LocalEthereum is a worldwide peer-to-peer marketplace where over 100,000 users buy and sell Ethereum (ETH). Buyers and sellers post ads on LocalEthereum, offering to trade ETH through a wide range of payment methods. When a user responds to an offer/ad, a peer-to-peer exchange is conducted directly between the buyer and seller.
You are never buying ETH from or selling ETH to LocalEthereum; you are always exchanging directly with another user. All fiat payments are made outside the platform using regular payment channels, directly from person to person.
If you’re brand new to LocalEthereum and want to learn how to buy ETH, read our step-by-step guide: How To Buy Ethereum (ETH) With LocalEthereum.
The process to sell ETH using LocalEthereum is very similar to the buying process. We recommend reading our step-by-step guide on how to buy ETH first.
LocalEthereum doesn’t collect any personal information, and we don’t use any tracking services such as Google Analytics. We treat your privacy with the utmost respect.
Any messages between users are end-to-end encrypted, meaning we don’t have the ability to read them. The only case where we can decipher your messages is when you invite a moderator for help in resolving a payment dispute, or when you report another user.
LocalEthereum’s web wallet is non-custodial. LocalEthereum’s servers and staff never see your private key(s). Your ETH is protected by cryptography inside your web browser.
Read our whitepaper for in-depth insight into LocalEthereum’s magic. We explain how LocalEthereum’s end-to-end encrypted messaging protocol works, how the self-custodial wallet keys are generated, how our decentralised escrow system functions, and more.
If you've forgotten your password, there is no way for us to help recover it, not because we don’t want to, but because of how client-side encryption works. There is no possible way for staff to help recover any information from your account, because of the same technical properties that make it impossible for us to read your messages or access funds in your wallet.
It is important to keep your password safe and to never share it. If someone gains access to your account, any ETH transferred to your LocalEthereum account could be compromised in the future, even if you change your password!
After you sign up, it is important to download your wallet backup. If you forget your password or if LocalEthereum were to ever go offline for some reason - you can still access your wallet using this backup.
Unfortunately, the tools for interacting with the backup file are limited and complex. We are planning to publish more tools shortly which can be used offline to recover wallets from backup files.
We do not allow people to change their username. The reason for this is to prevent reputation-transfer abuse; i.e. it's not possible to transfer reputation to a new username, nor avoid negative reputation linked to your name (both on this platform and elsewhere).
If you have your Google 2FA backup key, you can reset it in the app. To do so, follow the steps below here.
If you don't have a backup key you will need to contact our support team to downgrade your two-factor account. We will ask for information to verify ownership of the account, and we will request that you wait a minimum waiting period.
If you have lost access to your e-mail, you will need to contact our support team to attempt an account recovery.
To send ETH to your LocalEthereum wallet, follow these directions:
To transfer ETH from your LocalEthereum wallet, follow these directions:
You can link your Ledger, Metamask, Trust wallet and many more. View our blog post on the topic for more details.
The default setting in your LocalEthereum wallet will create a new wallet address for every transaction. The self-custodial LocalEthereum wallet uses a deterministic system to generate addresses. This means that each wallet includes a virtually infinite number of Ethereum addresses.
These wallet addresses are all tied to your private key. If you lose your password you can still access the entire amount of funds via your wallet backup.
You can consolidate all your ETH into a single address by clicking the “Max” button, which is found next to the “Amount (ETH)”.
If you are sending ETH to a smart contract, you will need to raise the gas limit.
Ethereum transactions are not reversible. There is no way to recover transactions sent to the wrong address. It is important to always check the wallet address before sending.
You will be notified via e-mail for each new trade. You can also choose to receive SMS or push notifications.
From time to time we have issues with SMS carriers. Please open a support ticket and provide your number, country, and phone service provider, and we will attempt to resolve the issue.
These limits are subject to change.
The statistics algorithm will automatically discount trades from users who are permanently suspended from the platform. This means that if you traded with a user who was later banned -- likely due to suspicion of fraudulent activity -- all feedback associated with the user, both given and received, will be nullified.
This measure was added to prevent malicious reputation-boosting tactics by malicious users.
When an escrow is released, it is final. There is no avenue for recovery as we do not hold any of your ETH at any time. You are dealing directly with the Ethereum blockchain, and it’s not possible to call back an Ethereum transaction.
All account related issues are completed in your account in your dashboard. We will not send an email such as this. This is a fraudulent/phishing e-mail. Please report it as spam if the option is available in your mailbox, and do not click on any links. We will only send e-mails from the official “localethereum.com” domain name.
If the ETH is in escrow, it will say so. In times of congestion, transactions may take longer, however you should never send anything without first seeing the ETH in escrow. You can view the status of the trade in the right hand site status bar.
Under no circumstances is it OK to pressure another user into releasing the escrow early. Please open a payment dispute via the “Open Dispute” button.
An arbitrator will contact you via the dispute chat and help work through the trade with you and the other user. This chat is in a separate box, and all messages are between you and the arbitrator only.
An arbitrator may ask for:
If a user has not responded, you can close the trade. After a short while, an offer by a non-responding user will be put on hold automatically and the user will need to manually restore it.
If you have opened a trade outside their standard operation hours then you will need to be patient and wait for a response.
We inspect the trade and the reported user, and we may take action by suspending the account. It prevents the user from opening new trades, and nullifies their feedback, both given and received.
LocalEthereum charges a 0.25% fee for the maker (the person who placed the offer listing) and 0.75% for the taker (the person responding to the offer). The reason for the significant discount on makers is because we want to encourage people to place offers.
The buyer will always receive small amount less than indicated, this is the gas fee for the contract execution which is charged by the Ethereum network.
Every transaction on the Ethereum network involves a cost that is paid to the miners. These transaction costs are called "gas" and the price of gas typically depends on how congested the Ethereum network is. This is an unavoidable property of the Ethereum blockchain.
Escrows on the blockchain involve more than one transaction. The first transaction is the initial "funding" of the escrow, which is sent from the seller's address to the smart contract address; in this transaction, the seller is able to set a gas price they are comfortable with.
However, the other transactions to the smart contract -- including the ones which "release" the ether or "lock" the ether (i.e. when you mark a trade as paid), the gas price is set by LocalEthereum. We use an algorithm which matches current gas price swings in order to ensure transactions go through quickly at a fair cost at the time. The fee for these types of transactions are deducted from the balance of the escrow, meaning that the buyer will always receive slightly less than the amount in escrow due to network costs. Due to the high volatility of the gas market, it's impossible to provide an estimate of the total network fees ahead of time.
Please get in touch with us. We will be happy to answer any questions.