2018 continues to witness the rise of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges and peer to peer trading platforms. As the sector continues to mature, there are an increasing number of services that aim to connect users while doing away with the need for a centralized authority.
LocalMonero does just that, the website acts as an exchange platform that connects local buyers and sellers of the popular cryptocurrency. The platform offers similar functionality to Localbitcoins and helps users to securely transact fiat currencies for Monero (XMR). Here’s how it works.
What Is LocalMonero?
Image via localmonero.co
LocalMonero launched in August 2017 and the online exchange allows users to connect with individuals buying or selling the Monero cryptocurrency in their local area. The website was launched by a team of enthusiasts based in Hong Kong and the project came to life via a Reddit post that surfaced towards the end of August.
The team behind the project are choosing to remain anonymous and don’t provide much information about themselves. However, they have developed a site that operates in much the same way as Localbitcoins, and allows users to find local buyers and sellers of Monero, and to make purchases online, or to meet up and exchange Monero for cash.
The site provides access to traders in countries such as Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates and facilitates fiat transactions with users allowed to trade the anonymous currency for “real money”.
Monero has been around since 2013, and is a cryptocurrency that emphasizes privacy and anonymity. The team behind Monero make use of Ring Signature technology to make addresses and transactions difficult to track and these features have attracted a community of users interested in maintaining their privacy when transacting online.
- Local Monero allows the trading of the Monero (XMR) cryptocurrency in exchange for fiat currencies. The site currently supports fiat currencies such as CAD, EUR, GDP, USD, and JPY which are used in the areas where the site has an active community.
- The site operates transaction limits for trades that involve moving from one fiat currency to another. These limits are specified by advertisers and users define all the terms of trade such as prices and exchange rates on the advertisement.
- In order to have an advertisement publically displayed, users must have at least 0.35 XMR in their wallets.
- All online trades are protected by an escrow service, and when a trade is started the Monero needed for the trade is automatically reserved from the seller’s LocalMonero Wallet. Therefore, if the seller does not release the required Monero, the support team can release the XMR to the buyer from escrow. Sellers are advised to not release the escrow before conforming that they have received payment from the buyer.
- All disputes are handled by the site’s support staff, and disputes are resolved after the terms of trade, evidence of payment, user reputation and any other relevant data are carefully examined. Users are advised to check the reputation score and number of previous trades conducted by a trader to help find the most reliable and reputable traders available.
- All transactions carried out on LocalMonero are entirely irreversible hence users should be careful and choose payment methods with the lowest risk.
How to Get Started
User can buy Monero on the site by:
Creating an account on the platform – It’s possible to sign up by entering a username and password between 8 and 72 characters. Submitting and email address is optional.
After this, click on the buy option on the left side of the main page and fill in the required information such as the amount, currency, location and the payment method. Then click search, the information is processed and users can then see a list of advertisements from which they can choose from. You can then click on the ‘buy’ button to view additional information about the advertisement selected.
Here, the terms of trade of the advertiser are displayed, and if the buyer agrees to the terms, they can proceed to click the ‘send trade request’ button to initiate the trade.
The buyer and seller can then agree on the most convenient payment method, and the buyer’s payment will be processed by the site and verified by the receiver. Once this has taken place, the Monero purchased will be moved from the escrow and transferred to the buyer’s LocalMonero wallet.
User can sell Monero on the site by:
Creating an account like above – Then Clicking on the ‘sell’ option on the left side of the main page and filling in the required information such as amount, currency, location, and preferred payment method. After this, click search.
The platform will process the information submitted and display a list of suggested advertisements from a number of prospective buyers. The seller can then select the buyer with the best reputation and trading history by clicking on the “sell” button of an advertisement.
After this, the terms of trade of the advertiser are displayed, and if the seller agrees to these terms, then they can click on the “send trade request” button to initiate the trade. The buyer will request the seller’s payment details and make the payment. The seller then verifies the payment and releases the coins purchased by clicking on the “release Monero” button on the page.
