After more than ten years of serving its customers, one of the first and most well-known peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchanges, LocalBitcoins, will cease operations as of February 10, 2023. They claim that the decision was made as a result of the continuing crypto winter. The platform stated:
“Originally LocalBitcoins was established to Bring Bitcoin Everywhere and drive global financial inclusion. We have honored that mission for over 10 years and we are proud of what we have achieved together with all of you, our loyal community. We are therefore sad to share that regardless of our efforts to overcome challenges during the ongoing very cold crypto-winter, we have regretfully concluded that LocalBitcoins can no longer provide its Bitcoin trading service,”
LocalBitcoins gave a schedule for the end of their service in the wake of this revelation. New registrations will stop on February 1; trading and deposits will stop on February 16th. Users will only be able to withdraw Bitcoin from their wallets after February 17; they have 12 months to do so, however it is urged that they remove right away.
LocalBitcoins.com: What is it?
Jeremias Kangas founded LocalBitcoins in Helsinki, Finland, in June 2012. It matched Bitcoin buyers and sellers and worked as a decentralized service, unlike the new and present exchanges, much like websites like eBay or Craigslist, with the coins held in escrow until both sides approved the transaction.
The platform will also have monitoring capabilities from blockchain company Elliptic in July 2020. After a year, in 2021, LocalBitcoins began to provide customers access to other cryptocurrencies, including Dogecoin and Cardano.