Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Easier reporting of suspicious user activity

LocalBitcoins site has now a new user reporting feature. You can find the user reporting link from the public user profile page. The new feature makes it easier to report suspicious users, though this option has been always available through the support ticket system.

LocalBitcoins support team checks the reported users and may take necessary action to suspend the user account if there is evidence of breaking the site rules and good trade etiquette. Potential reasons to report a user may include
  • Fraudulent activity
  • Violating LocalBitcoins terms of service
  • Misleading information
  • Abuse

Monday, August 25, 2014

Buying and Selling Steam, Amazon, Apple etc Gift Cards on LocalBitcoins.com

Gift cards are a nice way to buy stuff froom your favourite store, which doesn't accept bitcoin yet. There has been some gift card trading on LocalBitcoins, but now we have added couple of new features which should make gift card trading much easier.
Contacters can select the amount with dropdown.

Several Gift Card types have been added, you can also select the generic option and name your own.

Type the nominations as comma-separated list.

Remember to add "Track liquidity" to remove your sellable amount automatically as orders roll in.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Happy trading!

Monday, August 11, 2014

LocalBitcoins ATM:s comes out of the oven and goes on the tour

It has been a long time since there have been any news regarding our ATM project which aims to provide automatization for converting cash to bitcoins and vice versa. Another perks of the Localbitcoins ATM:s are the moderate price and the fact that the device works completely offline. ATM:s are integrated to Localbitcoins website, and the actual bitcoin trade happens on Localbitcoins.com; the ATM only takes care about the fiat handling.

There have been two beta versions of these ATM:s in real life testing at the center of Helsinki, Finland. One of them is in a bitcoin accepting restaurant and another one in 24h kiosk. So far there haven't been any major problems, and minor ones have been carved out during the testing process. If you are visiting Helsinki, you can find those ATM:s from here, and here.

Expect to see more of these ATM:s soon, since we are getting our first production batch out soon, and we are putting one of them on the bitcoin tour, held by Finnish bitcoin company Bittiraha.fi. They will be driving around Finnish archipelago and testing how well Localbitcoins bitcoin ATM performs on the road.

Eventually you will be able to purchase these ATM:s directly from Localbitcoins website. The price of the ATM's is 1500 eur + VAT and shipping costs.

Specifications of the ATM

Buying process: Buyer feeds banknotes to the machine, and gets a secret code in return. The code is used to claim the corresponding amount of bitcoins to your localbitcoins.com account. The exchange rate is defined at the moment the code is used.

Selling process: Seller logs in to his/her localbitcoins account, and goes to the URL of the ATM he/she aims to use for withdrawal. The seller selects the amount he/she wants to withdraw from a dropdown menu. After selecting the withdrawal amount, corresponding amount of bitcoins are reduced from the seller's localbitcoins wallet and the user will receive a code, which is given to the ATM through the keyboard. After the code has been inserted, the ATM will give corresponding amount of notes to the customer.

Capacity: Capacity: note recycling unit can hold 30 bills and cash box 300 bills.

Accepted bills: All banknotes where the size is inside of the range (width) 60-82 millimeters, and (length) 115-150 millimeters. The device can accept 6 different kind of bills from the selected currency. The device can be programmed to handle almost any known currency, but only one can be used at the time.

Size(w/h/d): 318 x 340 x 264 millimeters

Display: 87.3 x 41.8 mm one color lcd display

Weight: 15 kg

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bitcoin Payment Debuted on Physical Stores in Shenzhen, China

Since August of this year, stores accepting bitcoin payment have been emerging in Kexing Science & Technology Park, Shenzhen, where is full of Internet companies. These stores are mainly restaurant. In China, the central bank stated that bitcoin is not currency, but admitted that trading with bitcoin is legal. Although China is one of the biggest markets for bitcoin trade, its bitcoin payment market is still on infancy stage.

Stores: Currently bitcoin payment volume is still small

On the Yuanwei street of Kexing Science & Technology Park, several restaurants have accepted bitcoin as payment. Since the business is just started, cashiers are not familiar with the payment process yet. For example,  'Accept Bitcoin' label has been put on the front door of Cafe de Flore. However, when customers ask if they can pay with bitcoin, cashiers are still muddle-headed. They need time to skilfully process bitcoin payment.

