LocalCoinSwap Review (2021)

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LocalCoinSwap is a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace for trading cryptocurrencies. It lets you trade directly with other investors using more than 250 payment methods.

But can you trust LocalCoinSwap? Is it the best P2P crypto marketplace?

In this LocalCoinSwap review, I’ll cover the features of the LocalCoinSwap marketplace, take a closer look at how it works, and highlight some of its pros and cons.

Let’s get right to it.

Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Over 250 supported payment methods (including cash).
  • No identity verification is required.
  • Simple fee structure (1% when you create an offer).
  • Provides lots of information about a seller before you start trading.
  • Non-custodial escrow system for ETH and ERC-20 tokens.

Disadvantages

  • Offer prices seem to be higher on the platform than with other P2P marketplaces.
  • Charges withdrawal fees on BTC and DASH.
  • Uses a custodial escrow service for BTC and DASH transactions.

What is LocalCoinSwap

LocalCoinSwap is a Hong Kong-based peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace where anyone can trade cryptocurrencies directly with other investors.

The firm was founded in 2015 by Nathan Worsley and Daniel Worsley as a private hedge fund. It officially became a crypto trading platform in 2017.

LocalCoinSwap’s mission is to provide “a safe, uncomplicated and fast P2P trading platform, allowing users to freely exchange without unnecessary verification requirements or waiting times”.

Is LocalCoinSwap Safe?

LocalCoinSwap has a number of safety features to protect traders.

But there’s always a risk of getting scammed on a P2P marketplace. That’s why it’s important to vet potential sellers before you send anyone your money.

That said, LocalCoinSwap has never had a successful hacking attempt. This doesn’t guarantee the safety of the platform in the future, but it’s always good to hear.

Additionally, some of LocalCoinSwap’s services are non-custodial, including its escrow and wallet services for Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 tokens. However, a personal hardware wallet still offers more security than what you can get with a non-custodial hot wallet.

Is LocalCoinSwap Legal?

Whether or not LocalCoinSwap is legal depends on the laws in your country.

LocalCoinSwap is registered in Hong Kong and it doesn’t have offices in the UK. Therefore, it doesn’t have to register as a cryptoasset firm with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).

In reality, all LocalCoinSwap does is match buyers and sellers so they can trade crypto. Most countries don’t have laws banning these types of platforms. But some countries require you to register as a financial business if you want to sell crypto on a P2P platform.

If you’re worried that LocalCoinSwap isn’t legal in your area, contact a financial law expert for advice.

Is LocalCoinSwap Trustworthy?

LocalCoinSwap is a popular P2P marketplace. But should you trust it?

The company currently has a 4.6* rating on Trustpilot (40+ reviews). This is a high rating for a crypto platform, but it’s based on a small number of reviews.

Approximately 95% of reviewers give LocalCoinSwap a 5* rating. Many reviewers mention that the platform is easy to use and that the escrow system works well. Most reviewers also appreciate that the marketplace has no identity verification requirements.

There weren’t many critical reviews of LocalCoinSwap on the platform, so it’s hard to draw any meaningful conclusions from them. The few reviewers who gave the platform less than 5* mentioned slow response times from customer support – which remains a common issue across the industry.

How Does LocalCoinSwap Work?

LocalCoinSwap is a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace where anyone can trade cryptocurrencies without the need for a middleman.

Any trades you make on LocalCoinSwap are done directly with other investors. You’re responsible for vetting any potential traders that you want to work with.

LocalCoinSwap simply provides a platform and an escrow service for your trades.

How to create a LocalCoinSwap account

Making a LocalCoinSwap account is quick and simple. You just need to go to the firm’s website and click the button to sign up.

After that, you need to provide and verify your email address. You also have the option to verify a phone number, but this isn’t required. There are no ID verification requirements to create an account.

But keep in mind that LocalCoinSwap’s customer service team cannot help you recover your password. So, keep it in a safe place or risk losing access to your account.

How to buy crypto on LocalCoinSwap

When you buy crypto on LocalCoinSwap, your first task is to find a reputable seller.

Once you’re on the LocalCoinSwap marketplace, you can filter available offers by selecting:

  • Which cryptocurrency you want to purchase.
  • What country you want to look for sellers in.
  • How you want to pay for your transaction.

Then, LocalCoinSwap will show you all listings that meet your criteria. You can sort these offers by popularity or price. The marketplace also lets you hide offers from new sellers.

Now comes the hard part.

When you use a P2P marketplace like LocalCoinSwap, you’re responsible for vetting potential sellers. The platform gives you information about sellers in their profiles to help you out, but finding a reputable trading partner is your responsibility.

