It’s one of the oldest P2P Bitcoin exchanges, but it is closing down, permanently.
LocalBitcoins, one of the first and oldest P2P Bitcoin trading platforms, has announced its service will close on 16 February 2023.
The shock move comes after a prolonged downturn for Bitcoin, and citing other market issues such as declining market share and problematic trading volumes, LocalBitcoins CEO Nikolaus Kangas has called time on the service.
LocalBitcoins Is Shutting Down
In a post on LocalBitcoins, the company revealed it would close its doors permanently on 16 February 2023. LocalBitcoins’ closure comes more than ten years after its launch, and during that time, it has been one of the best peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platforms.
However, due to the “crypto winter” that has kept Bitcoin prices (and all other crypto prices) low for a long period, LocalBitcoins service is longer tenable.
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.
Interestingly, LocalBitcoins was still releasing new features up until the end of January. It launched its new one-click Bitcoin buy feature on 21 January 2023, which, if the company already had one eye on winding its service down, is surprising, to say the least.
You Can Still Withdraw Your LocalBitcoins Holdings
If you were a LocalBitcoins user, there is no need to panic immediately. In the LocalBitcoins closure announcement, the company explained that all LocalBitcoins users should withdraw any remaining funds within 12 months.
However, our advice is that you shouldn’t wait around, and you should withdraw any remaining Bitcoin (or any of the altcoins LocalBitcoins offers) immediately. LocalBitcoins has always been very reliable, but there is no knowing what might happen when a crypto service announces that it is shutting down permanently.
The End of the Road for LocalBitcoins
Although crypto service closures have become relatively normal during the so-called crypto-winter, seeing a company like LocalBitcoins consigned to history is still a surprise.
For many early adopters of Bitcoin, LocalBitcoins was the first place they ever bought crypto. For many others, it remained one of the most secure Bitcoin exchanges and one you could always rely on.
And for this writer, it was also the first place I was scammed out of thousands of pounds of Bitcoin. But even with that memory, I still used LocalBitcoins until the end.