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Thread: LocalBitcoin Bans Cash Trades

  1. #1
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    Default LocalBitcoin Bans Cash Trades

    https://cointelegraph.com/news/local...very-local/amp

    Many Bitcoin users on PR have recommended LocalBitcoin as a safe and anonymous way to purchase Bitcoin. Today's announcement means the most anonymous of LocalBitcoin's purchase methods will no longer be supported. It sounds like this is being forced on them by a regulatory environment that wants to eliminate anonymity with respect to Bitcoin. Read all about it in the linked article.
    Helpful wildings, peppergirl Rated helpful
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  3. #2
    Thank you for the linked update. little doubt those that use localbitcoins this was always going to happen. even with cash trades there were ways available to those in authority could use to get any identity they chose, the only question on the table was how much bother did they want to go through. now it appears easier, less covert means required. i never considered LBC worth the extra leg work for what we presumed we gained. you may as well face reality there is no anonymity apart from the meager steps you can take to not end them directly to a vendor which onlyt makes it marginally harder for the institution you buy the coins from to boot you. the rest is wide open and we can only hope we aren't worth the bother.
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  4. #3
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    BC is becoming a "non-anonomous" process, sooner than even I expected. I guess it's still easier, at the moment, for vendors who receive BC, than for them to have to physically go retrieve WU/MG payments. But I'm betting that "the powers that be" will soon find a way to make tracking of BC receipt as common as purchasing (and sending) them, so maybe at that point the vendors, at least on clearnet, will find another way to take payment. I hope! (Not going to repeat my tales of woe with WU/MG/BC yet again, )

    Thanks for the update, @dtek!
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    Aaaanndddddd..... I have been in contact with several vendors about this and they are all, from the feedback I've received, totally unconcerned about any potential issues with BC at this time. I don't really understand this, as I fear the BC receipt end may well blow up in their faces as unexpectedly as the BC purchase issues have come up in the past coupe of months. Yet they seem to be "all-in" on BC receipts. I guess some of the bigger vendors will have to experience for themselves, the kind of issues that we BC buyers have had to deal with recently, i.e. have either LE or the BC marketer suddenly "vanish" before they can cash their BCs in, before they begin to realize that BC (or other EC) is not the magic solution for completing transactions; some of these folks are going to have to re-establish semi-legit banking arrangements in order to continue to stay in business. It's certainly doable, there are many vendors who manage to do this, it just takes a bit more time and effort, I guess.

  6. #5
    There are probably no magic solutions; at least none that won't eventually contain some element of "non-anonymity." Perhaps the best you can accomplish is obfuscation through chain transactions. For example, I tried this out recently for grins (but predominantly to avoid Coinbase locking-up my perfectly legit cash transfer to them via a secondary, "used-only-for-this-purpose" bank account. See below).

    Anyhoo, what I did was (1) buy/fund a debit card. (2) use that debit card to purchase BTC at a kiosk that I -- amazingly -- found at my local grocery store! (3) Transfer the BTC to a wallet that pre-dates draconian identity requirements. (4) Paid for some goodies from that wallet. (5) Received the goodies to a dropbox.

    Reasonable anonymity. Could I be traced? Sure. Is that likely, given my exceedingly small, infrequent purchases and chain obfuscation? Hopefully not very...

    (Side note: Highly annoyingly, Coinbase accepts my cash transfer to it, immediately converts it to BTC, but won't allow me to spend the BTC for 2-weeks/15 days (I forget). That certainly gets in the way of immediacy, and subjects me to BTC price volatility. But, that volatility totally worked to my advantage the last time around. I wasn't aware of the 2-week fund lock-up until it happened, and walked away from a pending vendor transaction in disgust because of it. When I returned to my BTC wallet several months later, my account had more than doubled in value. Silver lining! I quickly spent it!)
    Helpful jaders, steve12345, peppergirl Rated helpful

  7. #6
    The Bit Coin Kiosk at the Grocery Store ? Is this the same machine that you use to turn your spare change also? I just saw one at my local Grocery store. I am wondering how easy it is and how the exchange rate was . Thanks in advance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve12345 View Post
    The Bit Coin Kiosk at the Grocery Store ? Is this the same machine that you use to turn your spare change also? I just saw one at my local Grocery store. I am wondering how easy it is and how the exchange rate was . Thanks in advance.
    I haven't used one yet, but yes, the Coinstar company is adding bitcoin transactions to their kiosks. You can check the exchange rate at their website. Last time I looked, the rate was very good when compared to other semi-anonymous methods to purchase Bitcoin.
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    Paxful still have cash in person trades, also a few flaky sites here and there but pax is established. Or buy through an exchange and clean the coins.

    Cleaning coin is an art in itself. Going through several wallets does not do the job. What does the job is to mix the coin with coin from many other people and take it back out anonymously. Then your coin can only be traced back to the mixing pot and before that the trail is hopelessly muddled if you did it right.

