Quick, Safe and easy is how localethereum promote themselves. So I decided to have a quick look and see if that really was the case. The outcome? It really was very simple as long as you follow a couple of ground rules for peer-to-peer trading.
One thing to remember straight off the bat is that localethereum is not an exchange and does not act as a middleman or take any deposits. This is a place where you can search and find over-the-counter traders. It may mean you trade with a broker, a business or even an individual much like yourself. This means that you do not have to worry about localethereum running away with your coins, however, you do have to be careful with who you decide to do business with.
Due to end to end encryption, conversations held on the platform cannot be monitored, this is done intentianally to preserve the anonymity of localethereum’s user base.
So if your spidey sense starts to tingle and you believe someone is acting with bad intentions, for example, they are refusing to put ETH in escrow. Then it may be best to just stop talking to that individual and report the user. The more users that are called out to be fraudulent, will help make the platform a safer place overall. With all that said, now let's jump into the guide.
Quickly buy ether with localethereum
1. Sign up and create an account
Very simple process - no need for any ID requirements, they just need a username, email address, and password. I suggest picking a username that is super cool like “magichatsamisthebest” because this is how people are going to remember you by.
The key thing you need to know about your password is that it is your private key to your localethereum wallet, this means:
- Do not lose your password.
- You can never recover it.
- Just do not lose your password.
No one wants to pay too much for Ether, right? Offers appear from traders all over the globe, you can easily narrow down your results with the use of their filters.
You can set filters like:
- Payment Method - Do you want to use PayPal? Cash? Bank transfer?
- Location - Do you only want to buy from a trader in your own country?
On a side note, you will find that sellers are normally working in their best interest. That means that they do not really want to accept payment methods that are easy to reverse. Which is why I recommend using “Bank Transfer” to find the best price, using “PayPal” will generally incur a higher rate for your buying your Ether. This is because there is much higher chance of PayPal being used by a fraudster or hacker. Therefore, in this example, I am going to pick Bank Transfer.
2. Find a good offer
Once you have found an offer that interests you, click on the BUY button. This will take you to a page that provides more details about the offer and the seller. You may even find a “terms of trade” box where the trader outlines a procedure that they always want to follow when selling.
Always check the feedback and the seller’s reputation, if it is under 95% then I recommend you look for another seller. The trades & volume details also provide you with a good indication of the seller’s activity. Once you are happy with the details then you can proceed to open a trade.
3. Open a trade
This is where you need to enter the amount of ETH you want to buy and click Open Trade. From this point on the price is locked in and you will begin to message the seller. Let's take a moment to look at the trade interface, as it would be silly to make a mistake at this point:
The left-hand side is where you will start talking to the seller & also receive the payment details - once the seller has put the Ether in escrow.
4. Do not do anything until you see the ether in escrow
The status of the escrow will be indicated on the right-hand side of your screen. Before you proceed to make any payment to the seller, the seller needs to deposit the ether into escrow.
Now the neat thing about localethereum is that the escrow is not an account they control, this is a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain. This is a little bit of peer-to-peer computer code that ensures the ether is traded securely via the blockchain. It essentially means their service is decentralized and that they are trustless: there is zero possibility of any of their staff accessing any of the traded ETH on the platform.
The reason you wait until the seller has entered the ether in escrow is that without this validation they may never hold up their side of the deal.
Once the platform detects the ether is in escrow you will see the interface updated as per the image below. You will then be provided with a Mark As Paid button and also a timer for how long you have to make the payment.
5. Make The Payment
Referring to the payment details you have been given via the encrypted messages, make the payment to the seller and click “Mark as paid.”
Unless the countdown expires and you do not mark the trade as paid, the seller is unable to withdraw that ether or cancel the trade. And when you do press the button, the seller can no longer pull the ETH out of escrow. This means as long as you follow the correct steps, this simple escrow method keeps you very safe as the buyer.
And that is all! Pretty simple, five steps to get your new ether. Once the seller confirms the payment, the ether will be released from the escrow and transferred into your web wallet.
What if something goes wrong with localethereum?
Unfortunately, in the world of cryptocurrency, you may potentially run across some scammers. Now localethereum has a system in place for you to open a dispute which will assign one of their staff members to your case. Which you can see in the last image above. Once you click on Open Dispute your computer will automatically upload the digital key needed to decrypt the messages between the seller and yourself.
The staff member will go over the messages and may ask for documents to reach a plausible decision - such as proof of payment or proof of identity. They will then decide if the ether should be released to you or go back to the seller. Due to the way smart contracts operate, there is no way for them to send it anywhere else.
But again, if you use some common sense and trust your gut, you will have the ether in your wallet by the five simple steps. From that point on you will be happily trading on Saturn Network within a matter of minutes!
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