Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Improvements to how we calculate transaction fees

Earlier today we improved on how transaction fees are calculated, fees for outgoing Bitcoin transaction are now paid once every hour based on the average fee per transaction instead of directly after every transaction.

Last year we changed how fees on outgoing Bitcoin transactions were calculated from a fixed fee model to a dynamic model based on how congested the Bitcoin Blockchain is. This helps to ensure that every outgoing Bitcoin transaction from LocalBitcoins gets confirmed within the first three blocks of the transaction being sent regardless of how many transactions are waiting to be confirmed.

After this change we noticed that the transaction fee can change within a large margin from transaction to transaction. Now to help make the transaction fee more predictable we're collecting all Bitcoin transaction fees paid during the past hour and averaging them out over all sent transactions during the same hour. This will help to keep the transaction fee consistent and more predictable when you send Bitcoins to other wallets.

For example; During the past hour you've made two outgoing transactions from LocalBitcoins. In total LocalBitcoins users made 100 outgoing transactions for a total transaction fee cost of 0.005 BTC during the same hour. For your two transactions, you would pay 0.00010 BTC (0.00005 + 0.00005) as a transaction fee.

The transaction fees for your outgoing Bitcoin transactions will be paid from your LocalBitcoins wallet once every 6 hours, in case your wallet is empty the fee will be taken from your next Bitcoin purchase or incoming Bitcoin transaction.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

LocalBitcoins & Shapeshift.io – the fastest way to buy Ethereum


The fastest way to buy Ethereum (ETH) is, oddly enough, to first buy Bitcoins and then to convert it to Ethereum. Don’t lose out waiting several days for an international bank transfer, use LocalBitcoins and Shapeshift to make the transaction in less than a day.

TL;DR, how do I do it?

The shorthand version, follow these four steps.

  1. If you’re not signed up, register for an account on LBC.
  2. Search for advertisements using bank transfers or cash deposit. They’re the fastest payment methods.
  3. Choose an advertisement & buy Bitcoins.
  4. Convert Bitcoins to Ethereum using Shapeshift.io.

How can LocalBitcoins be faster?

The most difficult and time consuming part of buying any cryptocurrency, including Ethereum, is converting from fiat to crypto. Traditional cryptocurrency exchanges require you to deposit money using a slow bank transfer, often an international SWIFT or a European SEPA transfer. This will take a couple of days or longer.

LocalBitcoins is faster than other exchanges because we’re a peer-to-peer exchange. Instead of buying from a centralized company, you buy Bitcoin directly from people who live in your own country. There are thousands of traders selling Bitcoin for 60+ payment methods all over the world, this means that it’s very easy for you to find a trader that is online and able to make a quick transaction.

From Bitcoin to Ethereum

The fastest payment method on LocalBitcoins is Bank transfers within a country or within a bank. This connects you to a trader who uses the same bank as you or another bank in your country, these transactions take minutes to hours instead of days.

For help with completing your trade on LocalBitcoins, you can find our how to buy guide right here. It will show you step-by-step how to buy. We recommend you use Specific Bank Transfer, National Bank transfer or Cash Deposit as the payment method to get the fastest trade.

Once you’ve bought Bitcoin, it’s a breeze to convert it to Ethereum using Shapeshift.io. You don’t need to register an account, you don’t need to remember a password and you can instantly make the exchange. To convert your Bitcoins to Ethereum, check out the video below:


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Security incident report 18th November

Yesterday on the 18th of November we had a security incident, the vulnerability has since been identified and has been patched.

In the late afternoon UTC a user opened up two trades with two different traders on our site, the buyer then managed to release both escrows to himself without the traders knowledge. Thanks to quick reporting and cooperation by both traders we were able to react quickly and start investigating the incident.

After conducting a thorough investigation we can conclude that this incident was isolated to these two trades. The vulnerability was related to a legacy feature on our site and only traders with certain advertisements were vulnerable. The vulnerability has now been fixed and LocalBitcoins will issue full compensation to both traders in order to cover their losses.