Some important things to look for when vetting sellers include:

  • Verified Information: LocalCoinSwap doesn’t require identity verification, but you can verify your email address and phone number. This should be seen as a minimum requirement for potential trading partners.
  • Star Ratings: Every trader on LocalCoinSwap gets a star rating based on past reviews. Look for sellers with a 5* rating.
  • Awards: Highly-rated sellers on LocalCoinSwap can get awards on their profile, such as ‘Pro Trader’ and ‘Fast Trader’. These help boost the credibility of a seller.
  • Length of Time on Platform: Choose traders that have been active on LocalCoinSwap for at least a year.
  • Number of Trades: Stick with sellers that have completed at least 100 successful trades.
  • Verified Trading Volume: Opt for trading partners that have handled at least $10,000 in trades.
  • Trading Feedback: LocalCoinSwap lets you read reviews of sellers from previous trading partners. Read through these and take note of any potential red flags.

If you’re new to P2P trading, finding your first seller can seem like a daunting task. When in doubt, start with small transactions and stick with sellers that have a long history of successful trades.

How escrow works on LocalCoinSwap

LocalCoinSwap has 2 escrow systems:

  • Custodial escrow for Bitcoin (BTC) and Dash (DASH).
  • non-custodial system for Ethereum (ETH) and other ERC-20 tokens.

The difference is that all BTC and DASH funds are held in escrow by LocalCoinSwap when you place a trade. On the other hand, all ETH and ERC-20 funds are held in escrow via smart contracts—not by LocalCoinSwap.

This distinction might seem minor, but it has an impact on the security of your assets. When escrow is non-custodial, it’s very difficult for LocalCoinSwap to simply block your account and run away with your money on a whim. However, there’s always a potential for a bug in a smart contract.

Regardless of which escrow system you work with, the process of placing and releasing funds from escrow on LocalCoinSwap is the same. Here’s what it looks like when you initiate a trade with a seller:

  • You and the seller confirm the terms of the trade.
  • The seller places crypto into escrow.
  • You pay the seller using a predetermined payment method.
  • The seller receives your payment and confirms it on their dashboard.
  • Your crypto is released from escrow and sent to your wallet.

If you have an issue with getting your funds in a trade, you can open a dispute. A resolution manager will then work with you and the seller to resolve the issue.

What are LCS Cryptoshares?

LocalCoinSwap has its own token called LCS Cryptoshares (LCS). According to the LocalCoinSwap whitepaper, the platform is a community-owned P2P marketplace and LCS tokens represent ownership stakes in the company.

In fact, holders of LCS Cryptoshares (LCS) are entitled to receive dividends from the company. The process for doing so is somewhat complex but you can read more about it on the LocalCoinSwap website.

Additionally, LCS Cryptoshares (LCS) holders get governance voting rights with the company. The firm also states that token holders will be eligible for airdrops of future ICO token listings that are made on the platform.

Supported Countries

Users from the UK, the EU, and the US are all able to access the marketplace.

There is no explicit mention of geographic restrictions on the LocalCoinSwap website.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

When I checked out LocalCoinSwap, I was able to trade the following cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • USD Coin (USDC)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Kusama (KSM)
  • Dai (DAI)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • LCS Cryptoshares (LCS)
  • Nexo (NEXO)
  • Paxos Standard (PAX)

Payment Methods

Traders on LocalCoinSwap can choose between 250 supported payment methods when buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Some of the most popular payment methods in the UK include:

  • UK bank transfer (FPS)
  • SEPA Transfer
  • SWIFT Transfer
  • Credit and debit card
  • Cash deposit
  • Cash in-person
  • PayPal
  • TransferWise
  • Revolut
  • Uphold
  • Gift cards

LocalCoinSwap also supports payments using the following cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Jobchain Token (JOB)
  • True USD (TUSD)
  • DigiByte (DGB)

LocalCoinSwap Fees

LocalCoinSwap charges a number of fees to use its services. Here’s what you need to know.

Crypto Exchange Rates on LocalCoinSwap

When you purchase crypto on LocalCoinSwap, you’re trading directly with another person. Because of this, you need to find a buyer that’s willing to sell a coin at a price that you’re willing to pay.

Exchange rates on P2P marketplaces like LocalCoinSwap vary based on your country and chosen payment method. Most exchange rates on the platform are higher than what you’d get on popular cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase Pro, but you can sometimes find offers for less than a coin’s current market value.

