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Venezuela and Colombia Responsible for almost A Quarter of Trades on LocalBitcoins
Venezuela and Colombia Responsible for almost A Quarter of Trades on LocalBitcoins

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With over ten years of operation, the Finnish peer-2-peer (P2P) bitcoin exchange, LocalBitcoins, has shut down. The platform officially shared this sad news with its esteemed customers noting on February 9 that it was due to the ongoing prolonged, cold crypto turmoil.

Regardless of our attempts to overcome challenges during the cold crypto winter, we have regretfully concluded that LocalBitcoins can no longer provide its Bitcoin trading services.

However, the firm outlined its protocol for shutting down its services. On February 9, the company suspended all new sign-ups. Additionally, as of February 16, the platform would suspend all trading and suspension of using LocalBitcoins wallet except for withdrawing one’s funds.

Notably, after February 17, the platform users will only be able to log in to withdraw their Bitcoins, for the trading and wallet services will no longer be available. According to the termination period, LocalBitcoins customers can withdraw their crypto assets from the platform within the next 12 months. However, the company has urged its users to do so without waiting for the last-minute call, noting that they will keep reminding the users by sending several notification in the coming months.

However, the company has expressed sincere gratitude to its loyal customers, asserting:

We cannot tell how moved we are by each memory you shared and your kind support. Your loyalty is unmatched.

“History can never be rewritten,” LocalBitcoins 

The LocalBitcoins firm enabled users from different countries to exchange their local currency into Bitcoins. Additionally, the platform allowed its customers to create advertisements where they could choose the payment method. Nonetheless, the users could choose the exchange rate for buying and selling Bitcoins from and to other users on LocalBitcoins.

A trading chat is opened, and escrow protection is automatically activated by replying to the advertisements. The escrow secures the buyer and the seller by keeping the bitcoins safe until payment is completed. The seller then releases the bitcoins to the buyer. Nonetheless, LocalBitcoins provided a web wallet from which users can send and receive Bitcoin transactions.

However, prior to its sudden closure, LocalBitcoins recently released new features. Last month, the platform revealed a one-click Bitcoin purchase function via a Twitter post.

We’ll always be proud to have shared this journey with you. Things change but remember: history cannot be rewritten.

The Finnish- based Bitcoin Exchange Legacy

The Finland- based Bitcoin exchange was founded in 2012 by Jeremias Kangas in Helsinki. In 2019, according to a blockchain security company CipherTrace report, LocalBitcoins was among the leading destinations for illicit crypto assets. The report noted that the platform obtained over 99% of criminal funds, stipulating it to be among the firms that bagged a vast amount of illicit Bitcoin.

Later in 2020, the firm revealed its partnership with Onfido. Onfido is a worldwide identity verification and authentication provider that enables verifying the identities of users signing up for and transacting on LocalBitcoins globally. Notably, the LocalBitcoins introduced cash bans as well as Know Your Customer features, which Onfido powered.

In 2021, the platform further expounded its services. How? The platform embraced the world of altcoins and adapted to new market conditions beyond Bitcoin. It revealed via its blog post that its users could create advertisements and accept USDT, and Dogecoin (DOGE), among others, as payment methods.

Further, the company partnered with Elliptic to implement various blockchain monitoring protocols. The partnership aimed at minimizing criminal activities on the LocalBitcoins platform as the company sought to gain better insights into user activities.

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