    Any site that uses btc and lets you deposit and withdraw is a prime candidate for washing. There are also sites which are set up for the sole purpose of washing coin but they charge from 1 to 3%. Take your coin to local bitcoin then draw it out later and its well mixed. However some sites like geminii or many use exchanges will not like lbc as a source but anywhere you spend the coin will be fine and they can not trace your identity. Other sites to wash them include gambling sites and a few others which let you have a btc account with deposit and withdraw.
    Helpful dtek Rated helpful

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gullible View Post
    Take your coin to local bitcoin then draw it out later and its well mixed.
    That's a great idea @Gullible! I wish I'd thought of it. The only caution is that anyone using this method should understand Bitcoin taint and how to measure it. They should also have decided on an acceptable level of taint between the original coins and the tumbled (washed) coins. The method you suggest should generally produce untainted coins, but it's not designed for that purpose like a tumbling service should be.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by steve12345 View Post
    The Bit Coin Kiosk at the Grocery Store ? Is this the same machine that you use to turn your spare change also? I just saw one at my local Grocery store. I am wondering how easy it is and how the exchange rate was . Thanks in advance.
    Yes, and -- as @dtek notes above -- I'm pretty sure it was a Coinstar machine. Although I live in a big city and have seen non-Coinstar freestanding BTC kiosks popping up here and there.

    (edit to add) here is an example of one kiosk brand going in: https://www.bitcoindepot.com
    Last edited by tycho; 1 Week Ago at 05:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tycho View Post
    I ... have seen non-Coinstar freestanding BTC kiosks popping up here and there.
    Yes. Although I've never seen one of the other brands at a grocery store. If you're interested in standalone cryptocurrency kiosks (aka Bitcoin ATMs), this website can help you locate them: https://coinatmradar.com/

    That website also has (usually) up to date information on exchange rates at most of the kiosks it lists.
    Helpful tycho, steve12345 Rated helpful

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dtek View Post
    If you're interested in standalone cryptocurrency kiosks (aka Bitcoin ATMs), this website can help you locate them: https://coinatmradar.com/

    That website also has (usually) up to date information on exchange rates at most of the kiosks it lists.
    That's handy; thanks for posting that website! Amusingly it doesn't list the Coinstar locations. Add those and -- by me, at least -- there are plenty of options. What I really like is the immediacy of the availability of the funds (for a price, of course). That alone could get me to try one. My one-and-only wallet (Coinbase) won't release my BTC for use for 15 days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tycho View Post
    That's handy; thanks for posting that website! Amusingly it doesn't list the Coinstar locations. Add those and -- by me, at least -- there are plenty of options. What I really like is the immediacy of the availability of the funds (for a price, of course). That alone could get me to try one. My one-and-only wallet (Coinbase) won't release my BTC for use for 15 days.
    It does seem odd that it doesn't list the Coinstar locations, but I suspect it's supported by the Bitcoin ATM businesses. Those guys have an incentive to disallow Coinstar listings.

    Last time I looked, the Coinstar exchange rate was much better than a typical Bitcoin ATM's exchange rate. Some of those guys want 10%!!!

    As for Coinbase, you can get instant access for a price (or at least you used to be able to). I stopped using them when they started shutting down any account that uses coins purchased from them for some disallowed purpose (e.g. IOP purchases). They're really only useful for buy and hold investment purchases.
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  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by dtek View Post
    Last time I looked, the Coinstar exchange rate was much better than a typical Bitcoin ATM's exchange rate. Some of those guys want 10%!!!
    I'll have to check-out the Coinstar rates. You are right about the exorbitant ATM fees; it's often higher than 10%. When I first heard about BTC ATMs, and investigated, I was a bit shocked at the fees. Some examples:

    Digital Mint: "We apply a 12% flat markup rate for all Bitcoin ATM and Teller transactions."
    Bitstop: Fee (13.5%)
    Coinflip: 0.99 + 6.99% above the Tradeblock XBX index spot price


    Quote Originally Posted by dtek View Post
    As for Coinbase, you can get instant access for a price (or at least you used to be able to).
    I will have to explore that.

    Quote Originally Posted by dtek View Post
    I stopped using them when they started shutting down any account that uses coins purchased from them for some disallowed purpose (e.g. IOP purchases). They're really only useful for buy and hold investment purchases.
    Huh. That's the only reason I signed-up with them, and the only things I have used them for. I'll need to investigate that. Thanks for the info.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtek View Post
    That's a great idea @Gullible! I wish I'd thought of it. The only caution is that anyone using this method should understand Bitcoin taint and how to measure it. They should also have decided on an acceptable level of taint between the original coins and the tumbled (washed) coins. The method you suggest should generally produce untainted coins, but it's not designed for that purpose like a tumbling service should be.
    I would not say its 100% perfect, it will however erase your name from the coin which was there if you bought from an exchange. Some places do not like lbc, coinbase for example will close your account if they trace it back there, so I've heard but that is trivial. Simply run it through a few wallets after lbc if you are going to send it to some paranoid place like that and you are fine. I've done it myself and didn't hear a word about it.

    Tumbling services work in a similar way from what I've been told. They simply put your coin in an account with other coin and then later you withdraw. A really good service will let you take the coin out from a different account that yours never went into. However, I have heard stories that people put the coin in, paid the fee, took it out and after tracing it found it was the same coin with the same taint they started with. Perhaps there was no other coin in the account at the time?

    I have also heard stories about selective scamming by a long time coin laundry. These are all just stories, can't be proven but they give you something to think about. LBC has no doubt scammers and dark net people using it but likely less than a dark net tumbling service would. Another advantage is you do not pay the 2 or 3% fee for a tumbler. LBC only charges a deposit fee and withdrawal fee which is fixed and about $1.50 to deposit and less than that to send.

  17. LocalBitcoin Bans Cash Trades

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