocalBitcoins support resolve it.

If you are buying or selling Bitcoins online, you can dispute the trade after 1 hour if you have marked the payment completed. A dispute can no longer be started if the Bitcoins have been released from escrow or if it's a local trade without escrow enabled.

When a trade you're involved in becomes disputed, you'll receive an SMS notification and an email, in most cases simply starting the dispute is enough to get the attention of your trading partner. A disputed trade is usually resolved within 24-48 hours.

We reserve a small amount of Bitcoin from your wallet balance to pay the Bitcoin transaction fee to the Bitcoin network. Each Bitcoin transaction has to pay a small fee to the network to be confirmed no matter from where it's sent. We reserve this fee in advance to prevent your wallet balance from becoming negative. You can find a list of all of our fees on our fees page.

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 I have paid 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 through the trade. The Bitcoin seller has functionality to Reopen the purchase, this also re-enables escrow. 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.

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

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 on Tradeblock.com or from any other block explorer you will see transactions that don't belong to you.

This is how web wallets operate. You cannot make connections with incoming and outgoing transactions for 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. To get your Bitcoin back you can try to find the owner of the address and ask them to return the Bitcoin to you. From where did you get the address where you sent the Bitcoins to? You can try googling the address to see if is related to any Bitcoin service that has contact details or you can try using a service such as wallet explorer to see if the wallet is tagged as belonging to a Bitcoin company.

If those searches come up empty, you can still try asking on our discussion forums if anyone knows to whom the address belongs, but chances are slim.

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.

If you're not receiving emails from LocalBitcoins, there are a few things that you can do.


Check that email in your user profile is correctly typed.
Take a peek in your spam folder, the emails you're looking for may be in there.
Sometimes an email provider may choose to block emails from a certain domain, you can try changing your email address to see if it helps.
Sometimes an email provider may choose to block emails from a certain domain, you can try changing your email address to see if it helps.

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 will see ad listings for your location.

The LocalBitcoins website is currently available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Brazilian, Portuguese and Chinese.

You can change the language of the site from the footer, scroll down all the way to the bottom of the page and click the text next to the globe under the heading Services to see a dropdown of the languages on offer.

You can use your email address instead of your username when you login. Just type it in the username field. If you’ve forgotten both you can open up a support ticket and we can help you with regaining access to your account.

In case you have have forgotten your username, email and password which you have used with LocalBitcoins, visit the support request page and select the option that fits your situation the most and fill out the form and we can help you restore access to your account.

Your phone number can only be verified with one account. To use your phone number with a different account you must first deactivate your phone number from the previous account. If you can't log in to your other account to remove your phone number please contact LocalBitcoins.com support and include the phone number in the ticket.


Creating advertisements and trading Bitcoin

There are many things that affect advertisement visibility, e.g. your trading history; feedback; account age; advertisement settings and more. If your ad is not showing up please check the following list of common problems.

1-Do you have Bitcoin in your LocalBitcoins wallet?

If you're running advertisements for online payment methods you must have at least 0.04 BTC in your wallet for your ads to show. If you're running local advertisements (cash) you need to have at least 0.04 BTC in your wallet.

2- My ad is not on the front page?

Only 6 advertisements per category are shown on the front page and certain high risk payment methods are excluded. You need be an experienced trader with many trades under your belt before your ads will show up on the front page.

3- My ad is not showing when I search!

When you search for advertisements the results show a maximum of 15 advertisements, if there are more advertisements that match the search criteria they can be found by clicking the Show more... link and selecting a payment method. When you gain more trade history, more feedback your advertisements will also be shown as part of the first 15.

4- Check for errors using the ad visibility tool

If you still can't find your ad there might be some problems with the settings on your advertisement. Visit the public page of the problematic advertisement and towards the bottom of the page you'll find a tool you can use to check for errors that might prevent it from being displayed.

Click the headings to run a check on your advertisement to see who can open a trade for the ad and who can see it. Any problems with your advertisement not being visible will be shown and explained here.

5- Open a support ticket

You can always open up a support ticket to ask for help with advertisement visibility.

Every user is limited in how many advertisements he can create, when you start out you can create in total 5 advertisements. If you want to create more, you need more trade volume.

Becoming a pro trader is designation all traders strive for as it's a badge that only few can get. To be assigned the pro trader badge you need to have fulfilled all of the following criteria:
1- Your ID must be verified
2- Account registered more than 150 days ago
3- At least 100 positive, confirmed feedbacks
4- You need to have traded at least a total of 20 BTC
5- Your trade volume for the past 30 days needs to be 2 BTC
When your account matches all the above requirements you will automatically receive the pro trader badge. You can click here to view your current trade statistics. Your account registration date and feedback can be viewed from your public profile page.

The green thumb is assigned automatically to your advertisements based on an algorithm. We don't want to share exactly what is required but the following things are looked at. Once your advertisement fulfils all the requirements, it will receive the green thumb.
1- Number of trades and feedbacks score of your account
2- Age of your account
3- The payment method of your advertisement
4- The popularity of the payment method
5- Recent feedback on your account
6- Total and recent amount of bitcoins traded by you
7- How long ago you completed your first trade.

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. Prices shown in the listings and on the front page are cached, and update a little slower. Sometimes when the Bitcoin price is fluctuating rapidly, advertisements with the same price equation may display different price. Sometimes market data is not available for some currencies, which leads to delays updating the advertisement prices. However, when you open up the advertisement page itself the price will be more up to date.

The price of the purchase is determined at the moment the Bitcoin buyer sends in the trade request.

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 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).

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.

If you want to show in trades to other users that you've verified the ID of a LocalBitcoins user head over to your profile and tick the box "Show me as real name verifier to others".
Whenever a user whom you have verified his real name opens up a trade with another trader it will show in the security box that you have verified the user's real name. This is a handy way to increase the trust of users.
This option is enabled by default for new accounts.

You can verify your company with LocalBitcoins, this displays your companies name to your trading partner on the trade page in addition to your own real name. To verify your company with your LocalBitcoins account you will first need to verify your own ID through the normal ID verification process.

Once that is completed you will gain access to the company verification process, a link will appear on the ID verification page that will allow you to upload your verification documents.

To verify your company you will need to fulfil following requirements:

1- You are the director of the company OR you are allowed to sign agreements on your company's behalf.
2- Your company must be searchable in your countries online company database.