In the most recent blow to the cryptocurrency market, LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) exchange and one of the early crypto trading platforms that served as a gate for individuals to enter the sector, has announced it would cease its operations after a decade in the business.
As it happens, the crypto exchange informed the public that it is no longer able to provide its Bitcoin trading service, urging all customers to withdraw their funds from LocalBitcoins and then from their LocalBitcoins wallet, according to the service closure announcement posted on February 9.
The team behind LocalBitcoins, which was originally established under the motto Bring Bitcoin Everywhere and run with a mission to drive financial inclusion around the world, expressed pride in its achievements during the past decade:
“Originally LocalBitcoins was established to Bring Bitcoin Everywhere and drive global financial inclusion. We have honored that mission for over 10 years, and we are proud of what we have achieved together with all of you, our loyal community.”
As the reason behind the discontinuation of its service, the exchange highlighted the “challenges during the ongoing very cold crypto-winter,” which it was not able to overcome despite its best efforts.
Service closure timeline
According to the timeline detailed in the announcement, the crypto trading platform is suspending new signups as of February 9, followed by the suspension of trading on LocalBitcoins and using the LocalBitcoins wallet (with the exception of withdrawal of one’s funds).
After February 17, “LocalBitcoins customers will only be able to log-in to withdraw their Bitcoins,” as “the trading and wallet services will no longer be available at this point.” The exchange also specified a 12-month period during which its users will be able to withdraw their funds but also encouraged them to “proceed withdrawing sooner.”
This is a surprising twist for the once-leading peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange, whose CEO Sebastian Sonntag stated in 2021 that the platform was registering more than 135,000 new users per month, welcoming 4,000 to 5,000 new participants a day, at the time.