LocalBitcoins to Shut Down P2P Exchange
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LocalBitcoins to Shut Down P2P Exchange

The exchange has advised users to withdraw their funds within 12 months.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

LocalBitcoins, one of the first P2P bitcoin exchanges, said it is shutting down due to the “crypto winter” after being operational for ten years, according to a Thursday statement. The company said users could withdraw funds from their wallets within 12 months.

LocalBitcoins Shuts Down After Over 10 Years

Peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins announced Thursday it is closing down, citing unfavorable market conditions. The Helsinki, Finland-based exchange “regretfully concluded that LocalBitcoins can no longer provide its Bitcoin trading service.” The company urged users to withdraw their crypto funds from the platform within the following 12 months.

“We encourage all customers to withdraw their funds from LocalBitcoins and we ask you to proceed with withdrawing the Bitcoins from your LocalBitcoins wallet. You have 12 months to withdraw, however of course we encourage you to proceed withdrawing sooner.”

– LocalBitcoins said in a statement.

In the announcement, the company said it would suspend new sign-ups on the platform on Feb. 9, while suspension of trading and using the LocalBitcoins wallet will take effect on Feb. 16. As of Feb. 17, LocalBitcoins users “will only be able to log-in to withdraw their Bitcoins,” the exchange said.

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Is This the Worst-ever Crypto Downturn?

The announcement marks the latest casualty claimed by one of the steepest crypto downturns on record. In contrast to 2021, marked by a bullish market and rapid growth in the value of cryptocurrencies, the crypto industry witnessed a much more difficult 2022 characterized by plummeting crypto prices and the collapses of several high-profile crypto firms.

The regulatory uncertainty and harsh macroeconomic conditions, such as record-high inflation and interest rates, deterred investors from risky assets. This, coupled with the collapses of several high-profile crypto projects, erased as much as $2 trillion from the global crypto market cap.

The crashes of FTX and Terraform Labs sent shockwaves through the industry and caused a knock-on effect that sent many exposed companies into bankruptcy. Some of these include Celsius Network, Voyager Digital, and BlockFi, among others.

But while the crypto winter serves as a reminder of the volatility and risk associated with investments in cryptocurrencies, many in the crypto community remained optimistic about the long-term potential of the industry. They pointed to several positive developments, including growing institutional interest in cryptocurrencies and the continued development of new use cases and infrastructure.

Editorial Update (9th February 9:26 AM EST): The article was updated to add more information and context to the story.

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Crypto winter continues to cause new casualties, but do you think the worst of the downturn is behind us? Let us know in the comments below.