As to Maggies's Club, another bar on the same street, the cashier clearly expressed that they accept bitcoin payment, but customers need download a third bitcoin payment platform, 'Btct' App. Customers transfer bitcoin to their Btct account to finish payment, which is like Paypal in Bitcoin world.

The CEO said she likes the convenience of third payment platform, which has no big difference from Group-Buying platform. Launching bitcoin payment for her bar is icing on the cake, and at least can attract btcer to expand customer pool, even though currently the volume is still very small.

Payment Platform: Still on user development stage

In December of last year, the statement of Central Bank of China has emphasised that bitcoin is not real currency, and forbidden financial institutions and payment institutions to price products or services with bitcoin, but admitted the legitimacy of trading bitcoin, which made bitcoin purely an investment product in China. After experiencing ups and downs, bitcoin price is stabilising between 3589.00 ~ 3634.92 CNY. Bitcoin payment in physical store is still rare. Some bitcoin insider claimed that currently the number of physical stores accepting bitcoin in China is less than 30.

As a third payment platform for promoting bitcoin, the main purpose of Btct is to change the atmosphere of bitcoin speculation in China to the original nature of bitcoin as a payment method. One of the co-founders of Btct said although the number of physical stores accepting bitcoin is still small, Shenzen where has strong Internet cogitation has advantages to promote bitcoin payment. Moreover, Btct provides CNY exchange, which shares the risk of bitcoin fluctuation.

Source: http://news.ifeng.com/a/20140805/41442467_0.shtml
Pictures: http://www.btcside.com/new/detail/1670

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

HMAC authentication option recommended for API users

It is now possible to access the LocalBitcoins API using HMAC authentication instead of OAuth 2. This new authentication method is more suitable and secure for your own scripts and non-distributed applications. We suggest to use it whenever possible.

API tokens will now also reset on account security changes. If you change your password or if you enable login guard or two-factor authentication, the API access credentials are reseted. This means deleting all API clients, tokens, and authentications.

In the future, console authorization of OAuth 2 will be disabled and all who use API for scripting access are recommended to migrate to HMAC authentication.

Please see the API documentation for instructions how to update your scripts and API clients.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Introducing quick sell: Sell your bitcoins faster and safer

LocalBitcoins has released a faster and safer way to sell your Bitcoins: Quick sell. The new feature is especially helpful when paying bills with Bitcoin.

 Quick sell is visible in your dashboard after logging in.


How quick sell works


Start by selecting payment method, currency and country (if required). Next, choose the amount you wish to sell. At this point, Quick sell shows the estimate how many Bitcoins would be needed for the transaction. Finally fill in the required details and click “Send trade request”.

Quick sell goes through all matching LocalBitcoins bitcoin buy advertisements from reputable traders. It chooses the advertisement with the best exchange rate and then makes a trade request .

The bitcoin buyer pays the transaction with the payment details you provided. If you have bills you can directly give the bill payment details in the quick sell form. (This works very well with national bank transfers, but may not be available in every country yet.)

Please note that some advertisements require SMS verification and other verifications - enable them to get access to advertisements with better prices.

Paying a 100 € phone bill.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Secure your account with login guard

Login guard is the latest account security feature on LocalBitcoins. If your LocalBitcoins account is being accessed from a web browser or a device not seen before an email confirmation is required when logging in.

Login guard is automatically enabled for all new users. The old users can enable the login guard in their profile settings.  Login guard is effective protection against phishing attacks and we hope to see the reduction of successful phishing attacks targeting new users.

LocalBitcoins works actively towards making it safer to purchase and use bitcoins. During this year there has been visible increase in attack against bitcoin users in all major bitcoin services and local bitcoin wallets stored on your computer.

Below are some highlights of LocalBitcoins security progress.

Two-factor activation rate progress

Two-factor is one of the most effective ways to prevent account hacks. Even online games incentive players to activate two-factor for their in-game accounts.

The above chart shows the percentage of the LocalBitcoins users who activated two-factor authentication after the email verification. One can see there is clear progress going on and educating the new users is working. Some methods how we have achieved this are explained below.

A security brief for new users

After the email verification every new user is presented a choice for two-factor activation. We cannot force the users to activate the two-factor authentication, but we very clearly state one should do so.

Weak account security is highlighted

If the account security settings are weak this fact is highlighted to the user all the time they are logged in.

Two-factor email reminders

If anybody has bitcoins in their wallet and never activated two-factor authentication a reminder email is sent.