Local Monero supports the buying and selling of Monero (XMR) in exchange for various fiat currencies. These currently include currencies such as USD, CAD, EUR, GDP, JPY, and KES. The platform also supports numerous payment methods and global payment methods include Bank transfers, Gift cards, MoneyGram, Skrill, Apple pay, Crypto transfers, Neteller, Perfect money, Payoneer, PayPal, Venmo, and Western Union.
Local payment methods differ depending on the country and some common local payment methods include Cash, Walmart gift cards, M-Pesa, Advcash, CashU, Xoom, Dwolla, Payza, and OneCard.
Security and Privacy
The site makes use of two-factor authentication (2FA) on top of a minimum eight-digit password. This method presents an extra layer of verification and security for users of the platform. When creating an account, only a username and password are required, and an email is optional. The 2FA procedure also uses an optional Time-based one-time password (TOTP) and users receive a long string numerical password as a backup.
The exchange also uses advanced Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) security from Cloudflare as a method protection against web attacks.
LocalMonero also seeks to facilitate fully anonymous trading and doesn’t require users to have an email address nor does maintain any records of IP addresses. The logs of trade chats that take place on the site are encrypted, while any attachments uploaded in the chat are also encrypted and watermarked to prevent unauthorized use. Trade chat logs are kept for 180 days to help the site deal with dispute mediation.
The site also makes use of Tor and I2P (Invisible Internet Project) and can be accessed through its .onion domain name (localmonerogt7be.onion) and I2P address (http://yeyar743vuwmm6fpgf3x6bzmj7fxb5uxhuoxx4ea76wqssdi4f3q.b32.i2p). There is also no IP address verification conducted through the site’s portals.
Registering, buying, and selling Monero is completely free on the platform and users who create advertisements on LocalMonero are charged a 1% fee for every completed trade.
Transactions to the wallets of other LocalMonero users are free while transactions to other Monero wallets are subject to the Monero network transaction fee. The transaction fee is paid from your LocalMonero wallet when you send a transaction, and the current fee is visible on the wallet page under the heading Outgoing Monero Fees.
The site offers a support service and users can open tickets and talk to members of the support team via email. There is also an FAQ section designed to answer the most common questions and team have also included a guide on how to get started on the platform.
Should You Use LocalMonero?
Image via Fotolia & Localmonero
The site obviously appeals to individuals only interested in buying Monero and allows people to trade the cryptocurrency more anonymously than when buying through certain more mainstream online exchanges.
LocalMonero allows users to make transactions with only the person you’re transacting with having any access to relevant information. The site is generally straightforward to use and when visiting the site, it’s possible to view a list of people buying and selling Monero along with their location on the main page.
There are also online Monero sellers and users can pay with fiat currencies with the site supporting numerous payment methods. These are all appealing features and most importantly, LocalMonero has developed a good level of community trust.
The platform has received positive reviews from its users and there have not been a significant number of negative reports about the site or tails of scams taking place on LocalMonero. The escrow service and overall security measures help a lot; however, users are still advised to use caution when using the site.
The site is still relatively young and has plenty of room to improve, users should be sure to use caution and test out the platform by seeking out traders with strong reputations and making small purchases to start with. Users should also be cautious when arranging to meet sellers in order to complete trades and should generally exercise common sense when trading on the platform.
It’s also crucial to remember that LocalMonero does not facilitate any illegal activities and exists solely to help users to trade the XMR currency. The site operates legally in a number of different jurisdictions and users are advised to check the laws regarding cryptocurrency trading in the nation that they live in.
- Fiat to XMR trades
- Anonymous peer to peer trading
- Supports a wide variety of payment methods
- International platform
- Good level of community trust
- No other cryptocurrencies sold
- Team behind the project is anonymous
- Could face future government regulation
Images via Localmonero.co