LocalBitcoins is one of the few cryptocurrency platforms promoting peer-to-peer interaction. Users can meet face-to-face with other Bitcoin enthusiasts to complete trades. But are we using the platform all wrong? Statistics indicate various regions of the world only see 1.5% of all trades as person-to-person interactions.
Lack Of P2P Interactions on LocalBitcoins
On paper, the LocalBitcoins platform is how the future of Bitcoin trading should look like. Connecting buyers and sellers directly, without an intermediary holding the funds. Users can meet with buyers and sellers in person to complete the transaction. Not only does this allow for a more “real” interaction, but it also gives users a chance to meet more people.
Meeting with random strangers to complete a financial transaction is not without risks, though. Over the years, some of the LocalBitcoins transactions have gone astray, with people being held at gunpoint for their Bitcoin balance. Although these are usually isolated incidents, it also highlights the risk of peer-to-peer transactions in real life.
Whether or not these risks are to blame for lack of local trades, remains to be seen. LocalBitcoins has seen increasing volumes in nearly every country on the planet so far. However, only 1.5% of these trades are local transactions, which is a rather disappointing number.
Some regions may see a higher or lower number of local trades, though. In Europe, meeting in-person to buy or sell Bitcoin is pretty much non-existent. South America, on the other hand, is home to more intimate communities, where peer-to-peer transactions are more common. Then again, there is still the risk factor to take into account, which may be much higher in South America compared to Europe.
All of this begs the question whether or not we do not appreciate the value of what LocalBitcoins has to offer. What started out as a social trading platform has become a directory where users can select a Bitcoin seller or buyer, and use their bank account to complete transactions. Although there is nothing wrong with it, this is not the way the platform was intended to be used.
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