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(Kitko News) – It’s the end of an era for the crypto community, as LocalBitcoins, one of the oldest peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin (BTC) exchanges in the world, has announced it will be closing store. end of February.
More than ten years after bitcoin architect Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned facilitating P2P crypto transactions, the crypto decline that began in early 2022 proved too much for the platform.
“Despite our efforts to address the challenges during the ongoing very cold crypto-winter, we have concluded with regret that LocalBitcoins can no longer provide its bitcoin trading service,” the exchange wrote.
The Helsinki-based platform used to be quite popular among the crypto crowd, but has seen additions as more centralized and decentralized exchanges have popped up online to provide access to more than just bitcoin.
Platform specialized in P2P and escrow services for users looking to buy or sell bitcoin via traditional bank transfers and cash deals in multiple currencies globally. In the early days of crypto, LocalBitcoin played a key role in helping drive liquidity for BTC.
In May 2021, the exchange expanded its offerings by adding Tether (USDT), Polkadot (DOT), Cardano (ADA), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), USD Coin (USDC), Chainlink (LINK) and Dogecoin (DOGE) as payment methods. expanded services. , but this did little to improve the amount of revenue the platform was able to generate.
Data provided by Coindance shows that over the past four months, the exchange averaged between $5 million and $7 million in weekly trading volume, which is significantly lower than the $100 million weekly in 2017.
According to the timeline provided in the announcement, the platform has suspended new sign-ups as of today, and the suspension of trading on LocalBitcoins will take place on February 16. There will also be the ability to use the LocalBitcoins wallet for anything other than withdrawing funds. Will be suspended on 16 February.
Existing customers now have 12 months to withdraw their money, but the exchange has encouraged them to do so sooner. The announcement states that after February 17th, users will only be able to log in to withdraw their bitcoins. “Trading and wallet services will no longer be available at this point.”
The exchange thanked its users for choosing LocalBitcoins over the past ten years and apologized for any inconvenience caused by its closure.
LocalBitcoins is far from the only crypto firm that has struggled to stay in business following the horror show of 2022. In addition to the highly publicized bankruptcies of FTX, Genesis, Celsius, BlockFi, Voyager Digital, Three Arrows Capital, and Core Scientific, several large exchanges including Coinbase, Kraken, Bybit, Huobi, Blockchain.com, Crypto.com, and Luno have suffered massive bankruptcy. Has announced layoffs and other cost-cutting measures.
A recent Goingeco study found that “crypto layoffs are 8 to 13 times higher than average in the months following the big drop in 2022 and 2023.” June was the worst month of 2022, as the Terra/Luna death and the resulting contagion led to an increase of 3,003 layoffs, 13.4 times the average monthly rate. Matters are set to get even worse in the new year, as “the number of crypto employees laid off in January 2023 represents 41% of industry layoffs for the whole of 2022,” CoinGecko said.
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