With the bitcoin price trading more than 67% below its all-time high, not even LocalBitcoins, one of the oldest and most popular peer-to-peer bitcoin exchanges, has been immune from the slaughter.
The Helsinki-headquartered exchange is closing its business after serving customers for over ten years due to the difficult market conditions of the current crypto winter.
The End Of LocalBitcoins
LocalBitcoins has announced that they are shutting down.
In a surprise announcement, the bitcoin exchange said it was “proud of what we have achieved together with all of you, our loyal community,” but that it can no longer provide its service owing to the “challenges during the ongoing very cold crypto-winter.”
The P2P marketplace will start with the suspension of new registrations today, followed by the halting of trading and deposits on Feb. 16. Customers are encouraged to withdraw their bitcoin from the LocalBitcoins wallet. Per the statement, users have 12 months to remove their crypto assets from the platform. “However, of course, we encourage you to proceed with withdrawing sooner,” the company indicated.
LocalBitcoins allowed users to buy and sell bitcoin with cash, credit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrency. The international peer-to-peer exchange platform has continued to release new features, including a one-click BTC purchase component launched as recently as January 22.
LocalBitcoins’ 10-Year Legacy
Jeremias Kangas created LocalBitcoins in the Finnish capital of Helsinki. It became popular because it was the first to offer a kind of real-world matchmaking system that allowed buyers to meet with sellers in coffee shops and the like, and exchange cash for bitcoin.
Although it started as purely a bitcoin exchange, the platform expanded its offerings in 2021 to include altcoins such as Dogecoin (DOGE), Polkadot (DOT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Tether’s USDT.
A report published by blockchain security firm CipherTrace in 2019 revealed that the P2P exchange received the highest amount of dirty bitcoin. The company subsequently introduced know-your-customer (KYC) protocols powered by Onfido and also stopped facilitating cash trades to make it compliant with Finnish regulators.
However, the overall crypto trading volume on LocalBitcoins has been shrinking in recent years after hitting a lifetime high in December 2017, data from Coin Dance shows.