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Author Topic: [ANN] LocalBitcoins.com - a location-based bitcoin to cash marketplace  (Read 95273 times)
2weiX
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August 14, 2012, 04:41:39 PM
 #161

when one meets in person, theres no need for escrow imho.

I don't understand. How do you conclude the transaction? Let's assume you are the seller. The buyer gives you the cash hand to hand, how does he know you sent the bitcoins and didn't double spend them? What do you give him? Do you both wait together until there are, for example, 2 confirmations? That can take a few minutes as well as an hour.

Don't forget that most of the time you do not know the sender, and you do not have any reason to take his word for it.

whats there not to understand?
theres always a "logical second" in which a betrayal is possible.

usually when i meet, i have a coffee with the guy, show him the money, he sends me the BTC, we finish our coffee, i give him the cash.

the really careful type (only had that happen twice) hands me a privkey with 1/2 the amount, i fork over the cash, he gives me a privkey with the other half.


most the times, the guy sends the BTC and we meet sometime thereafter or i send the money in the same afternoon. but that's just how i roll, i never send first^^

sometimes, there's simply a letter in my PO box with a couple hundred € in it and a QR code.

of course this is all reliant on my reputation, my postcount, my feedback thread and my demeanor (see my semi-rant in another thread about overtecnicalization of trust).

I'd rather pass on a deal than send first.

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2weiX
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August 14, 2012, 04:42:52 PM
 #162

if you postulate a need for escrow even in face2face situation, surely you must need escrow when dealing with mail/SEPA type transactions.

Indeed, for most transactions I use bitmarket.eu which has an escrow system for bitcoins.

same as bitcoin.de for example.
not suitable for cash transactions, tho.
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August 14, 2012, 05:12:46 PM
 #163

usually when i meet, i have a coffee with the guy, show him the money, he sends me the BTC, we finish our coffee, i give him the cash.
Imo thats the best way. There's no need for escrow. If you are suspicious, you can ask a friend to join the meeting.


"Unser Problem ist nicht ziviler Ungehorsam, unser Problem ist ziviler Gehorsam."  - Howard Zinn
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August 14, 2012, 05:14:48 PM
 #164

when one meets in person, theres no need for escrow imho.

I don't understand. How do you conclude the transaction? Let's assume you are the seller. The buyer gives you the cash hand to hand, how does he know you sent the bitcoins and didn't double spend them? What do you give him? Do you both wait together until there are, for example, 2 confirmations? That can take a few minutes as well as an hour.

You don't have to wait for a confirmation when meeting somebody for an in person trade. There are three ways to double spend:

1) Timing attack. Broadcast one transaction such that the recipient sees it but simultaneously broadcast another transaction that miners see. This is tricky and it's easy to make this attack hard/impossible - use a mobile wallet like Bitcoin wallet and ensure you're using an internet connection that the seller can't control. For instance, cafe wifi or just your regular 3G connection. Now the counterparty does not know your IP address. In future these attacks will get even harder as we implement flooding of double spends to the network.

2) Finney attack. This is where you mine a block and once you solve one, make the trade, then broadcast your block reversing the payment. Because you can't control when you find a block, you need to precisely control the time of the trade. In practice for an in person transaction you can't do that. It's only an issue for automated merchants on the internet which are selling 24/7 with low latency.

3) Fork the chain attack. Even harder than a Finney attack. You'd need 51%+ of the networks hash power. Not an issue for in person trades.

For this reason I don't want to use any escrow service, at all. If Jeremias wants to make people fund the site, that's fine, but I'd rather pay to maintain an ad than be forced into an "escrow" system that isn't useful for me.
kangasbros
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August 14, 2012, 09:06:42 PM
 #165

For this reason I don't want to use any escrow service, at all. If Jeremias wants to make people fund the site, that's fine, but I'd rather pay to maintain an ad than be forced into an "escrow" system that isn't useful for me.

Not everyone has a smartphone or laptop, and there is not always wifi cafes closeby. We are especially targeting 3rd world countries with our service, where transaction with SMS could prove useful.

If you don't want to use "escrow" service, that is fine to us. We are not forcing anyone to use our escrow. However if the paying customer wants to use it, I see it as a good behaviour from the seller to accept it. It means that we might in the future force some kind of fee on those who especially want to prohibit escrow. However that won't be the case at least in the near future - the site will remain free to use for at least for the time I have funds to run it.

Edit: and we will soon be branding the service differently, it is not really an escrow service. It is a tool to make offline (no internet) transactions via SMS.

