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Review: Local Ethereum, a peer-to-peer marketplace for converting Ether into fiat currency

Being fairly new to the cryptocurrency world, one thing that has been bugging my mind is the thought of how my cryptocurrency plays in the real world. In other words, how can my digital assets, if in case I accumulate enough, translate into a real world money that I can spend on material goods? And so, I’ve been in the look out for a good marketplace where I can trade digital currency into fiat currency. So I found Local Ethereum, a decentralized exchange (DEX) catering to Ethereum’s Ether.

About Local Ethereum

As mentioned above, Local Ethereum is a peer-to-peer marketplace for trading Ether with fiat currencies. Being peer-to-peer makes it private, free from third-party intervention. This means you’re in-charge of trading your Ether. You control your digital currencies’ future.

Local Ethereum is web-based and will not require you to install third-party apps or extension to start trading. All communications and transactions in the digital exchange are encrypted. In fact everything is encrypted including transaction messages or negotiations among buyers and sellers.

LocalEthereum is also a secured way of crypto trading. The site protects your transactions through the use of smart contacts. Even your identity is secured by the site’s digital signatures.

Getting started

As previously mentioned, Local Ethereum does not require third-party apps, plugins or extension for you to use it. The site or platform is available 24/7 (except during network downturn). It is available online and accessible using any Internet browser,

The key to using Local Ethereum is the use of a private key which you must encrypt immediately. You can do this using stretched passwords. Once completed, you can create your account and login immediately.

The site’s UI is pretty straightforward and geared at making your interaction with the site’s feature a very easy experience. After login, you can start trading right away. By trading it means you can buy or sell ether using various modes of payments available depending on the country where you are living. Yes, you read it right, Local Ethereum is available for worldwide users.

At this stage, you might want to take a look at the upper portion of your screen while logged in Local Ethereum. You’ll see the number of Trades you completed as well as the number of offers to you. You will also see your digital wallet which was automatically created when you signed up.

Fees

Living in a country where cryptocurrency is not yet widespread, it’s a good thing that PayPal is already available in Local Ethereum. If you’re not using PayPal for your online transactions, you can buy or sell using cash (in person, bank transfer or cash deposit.

Local Ethereum charges a 0.25% fee for the person who placed the offer. While for the person who takes the offer, a 0.75% fee will be charged. If you’re wondering why the fees for the maker is higher than the taker, that because LocalEthereum wants to entice people to join their digital exchange.

Security question

Aside from the price the next thing that you’re probably thinking about is whether Local Ethereum is secured enough. On the site’s FAQ, Local Ethereum claims that there are several precautions that they have taken to ensure a secured transaction. These include the following:

  • End-to-end message encryption
  • Messaging forward secrect
  • Financial forward secrecy
  • Signature system

Final Words

There are several areas were Local Ethereum stand out from other digital exchanges available in the market. The use of PayPal is one of them, especially for users who are based in other parts of the world, where banking infrastructure is less developed.

The simplicity of the site’s UI is also notable from Local Ethereum. Given the complexity of cryptocurrency trading especially for newcomers into the industry, it’s a great help to have a simple and straightforward digital exchange.

Overall, LocalEthereum is a good place to start trading cryptocurrency. It’s a good thing that the site uses Ethereum and not other crypto since Ether is relatively stable lately.

About Arnold Zafra

Arnold Zafra is a freelance tech blogger from the Philippines who is enthusiastic about cryptocurrency, decentralised apps and other emerging developments in the tech industry.

Ledger Nano S - The secure hardware wallet