So, you’re looking for a P2P cryptocurrency exchange. Wonderful news! In this article, I’ll recommend to you the top 7 P2P exchanges based on my research.
“Why should I use peer-to-peer exchange instead of a centralized exchange like Binance or CoinBase?”
Good question! Two big reasons:
security and privacy.
Depending on the exchange, there is no Know Your Customer (KYC) or Anti-Money Laundry (AML) policy. If you think buying cryptocurrency is your private business, then P2P is an excellent choice for you.
You have heard of exchanges getting hacked and hackers running off with millions of dollars (like how Bitfinex got hacked for 119,756 BTC …) When you buy off a P2P exchange, you keep the cryptocurrency in your private wallet.
Read: Biggest Bitcoin hacks ever
Peer 2 Peer Exchange, Explained
What is the biggest difference between a P2P exchange and a centralized exchange?
The difference: you don’t buy crypto directly off an order book, instead you buy directly from a person who has a set price. This means you can shop for the best price.
In most cases, you won’t pay a fee when you buy/sell on the platform.
“What about safety? Won’t I get scammed?”
When you trade on a P2P exchange, the platform acts as an escrow to ensure safety for both parties.
So what happens when you buy bitcoin on a P2P exchange?
In this example, you want to buy bitcoin. You send the money and the exchange holds the seller’s bitcoin in an escrow. The seller then confirms that you had sent the money, and then the exchange releases the bitcoin. If the person doesn’t send you the bitcoin, you can always dispute.
I recommend that you always trade with someone who has a top feedback score and has done many transactions. When it comes to trading on a P2P platform, reputation is everything. Read my earlier guide on Localbitcoins to help you understand this better.
Or you can always meet the person in a coffee shop to trade.
“Wow, that’s informative! Can you recommend some P2P exchanges?!”
I’m glad you asked!
I have researched and used 7 P2P exchanges, which I consider is the best in 2020. I have included fees, user experience, and ease of trade as part of the evaluation.
Sounds good? Let’s dig straight into it …
1. Paxful (Global)
Paxful was founded in 2015, and it’s a recognized brand for P2P trading.
I like Paxful’s user interface because it’s intuitive to use.
On Paxful, you can buy bitcoin using bank transfer, CashU, Paypal, Western Union and various gift cards. Since it’s P2P, you can shop around for the best rate.
Buying on Paxful is easy and streamlined. You send the funds and then you wait for the seller to send you the crypto.
What is the fee for Paxful?
It’s 1% for sellers. If you’re looking to buy cryptocurrency, you won’t pay any fees.
If you do business with someone on Paxful, make sure the person has many satisfied feedbacks and he/she is ID verified.
2. Localbitcoins (Global)
Founded in 2012, this Finland-based company was the most popular P2P exchange during the 2017 run-up.
You can pay by Paypal, cash deposit, bank transfer, or meeting up with the person at the local coffee shop.
(But in 2019, Localbitcoins has banned trading in person with cash. I suspect because people kept getting robbed …)
Because of Localbitcoins’s popularity, it has many sellers on the site, so the rate is competitive.
What is the fee for Localbitcoins?
You can buy or sell bitcoin for free. However, if you were to create an advertisement (to sell or buy), then you’ll have to pay 1% of the completed trade.
Read: LocalBitcoins Review: Is LocalBitcoins Safe & How To Use
For security reasons, don’t keep your bitcoin on Localbitcoin wallet. Why? Because the site got hacked. As the old saying goes, “if the bitcoin isn’t in your wallet, it isn’t your bitcoin.”
3. HODL HODL
HODL HODL is a peer to peer exchange that does not perform KYC checks. Think of HODL HODL as a crypto trading platform for non-custodial trade.
Some of the key features of this platform are:
- 0.3% trading fees
- Global P2P trades
- No KYC
- Non Custodial P2P exchange
- Telegram notifications for trades
This P2P exchange is idle for those users who want to remain anonymous with their crypto dealings, and are not comfortable with KYC.