We want to thank our users for quickly reporting the incident to us so that we could take immediate appropriate action.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Improving the privacy of LocalBitcoins E-mails

Privacy is something we believe to be important at LocalBitcoins and an often requested feature has been to limit the sensitive information that is sent via e-mail when you go through the trading process here at LocalBitcoins.

We've now released a new feature that changes the appearance of notification e-mails. By opting-in to this feature the contents of sensitive e-mails will be replaced with a generic notification prompting you to log in to LocalBitcoins and see what's up.

This helps you keep your privacy by limiting the places where you have information about your Bitcoin trading stored to just your LocalBitcoins account. This means that even if someone reads your e-mails they will not find out any detailed information about your trading on LocalBitcoins.

If you want to opt-in for this feature, you can activate it by doing the following.

1. Visit LocalBitcoins.com and log-in to your account.



2. From the navigation bar at the top of the page, click on the user icon and select "Edit profile".



3. Click the check box for the option "Disable sensitive information from email notifications".



4. Scroll down and click the Save Profile button.




Once you've opted in to this feature all sensitive e-mails will all look the same, no matter the content. You can see an example of what it looks like the screenshot below.



Happy [         ]!

– LocalBitcoins team

Monday, September 28, 2015

Shortening the time to dispute

Today we’re making a few changes to the dispute system to improve and simplify the trading experience on LocalBitcoins. From now onwards dispute times have been lowered to 12 hours for both buyers and sellers. Against new users with few trades, sellers can start a dispute after one hour.

Before today, buyers had to wait 24 hours before they could open up a dispute against an unresponsive seller and sellers had to wait 72 hours before they could open up a dispute against a buyer. This meant users had to sometimes wait several days before a resolution to their dispute could be made. Now, the process will be much faster.

We hope these changes will provide for more frictionless trading on LocalBitcoins and improve the liquidity of traders. We’ll be looking closely at the effects this change will have over the next few weeks, your comments are also greatly appreciated. Based on this we will evaluate further changes to the dispute process.

Happy trading!

– The LocalBitcoins team

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Trader features: Show user identification, Inline equation editing and watermarks

During the past month we've added three new features to help improve the experience buying and selling Bitcoins on our site.

Opt-in to show real name verifications



Traders can now opt-in to show real name verifications from the Edit Profile page. By opting in to this feature, when a buyer whom you have marked as ID verified opens up a trade with another trader you will be shown as a verifier in the security information box for the trade. This change is designed to improve the value of the Real Name Verification feature.

Once you've opted in, your name will be shown in trades of users whom you have verified along with when you have verified the user.

 Edit equations inline 



When you have several advertisements running it can be difficult to manage the pricing equations of each advertisement separately. Now you can edit equations inline in your dashboard making it easy and simple to change pricing equations. On the dashboard page where all of your advertisements are listed you only need to click on the equation (which is now underlined) to allow it to be edited. Once you've made your changes you can simply click the save button.

Watermarked images 


Images uploaded into a trade chat will now all be resized to 1200 by 1200 pixels in size and have a watermark applied to it. The watermark is a series of parallel lines containing the trade number as well as our logo, if you find a photo where the lines cross each other it means the photo has been previously submitted to a trade chat on LocalBitcoins. With this feature we hope to make it harder to re-use images that have been shared in trades.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Goodbye, New York!



We’re sad to say that due to regulators another region has had to be blocked from LocalBitcoins. From today onwards users from New York are no longer allowed to use LocalBitcoins because of the legislation known as the BitLicense (23 NYCRR 200) which makes it a federal offense to sell virtual currency to people living in New York unless you have applied for the license.

This new regulation would require anyone selling Bitcoins through our service to acquire the BitLicense if they sell Bitcoins to residents of New York. As the Bitlicense is time consuming, expensive and difficult to obtain for anything but large companies we’ve taken the decision to protect our US based traders and not allow New York based users to use our service.

If you reside in the US, you will get a one-time pop up notification requiring you to confirm whether or not you live in New York. All new users will equally have to answer the same question.

This is an unfortunate state of affairs and we hope that the regulation will in the future accommodate small time bitcoin sellers who do not have the possibility to comply with regulations made for big financial institutions.

 For the time being though, we bid New York farewell.

– The LocalBitcoins team