Something I appreciate about LocalCoinSwap is that it shows you how much higher or lower an offer price is than the current market rate. As you can see in the image below, some exchange rates on LocalCoinSwap are reasonably competitive while others are substantially higher than the exchange rate.

When I checked, there were offers for about 8% over the market rate when if you wanted to pay with cash. Meanwhile, exchange rates for bank transfers and other payment methods, like PayPal tended to be higher (see below).

The exchange rates on LocalCoinSwap change all the time depending on what offers are available. So, it’s hard to generalise and compare the prices you see on the platform to that of other P2P marketplaces.

However, most of the prices LocalCoinSwap offers in the UK seem to be quite a bit higher than on other marketplaces like LocalBitcoins and LocalCryptos. Always do your research before committing to a trade to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money.

Trading Fees

Trading fees are straightforward with LocalCoinSwap.

If you create a listing, you’ll pay 1% on each completed trade. There are no trading fees if you respond to listings.

Transaction Fees

LocalCoinSwap charges withdrawal fees for some cryptocurrencies. These include:

CryptocurrencyWithdrawal FeeMinimum Withdrawal
Bitcoin (BTC)0.00025 BTC0.0005 BTC
Dash (DASH)0.0005 DASH0.001 DASH

Additionally, there are gas fees associated with sending ETH and ERC-20 tokens to escrow, but these are decided by the network, not LocalCoinSwap.

LocalCoinSwap Limits

There are no account limits on LocalCoinSwap.

You can buy and sell as much as you want on the platform without having to complete any sort of identity verification.

LocalCoinSwap Security

LocalCoinSwap uses a number of security features to protect your account from hackers.

In particular, 95% of Bitcoin (BTC) and Dash (DASH) held in LocalCoinSwap wallets are placed in offline cold storage. Outgoing transactions from the firm’s cold storage also require manual verification from the LocalCoinSwap team.

Meanwhile, the private keys to the Ethereum (ETH) and ERC-20 tokens in your LocalCoinSwap account are stored in a non-custodial hot wallet. This means that you have full control over the private keys to your assets.

LocalCoinSwap vs LocalBitcoins

LocalCoinSwap’s biggest competitor is LocalBitcoins.

Founded in 2012, LocalBitcoins is one of the world’s oldest P2P crypto marketplaces. And while the two firms share many similarities, there are also differences in how they operate.

The following table highlights some of the primary differences between LocalCoinSwap and LocalBitcoins:

 LocalCoinSwapLocalBitcoins
Founded20172012
HeadquartersHong KongFinland
Marketplace TypeCustodial (BTC & DASH) & Non-Custodial (ETH & ERC-20 Tokens)Custodial
Supported CryptosBTC, ETH, USDT, USDC, DOT, KSM, DAI, DASH, LCS, NEXO, & PAXBTC
ID VerificationNoYes
Supports Cash PaymentsYesNo
Listing Creation Fee1%1%
Listing Response FeeFreeFree
Trading LimitsNoYes

For a more thorough overview, check out my review of LocalBitcoins.

More Alternatives to LocalCoinSwap

LocalCryptos is another alternative to LocalCoinSwap.

This is another P2P marketplace that lets you trade crypto using dozens of payment methods. It has fewer supported cryptocurrencies than LocalCoinSwap, but its escrow system is fully non-custodial. The platform also has no ID verification requirements.

Check out my LocalCryptos review for more details.

Paxful is another LocalCoinSwap alternative.

Paxful Logo Header

With Paxful, you can use over 300 payment methods to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT). There are no identity verification requirements on Paxful, either, but fees can be as high as 5%.

Check out my Paxful review for more details.

Yet another option is Bisq.

Bisq order book spread in the BTCUSD market

Bisq is a fully decentralised P2P platform. There are also dozens of supported coins on the marketplace. However, there are fewer dispute mediation options available with Bisq because there’s no central authority overseeing the marketplace.

The Bottom Line

LocalCoinSwap isn’t as well known as some other P2P marketplaces.

However, here are some aspects of LocalCoinSwap that I really liked:

  • No ID Verification. You only need to supply an email address to make an account and place trades on the marketplace.
  • 250+ Payment Methods. LocalCoinSwap supports more payment methods than most other P2P marketplaces.
  • Comprehensive Seller Profiles. LocalCoinSwap provides a lot of information about prospective sellers, including access to all their past reviews, before you place a trade.

But one big downside is that the exchange rates you’re quoted (for various payment methods) don’t seem as competitive as you’d find in alternative P2P marketplaces (e.g., LocalBitcoins).

Want to find out more about it? Head over to their website now.

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Thanks for Reading!

Thanks for checking out this LocalCoinSwap review!

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