4. Binance P2P
Binance, the most well-known brand in the crypto space, knows the importance of P2P. That’s why they have started their peer to peer exchange.
Binance’s P2P interface is simple and nice to use. There is a nice selection of coins for you to buy or sell: USDT/BTC/BUSD/BNB/ETH/EOS. Moreover, you can get complete the trade using Wechat, Alipay, Bank transfer, or QIWI.
It doesn’t matter if you’re living in Thailand, Australia or Brazil because Binance P2P can serve you. The exchange supports over 31 real-world currencies.
What is the drawback?
The pool of buyers and sellers in the market is limited. But that’s okay, I think it will grow bigger in the future.
What is the fee for Binance P2P? It’s free to buy or sell.
5. Wazirx (India)
Founded in 2017, Wazirx advertises itself as “the most trusted Indian crypto exchange.”
Wazirx’s interface is nice to use. It’s a nice feeling when you’re trading cryptocurrency on your smartphone.
Where Wazirx shines: it’s the world’s first “auto-matching P2P engine”. So instead of selecting the seller, the platform will automatically do it for you. Supposedly this gives you the best exchange rate.
What is the fee when you’re Wazirx’s P2P?
The best thing in life is free, right?
I feel safe using Wazirx because it has been acquired by Binance.
Remitano is based in Singapore and they have been in business since 2015. Whenever you’re using a cryptocurrency service, you want the business to be old and established, which lessens the chance of them closing shop overnight.
Anyways, I like Remitano because I have been using them since 2018.
The interface is intuitive to use, the selection of sellers/buyers is plenty.
What are the downsides? The fees are high. Remitano will take a total of 1% of the completed trade (compare to other exchanges that take 0.25% or free) Also, they have a fee when you deposit or withdraw crypto.
So why do I keep coming back to Remitano? Because the security is top-notch and the customer service is good. I feel very safe when I trade on Remitano.
7. Localcoinswap – Peer-to-Peer Exchange:
Localcoinswap is registered in Hong Kong and has been in business since 2017.
What’s Localcoinswap main selling point?
It doesn’t require KYC (know your customer). In theory, you can remain completely anonymous when using this exchange. However, some sellers require you to show ID if you’re doing a bank transfer.
I like how Localcoinswap offers dozens of payment methods like PayTM, M-Pesa, Wechat pay, Alipay, QIWI, IMPs etc.
I also like the large pool of sellers. You can find offers that is 2.5% above market rate (which is reasonable when you’re buying)
What is the fee structure? If you’re buying or selling, it’s free. However, if you’re creating an offer to buy or sell, it’s a 1% fee of completed trade.
(Why do you want to create an offer? Perhaps because you want to sell 5% above market rate and make a profit etc)
So, are you ready to start your P2P adventure?
I have equipped you with the knowledge you need to start trading on P2P platforms. I have given an explanation and the best practices to make the trades go smoothly.
Is this your first time trading on a P2P exchange? No problem. Try trading for a small amount to get a “feel” for the exchange. Then you can trade large amounts. Who knows, perhaps one day you’ll become a professional bitcoin “merchant” on these exchanges?
To recap on why I like P2P: privacy, security, small fees. To me, P2P embodies the cryptocurrency, peer 2 peer spirit. That’s why I still use P2P exchange to this very day.
So, which one is the best for you? It boils down to your preference and ultimately, what’s the most convenient for you. Paxful and Localbitcoins should be your first choice as they both are the pioneer of crypto p2p exchanges.
If you’re looking to trade on a decentralized exchange, check out our other article: Best Decentralized exchanges. Trading on a decentralized exchange is safer because you hold your own wallet.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, leave a comment below.
Harsh Agrawal is the Crypto exchanges and bots experts for CoinSutra. He founded CoinSutra in 2016, and one of the industry’s most regarded professional blogger in fintech space.
An award-winning blogger with a track record of 10+ years. He has a background in both finance and technology and holds professional qualifications in Information technology.
An international speaker and author who loves blockchain and crypto world.
After discovering about decentralized finance and with his background of Information technology, he made his mission to help others learn and get started with it via CoinSutra.
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