Why localbitcoins does not work
Transcript: Laura Shin: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Unchained, your no-hype resource for all things crypto. Also, find out what I think are the top stories in crypto by signing up for my weekly newsletter at unchainedpodcast. Simbachain Are you passionate about blockchain but binary option for beginners short on the technical skills to build and deploy blockchain applications?
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Теперь мы будем оставаться в звездолете, - сказал он, - и нигде не коснемся поверхности.
Leading exchanges, virtual currency businesses, banks, and regulators themselves use CipherTrace to comply with regulation and to monitor compliance. Welcome, Sebastian and Mika. Sebastian Sonntag: Hello. Nice to see you, Laura. Laura Shin: Most listeners have probably heard of LocalBitcoins, but they may not be fully aware of what it does or how it works.
Sebastian, can you describe LocalBitcoins? Sebastian Sonntag: Yeah. Laura Shin: And Mika, can you walk me through one example of how a buyer and a seller transact on the platform?
Mika Impola: Yeah. So, after that, I can search for advertisements on LocalBitcoins. So, after I have found a suitable advertisement from the site, I will start trade by replying to that advertisement, and what happens then, is that the amount of bitcoins that I am about to buy will go to our escrow wallet and then we are now doing the payment with SWIFT.
I will make the transfer to the seller of the bitcoins using the SWIFT network, and once we both, me as a buyer and the seller of the bitcoins, agree that the SWIFT payment is done, we both mark the payment and the trade as done, and at that point, the LocalBitcoins.
I mean, if users have some unknown or new payment method in their local area, they can also agree to use that one. Well, mostly.
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So, the cash trades was actually disabled during the spring, and why localbitcoins does not work was actually, kind of a whole lot of news, especially from our why localbitcoins does not work, noticing that we have removed the cash trades from them. There were actually small discussion in the company if we should keep it and how people will see it, but then again, it was very limited how many people were still using it.
What if the other party says that, I did transfer the cash, the other party says, no, it did not happen? So, there is really hard way to prove these kind of cases. Laura Shin: So, essentially, it was kind of because it would be, like, difficult to resolve disputes that, that was kind of removed as one of the options?
That was actually one of the reasons. There was also regulation passed. It was not really happening in the regulation at that time, but the main reason was that it was the safety and the dispute it caused of course, but then, again, kind of the benefits and use was very limited.
Actually, Mika has some numbers also related to how popular the cash trades was. Laura Shin: Mika, what percentage of transactions were cash trades? So, it was just this really small branch that we kind of, like, decided to cut down. I mean, there is no justification for the overhead of the service.
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So… Laura Shin: And was it more popular though in certain geographies, like, in a particular country for instance? It was more like where we had users anyway that were always couple of cash minimum deposit in options also there. Laura Shin: Okay.
Local Trader is an application powered by the LocalBitcoins service. Local Trader allows you to trade bitcoin person-to-person in an easy, fast, and secure way. Use Local Trader to update advertisements, manage trades, send messages, release and fund trades, and handle payments. A verified LocalBitcoins account is required to use Local Trader for trading or managing advertisements, but search is available without an account.
Yes, you can do also that, but people who does that is so small percentage of our users, that you could also think of it as nonexisting, but I do understand where this all is coming from. I mean, in the summer ofthe majority of our traders were cash traders, but already in the end ofcash traders were only one-third of the customer base, and when we come to the yearthe number of cash traders was, like, less than five the most famous people who have earned on the Internet of our users.
So, we might be considered as platform where cash trades were done a long time ago, but I mean…well, long time ago…In a Bitcoin world, three years is a very long time, I think.
Laura Shin: That is definitely true. Sebastian Sonntag: But I mean, there comes a time to every company to, like, streamline the business and concentrate to the core of the business, and when you have something that is used, like, or is generating less than a half percent of the company revenue and you are in this streamlining mode, those things just, like, get cut off. I also vote for that, because, of course, the company mission is to bring Bitcoin to every city of the world or allow everybody on the planet to trade with bitcoin.
So, in that picture, the cash trades is not important. Laura Shin: Yeah. I mean, I think probably some of the anger that you kind of experienced from some of the users or the coiners about this, is that I think there are people who view your service as somewhat political, at least in concept.