Stephen Gornick
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August 15, 2012, 01:25:15 AM
 #166

Meanwhile, we made a nice statistics page: https://localbitcoins.com/statistics - already cash exchangers in 62 countries!

There appear to be some data issues.

For instance,
U.S. (lowercase)
 - https://localbitcoins.com/location/us/Los%20Angeles/

gets listed separate from
U.S. (uppercase)
 - https://localbitcoins.com/location/US/Santa%20Monica/

The list will become unusable as you start to add the thousands of cities.    A drill down interface, with States and/or MSAs for the U.S. data, will probably be needed eventually.  Or filtering using tags perhaps.

kangasbros
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August 15, 2012, 04:14:18 AM
 #167

There appear to be some data issues.

For instance,
U.S. (lowercase)
 - https://localbitcoins.com/location/us/Los%20Angeles/

gets listed separate from
U.S. (uppercase)
 - https://localbitcoins.com/location/US/Santa%20Monica/

The list will become unusable as you start to add the thousands of cities.    A drill down interface, with States and/or MSAs for the U.S. data, will probably be needed eventually.  Or filtering using tags perhaps.

Thanks for the tip. We will try to fix these issues soon.

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August 16, 2012, 10:00:11 AM
 #168

Now we have changed the name of the escrow feature to "LocalBitcoins Transaction" or just "Transaction" where the connection is obvious. We changed the name because it is not actually escrow service by the traditional definition, no disputes or resolution services.

Other definitions:

"Transaction verify code": this is generated for the buyer. When the seller shows this code to the buyer, buyer can be 100% that funds have been released. The buyer should check that the code shown by the seller matches the code shown by localbitcoins.com
"Transaction release code": the seller can release the escrow by sending this code to the number +16466994674 . This releases the funds to the buyer, and the seller should receive the verify code promptly, which he/she can show to the buyer.

The benefits of the service are:

- No internet connection needed - only one SMS-enabled phone required to make the transaction on the spot
- Quick process - the buyer does neet any devices, just memorize/write down the transaction verify code
- Allows the users to gain reputation via confirmed trades. If users use this service, we have a way to confirm that trade actually happened.

The LocalBitcoins Transaction service is not enforced in any way. You are free to create any kind of deal with the customer, use smartphone clients, laptops, whatever. We just recommend to use the transaction feature when the customer requests it - it should make the process much easier for the buyer.

Edit: and sorry about the confusion/hassle caused by the name.

Stephen Gornick
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August 16, 2012, 11:30:17 AM
 #169

Now we have changed the name of the escrow feature to "LocalBitcoins Transaction" or just "Transaction" where the connection is obvious.

Ok, so in a test transaction I listed an ad to sell.  My Local Bitcoins wallet shows 1.0 BTC.  I see the "active contact" from the buyer and I click on it.  it shows Transaction Status: Not funded.  Required.   
It then shows:
 To fund the transaction, send exactly 0.nnnn BTC to bitcoin address 1Nab123cd....

Now, if I already have sufficient bitcoins in my wallet, shouldn't I be able to in one click send the funds from my wallet?

Instead, I clicked on the Wallet tab and sent the coins from there.   But instead of it instantly applying the funds, I see it handed it thrugh the blockchain.

Couldn't there have been a single click to apply funds from my wallet on the site and the funds would transfer instantly (without going through the blockchain?)

kangasbros
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August 16, 2012, 11:52:56 AM
 #170

Now we have changed the name of the escrow feature to "LocalBitcoins Transaction" or just "Transaction" where the connection is obvious.

Ok, so in a test transaction I listed an ad to sell.  My Local Bitcoins wallet shows 1.0 BTC.  I see the "active contact" from the buyer and I click on it.  it shows Transaction Status: Not funded.  Required.   
It then shows:
 To fund the transaction, send exactly 0.nnnn BTC to bitcoin address 1Nab123cd....

Now, if I already have sufficient bitcoins in my wallet, shouldn't I be able to in one click send the funds from my wallet?

Instead, I clicked on the Wallet tab and sent the coins from there.   But instead of it instantly applying the funds, I see it handed it thrugh the blockchain.

Couldn't there have been a single click to apply funds from my wallet on the site and the funds would transfer instantly (without going through the blockchain?)


Yeah, we are working on this. Sorry that the button isn't already there. We will also have "auto-fund" feature for those wo want to use it.

