Many users in the Cryptocurrency community are aware of centralised exchanges where they can buy and sell their coins directly on the platform.
This relies on the centralised exchange to quote you the market rate and match your order with a seller on the other end.
There are, however, alternatives that have been used by Bitcoin traders for a number of years. These are Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading exchanges where you can communicate and arrange a deal directly with your counterpart.
One of the most established P2P trading websites currently it Localbitcoins. They have been around for at least 5 years and have grown considerably.
Now, there is an alternative that has cropped up which facilitates the trade of Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
What is a Local Trader?
Local traders are Bitcoin buyers / sellers that may operate in your community. They usually trade directly with you and will pay you mostly through traditional means.
Local traders could send you funds to your Bank account, they could use a mail payment option like Western Union or they could resort to a physical meetup and actually exchange cash for the coins.
This is sometimes a chosen method of transacting with others. Users do not have to complete a range of arbitrary conditions on the exchange and the money is usually paid instantly.
Although local traders are often vilified as having something to hide, there have been legitimate use cases for local traders to operate.
One of these is the case when there exists no centralised exchange options in the country. In this case, the local traders may fulfil a pertinent need by being the only buyer / seller open to other cryptocurrency users.
Need for Local BCH
Anyone who has been following the debate between Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin cash recently will know that one of the arguments for BCH over BTC is the lower fees and faster transaction times.
This is something that has not escaped the local traders. The cost of smaller transactions and the transaction times could impede effortless trade.
Hence, Localbitcoincash.org (LBCH) was created.
Launched back in October last year, the service aims to bring together local traders who would like to transact with Bitcoin Cash.
Homepage of Platform – Source: localbitcoincash.org
Since its launch, the platform has seen a great deal of growth from numerous regions. The trade sizes have also been quite diverse ranging from about 0.01 BCH to more than 20 BCH.
The platform also wants to expand its reach to countries that are being plagued by economic difficulty with oppressive regimes.
For example, the creator of the site, a guy called “Eric” recently posted on the Venezuelan sub-Reddit asking people in that country if they had any questions for him. He went on to say:
I understand the bad situation in Venezuela and having been really poor before, and hungry for many years, I have experienced the pain myself — I believe bitcoin cash can solve some of those problems
Some LBCH Features
Much Like Local Bitcoins, there are options to do a wire transfer, use an escrow service or arrange a local meet up with the trader. The latter seems to be the most used option.
There is also a directory search engine on the site that will list all of the local businesses that accept Bitcoin cash as a method of payment.
Search for Local BCH Businesses – Source: localbitcoincash.org
On top of the standard options, there are a few additional features that have been included in the LBCH platform that are yet to be adopted on the Local Bitcoins counterpart.
For example, there is an option where someone can send BCH to another on the platform if they have their email. This is similar to the email transaction example with Coinbase.
There is also a customer support number which could be helpful for any dispute settlements that will most likely arise due to disagreements of the trade.
One of the more ambitious plans by Eric is to integrate a “no fees shapeshifting/changelly” application onto the platform. This was announced on the BTC Reddit.
It will be denominated in Bitcoin cash and allow altcoin traders to convert their holdings into Fiat currency via the use of the BCH. This could possibly increase adoption of BCH.
Eric claimed that the goal was to go live with the application in the next few days and start with some of the most liquid altcoins, more specifically Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash and Etheruem.
Apart from the roll out of this application, Eric would like to work on the design of the website and make it more visually appealing / practical.
Many More Local Alternatives
If there is one thing that LBCH demonstrates, it is that there is definitely a need for cryptocurrency users to be able to trade in a P2P manner.
Indeed, for a number of other altcoins such as Ethereum and Monero, local P2P platforms have proliferated and seen their volumes increase.
While some people may use local trading as an excuse to conduct nefarious activities, there are a number of honest users who would prefer to relative anonymity of a local trade.
If you are going to engage in local P2P trading, make sure that you complete your due diligence and are conducting your trades in a lawful manner.
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