P2P bitcoin trading giant LocalBitcoins is not so peer-to-peer anymore. | Source: Shutterstock
LocalBitcoins Quietly Removes Anonymous In-Person Crypto Cash Trading
By CCN: Peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange service LocalBitcoins has completely suspended all physical cash trading on its network. Several traders have since reported having their standing orders canceled forcing them to revert to electronic-only transfer alternatives.
Enthusiasts have long considered LocalBitcoins a haven for decentralized Bitcoin trading. But now it appears the company is losing its edge.
The development has largely flown under the radar with no press releases or official mention of any change. Like all things in cryptoland, however, nothing remains a secret for long. One Reddit user noticed the removal of service and before long a list of viable alternatives appeared:
A Disturbing Trend of Government Clamp Down
LocalBitcoins has been under fire from the cryptocurrency community more recently after introducing Know Your Customer (KYC) features to its platform. The so-called anti-money laundering (AML) feature is supposed to clamp down on fraud which authorities claim is easy to achieve with cryptocurrency.
The Helsinki-based exchange appeared to have little choice in the matter as the Finnish parliament approved a proposal for a new act on “Virtual Currency Service Providers” in March. Crypto exchanges continue to come under scrutiny after several other platforms were the target of KYC controversy including the likes of KuCoin and HitBTC.
Finland, along with other European countries has so far been fairly open-minded towards cryptocurrency developments. KYC, however, is a strictly one-way system which essentially allows governments to spy on their citizens. Cryptocurrency holders argue that if the process was reversed they’d probably find a lot more financial skeletons in government closets.