Sebastian Sonntag: And also, of course, what we have noticed is that it might be that in developing countries, what are kind of the core things that people are needing there in case of Bitcoin is bit different than in the rest of the world.
So, for example, the cash why localbitcoins does not work, I understand this that there is the idealistic way of viewing it, but if you are in developing countries and you kind of want to, for example, save money and save it from the inflation.
Like in certain geographies, is it the case where cash is one of the main ways that people transact, and if so, you know, is that kind of preventing people in that country from getting access to Bitcoin? Sebastian Sonntag: Yeah, that is actually a really interesting question.
That makes sense. Sebastian Sonntag: Yeah, but it is a really interesting topic, and of course, if I understood correctly, there is the UN is making research on this, but of course, there is this kind of societies and research organization also researching, because I have to admit that me or the company, of course, we are not really the specialists to understand how in developing countries people are behaving.
Something like that. So, I understand it would need to be something where you would need to be in kind of in the right place at the right time to get the full picture. Laura Shin: And you charge that fee to the seller, right? Mika Impola: Yes. Mika Impola: There has been, like, LocalBitcoins ATMs at some point, and we had this invoicing service at some point, and maybe there are others that I am not that well aware of, but we are kind of like being focusing on streamlining and to the main product and trying to do it as good as we can.
Laura Shin: And how has usage and reach of your platform changed over time? So, we did actually check the volumes. So, how much there is transaction ongoing on the platform, and this is probably really interesting for the listeners as well.
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So, there are public sources where you can compare different exchanges and trading points and services like LocalBitcoins, Coin Dance, and there we considered, of course, before the market was much smaller, but it was growing steadily, and of coursethe growth was insane during that year, but the interesting part, at least to my eye, is why localbitcoins does not work, of course, there was the price surge ended like, was it 17, dollars per bitcoin.
Then it did drop down, but the volume of LocalBitcoins has been…it has remained pretty much the same as average of and that is insane, and Mikal actually noticed something really interesting about if the bitcoin price remains. So, if, Mikal, you can share it.
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So, I mean, I think that we have this steady growth. We have had this steady growth from the beginning of the company, and it just seems to be growing and growing and…but one thing that affects the speed of the growth is that if the bitcoin price is moving, we seem to have more growth.
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So, when the bitcoin price is coming down, we have a little bit more growth and when the bitcoin price is going up, we have a lot more growth. So, basically what you…you could say that we are growing with the bitcoin.
Obviously, being kind of like an onramp, you know, as the price grows that reflects more people coming into the system.
So, why did that change happen? So, the background story, Jeremias and Nicholas, they founded the company, and Jeremias was CEO until oraround that time, and since then, the CEO has been Nicholas, and now, actually already last year, Nicholas has been talking that he is more interested kind of the vision where the Bitcoin market is going, where Bitcoin is going.
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Of course, the company, it has really grown and a huge one. There are kind of lot of positions, lot of Human Resource management and whatever, and Nicholas says that he is more interested to deal with the Bitcoin, understand that part.
It was actually the same story with Jeremias, what he has been saying. So, they are interested kind of the big picture and not really maintain the Human Resources and stuff like that. What were you doing before, and how did you get into Bitcoin and come to LocalBitcoins? Actually, I have a PhD in technology way back in the years.
I was already interested in Bitcoin already or something. Also board members in different in different Finnish companies, but I have been following the Bitcoin, and especially the LocalBitcoins, closely because LocalBitcoins is the biggest Bitcoin company, in Finland that is, and of course, early on I was not as interested when it was in gray areas specifically companies, but now with the regulation is coming, finally the companies are turning from the gray area to white area.
I really think that Bitcoin, of course, itself is really interesting. It seems to be helping people around the world, and LocalBitcoins itself is certainly a really interesting company. Laura Shin: And Mika, what about you?
How did you come to work at LocalBitcoins? So, I think I found Bitcoin first time around year and in the beginning of…it was this on and off thing for me.
Я не могу выяснить, что такое. Ванамонд, - продолжал. - Это существо с грандиозными познаниями, но интеллект его кажется совсем маленьким. Конечно, - добавил он, - его разум может быть столь отдаленного порядка, что мы не сможем его понять - но почему-то подобное объяснение мне не кажется правильным. - Но что же ты узнал.