The Helsinki, Finland-based bitcoin exchange, Localbitcoins, which was established in 2012, has announced its closure after serving the community for over 10 years. The reason behind the shutdown is attributed to the present crypto-market conditions, referred to as the “ongoing crypto-winter,” which has made it unfeasible for the company to continue providing its bitcoin trading services.
After operating for over a decade, the first peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin exchange, Localbitcoins, has announced its closure. The exchange posted the news on its website, mentioning that from February 9, 2023, new user registrations will be halted and trading activities will cease seven days later on February 16. Once trading has been suspended, Localbitcoins users will only have the option to withdraw their bitcoins, with a 12-month time frame provided for this purpose.
“Originally Localbitcoins was established to bring bitcoin everywhere and drive global financial inclusion,” the company stated on Thursday. “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.” The bitcoin exchange added:
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.
In the initial stages of its existence, Localbitcoins was the go-to platform for peer-to-peer trades all over the world. Despite seeing a high volume of trades in its early years, centralized crypto exchanges eventually overtook Localbitcoins, resulting in it being more commonly used in areas where centralized trading options were not readily available.
By 2019, the peer-to-peer exchange faced further challenges when it was required to comply with Know-Your-Customer (KYC) regulations. Additionally, Localbitcoins ended in-person trades that year, making the platform less appealing for peer-to-peer traders.
In 2021, amid the crypto boom and resurgence in digital currency values, Localbitcoins revealed the release of an Android mobile app. Despite this effort, Localbitcoins failed to recover its 2017 trade volume. Even during the 2021 bull market, the platform’s volume remained on a downward trajectory.
Data shows that Localbitcoins’ trade volume has now reached the same low levels as seen during the 2015 crypto bear market. However, there was a slight increase in the first week of February 2023, with 6.56 million BTC being traded over the seven-day period.”
Johnson Philip is a passionate cryptocurrency enthusiast and writer for CoinSEM.com. He has been following the crypto industry for years, and has a deep understanding of the various technologies and trends driving the market. Johnson has written extensively on topics ranging from blockchain development to ICO analysis and is known for his ability to translate complex technical concepts into easy-to-understand language.