Prominent peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform LocalBitcoins is closing up shop after a whopping 10 years of operation.
The Helsinki-based firm, which allows users to match and trade Bitcoin, has struggled to overcome challenges posed by the ongoing bear market and has come to the conclusion that it can no longer provide its Bitcoin trading service.
The company is asking customers to withdraw their funds. They have a 12-month window to do so.
The timeline for the discontinuation of the service includes a suspension of new sign-ups on Feb. 9, a suspension of trading and the suspension of wallet service on Feb. 16. Its users will only be able to withdraw funds after Feb. 17.LocalBitcoins was established in June 2012 and has been a long-standing veteran in the crypto industry.
Unlike other centralized exchanges such as Coinbase, LocalBitcoins operated as a decentralized service similarly to sites such as Craigslist or eBay.
The platform previously offered in-person cash trading but had to remove this feature in June 2019 due to regulatory pressure since the feature was attractive to criminals. The unpopular decision helped the project to comply with the European Union's anti-money laundering rules.
In July 2020, the platform also added surveillance tools from blockchain firm Elliptic.
Struggling countries, such as Venezuela and Nigeria, were among the top markets for LocalBitcoins.