Stephen Gornick
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August 16, 2012, 07:24:40 PM
 #171

The benefits of the service are:

- No internet connection needed - only one SMS-enabled phone required to make the transaction on the spot

Just to clarify ... SMS isn't a requirement though.  There is a button to release the funds from the website as well.  The SMS is an alternate method to release the funds.

kangasbros
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August 17, 2012, 06:43:12 AM
 #172

The benefits of the service are:

- No internet connection needed - only one SMS-enabled phone required to make the transaction on the spot

Just to clarify ... SMS isn't a requirement though.  There is a button to release the funds from the website as well.  The SMS is an alternate method to release the funds.

Yep, it is possible to use the service also in a way where only one participant has laptop or smartphone, and releases the transaction online. This is also a good way to do the transaction without the other party having any kind of device at all.

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August 17, 2012, 02:05:51 PM
 #173

Couple of new features:

- optional auto-fund setting, which allows professional traders to fund their transactions automatically
- "fund from wallet" button funds instantly from your wallet
- RSS feeds: these allow professional traders to spot new ads instantly in their local area. You can specify location and search distance. A little work in progress. Example in Finland: view-source:https://localbitcoins.com/rss/FI/90460/100/

I'm still not very confident starting to translate the page, sorry for those waiting for translations. I try to look at the translations this weekend.

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August 17, 2012, 03:47:01 PM
 #174

Has anyone actually made a deal trough this service?
I have a sell/buy orders up for a long time now but no luck. Not even a single contact. Smiley 
I guess I am the only one here who likes bitcoins Sad

While reading what I wrote, use the most friendliest and relaxing voice in your head.
BTW, Things in BTC bubble universes are getting ugly....
2weiX
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August 17, 2012, 03:56:53 PM
 #175

Has anyone actually made a deal trough this service?
I have a sell/buy orders up for a long time now but no luck. Not even a single contact. Smiley 
I guess I am the only one here who likes bitcoins Sad


I have done a couple of smallish deals.
However, it's me condition that the other party always sends first, so that's where 90% of negotiations stop short.
kangasbros
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August 17, 2012, 04:34:24 PM
 #176

Has anyone actually made a deal trough this service?
I have a sell/buy orders up for a long time now but no luck. Not even a single contact. Smiley 
I guess I am the only one here who likes bitcoins Sad

I had maybe 5 contacts when I lived in Berlin, there was some traffic there. Now I'm in a small village in northern Finland, no contacts Cheesy

I plan to soon move to a bigger city, and try doing the cash exchange thing at a permanent place, eg. some small office where people can just come and bring cash/get cash. I also try to research at same time how to make the process as easy and efficient as possible, and also what are the best ways to market for a local exchanger. However I can start doing that on next month.

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August 20, 2012, 04:50:56 PM
 #177

Now country-specific listings: https://localbitcoins.com/country/DE or https://localbitcoins.com/country/US

Al listings also available as RSS feeds: https://localbitcoins.com/country_rss/US

Also the advanced search allows you to filter by price equation and other parameters: https://localbitcoins.com/advanced_search

So you can for example set rss watch for listings in your area, or for listings which are above certain price. I think it is also pretty easy to implement email alerts from RSS feeds etc.

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August 22, 2012, 10:11:10 AM
 #178

Can someone help me out please?

Can you message me through my trade so I can see if emails go through:
https://localbitcoins.com/ad/780/buy-bitcoins-with-cash-85201-mesa-united-states
if you're not registered you'll have to register

Donations: 1JVhKjUKSjBd7fPXQJsBs5P3Yphk38AqPr - TIPS
the hacks, the hacks, secure your bits!
kangasbros
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August 23, 2012, 11:35:47 AM
 #179

Can someone help me out please?

Can you message me through my trade so I can see if emails go through:
https://localbitcoins.com/ad/780/buy-bitcoins-with-cash-85201-mesa-united-states
if you're not registered you'll have to register

I sent a message - if you did not receive it, please report. We will start researching alternative email delivery solutions if current method is not working.

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August 24, 2012, 08:02:10 AM
 #180

Can someone help me out please?

Can you message me through my trade so I can see if emails go through:
https://localbitcoins.com/ad/780/buy-bitcoins-with-cash-85201-mesa-united-states
if you're not registered you'll have to register

I sent a message - if you did not receive it, please report. We will start researching alternative email delivery solutions if current method is not working.

got it, sweet it works. just waiting on some real world offers Sad

Donations: 1JVhKjUKSjBd7fPXQJsBs5P3Yphk38AqPr - TIPS
the hacks, the hacks, secure your bits!
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