Localbitcoins vs Paxful – a comparative review

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Localbitcoins used to be the go-to platform for anonymous Bitcoin purchases. Ever since they implemented KYC policies people started looking for alternatives.

Paxful is another peer to peer Bitcoin marketplace, that is, it’s a platform where buyers match with sellers to buy and sell Bitcoin.

This comparison will illustrate how Localbitcoins fares vs Paxful. Both services are very similar but there are slight differences that we’ll go through in the table below:

Localbitcoins Paxful
Platform founded 2012 2015
Trade volume $52 million weekly average at the time of writinghttps://coin.dance/volume/localbitcoins $15 million weekly at the time of writing https://coin.dance/volume/paxful
Interface web
Security 2FA, login guard 2FA (phone, google authenticator, authy)
Fees 1% paid by BTC seller 1% paid by BTC seller
Cash in person Bitcoin price (USD) 6250-7200 7190
Escrow yes yes
Payment methods Over 100 Over 100
KYC Yes, certain payment methods and amounts trigger KYC No


Localbitcoins vs Paxful comparison results

Localbitcoins has been around longer than Paxful, has 3-4 times the volume of Paxful and a lot more offers. Same way, there are way more scam reports about Paxful sellers (especially in the past) than about Localbitcoins ones. Please note however, that most scams on Paxful deal with gift cards that get redeemed by a party that does not send the necessary Bitcoin payments – if you do not wish to trade gift cards then you are even less likely to get scammed.

Both sites have 2-factor authentication systems in place, Paxful gives an option to use Google Authenticator and Authy. Localbitcoins, however, offers a login guard feature that will allow you to limit your logins to just one browser, OS, and IP.

Both services have similar fees (seller pays 1% of sold BTC), but please keep in mind that sellers also include their fees into the Bitcoin price they are asking. In this regard LocalBitcoins is more favorable – simply because there are more offers and a competitive environment. As a result there are more offers and some sellers ask for lower prices in order to sell faster.

Localbitcoin’s recent KYC policy could be a deal breaker for many. The logic behind verification requirement is not very clear – it’s often triggered by certain large amounts of coin, or certain payment methods, and certain monthly volume.

Paxful has no KYC implemented, the platform will not require any documents from you, however separate sellers may require some sort of proof – IDs, pictures of your gift cards and receipts from their purchases and so on. Make sure you follow safety rules and do not send anyone pictures of your documents or credit cards. Read more in our Paxful review.

Localbitcoins vs Paxful Verdict

If you do not care about ID verification as part of KYC procedures then we recommend selecting Localbitcoins, because you will enjoy better prices and offer selection there.

Sign up to Localbitcoins

If you insist on making anonymous Bitcoin purchases then select Paxful out of these two.

Visit Paxful
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