LocalEthereum, a new peer-to-peer marketplace for Ethereum to fiat currency purchases and sells between private trader launched on Sunday. The long-awaited over-the-counter (OTC) platform is purely dedicated to Ethereum and offers a service much similar to what users are already familiar with, localbitcoins.
As of today, users can buy and sell Ethereum in over 80 national currencies available on 800 offers since the platform went live on October 21, midnight UTC. On the marketplace, any two willing parties can sign up to trade remotely and count on the in-built escrow feature to bridge trust. Already, the site has helped traders settle close to 100 trades valued at roughly $60,000.
According to the team behind the project, out of the 100 over the counter exchanges, close to 50 were fiat to ether trades settled by bank transfer, 20 using China’s Alipay service, 5 using PayPal and 3 in person cash trades.
The team is not worried about the early numbers that seem low as they said on a official blog:
“While this number looks slim next to high-frequency exchanges, it’s a terrific start and the trading volume continues to grow rapidly as more jump on board. We’re sick of the dangerous misplaced trust in centralised exchanges which continue to lose hundreds of millions of dollars of our money. Traders have been getting the raw end of the deal for far too long now, so we’ve changed the game.”
Demand for the service is certainly not lacking, telling from dozens of queries on forums by users asking for an ‘Ethereum like localbitcoins service.’
Online peer-to-peer platforms are some of the most welcoming places for users to quickly buy or sell cryptocurrencies without the baggage of a daunting verification process on exchanges. But for a long time, the service has only been available for Bitcoin followed by a recent introduction of a similar service for Monero dubbed localmonero. Other cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin Cash, has a localbitcoincash service expected soon.
But these services are not free to run, and someone needs to pay for maintenance.
LocalEthereum has a unique fee structure that closely resembles that of exchanges. Traders who place offers listings pay 0.25% of the total transaction as fees while responders to ads pay 0.75%. The team says the fee structure is set up to incentivize more people to post ad listings.
For now, the majority of trades are in Chinese Yuan followed by the British pound (GBP), Australian Dollar (AUD), US dollar (USD) and Russian Ruble (RUB). This feedback has prompted the team to get working on translating the website to Mandarin.