LocalEthereum Team Answers All!

On September 2, 2019, the team behind LocalEthereum opened the floor for all of its users to ask any questions they might have regarding the platform, Ethereum, and whether we wear Crocs. LocalEthereum users who joined us on Telegram for the AMA (Ask Me Anything) had the chance of winning $50, which user Slinx won!

We answered a mix of pre-submitted questions, and questions that were asked in real time. Missed out on the open forum? We’ve got you covered with a summary of the questions asked and answered here. If we didn’t get to your question, we’ll catch you on the next one – we’ll announce the date soon!

Question: What will you do to attract more users to LocalEthereum?
We have a growing referral program — new affiliates are joining every day. We’re also running various ads on regional platforms.

Question: What went into building LocalEthereum? Some say that LocalEthereum was inspired by LocalBitcoin; is that true? What makes your project special compared to other similar projects?
I talked about this in our interview with DefiPrime just last week. We’re definitely inspired by LocalBitcoins and similar platforms, however from the start we decided we didn’t want to simply build another clone.

What makes LocalEthereum special is its non-custodial nature, and the fact that user messages are end-to-end encrypted.

Question: How do you see LocalEthereum developing in 2-3 years from now, both business wise & company wise?
Product wise, more decentralization, and more features users have been asking for. As a company, we expect to continue growing and become the top P2P trading platform.

Question: What about partnerships with any KYC-partner, like Yoti/Blockpass/GlobalID? For OPTIONAL KYC-process?
We’re still reviewing the potential candidates for this possibility.

Question: What is your strongest advantage that you think will make your team lead the market of “local” crypto?
We believe the private and non-custodial nature of the site is our biggest advantage. There have recently been many data leaks and hacks of custodial exchanges (e.g. the recent KYC hack, potentially from Binance). People are tending to care about their personal data a lot more in recent times.

Question: What about another currency like EOS or BTC?
At present we don’t have plans to integrate these into the platform.

Question: What technologies are you using to protect users assets?
We don’t protect customers’ assets, because we never take custody of them. Instead, users’ ETH is held in a self-custodial wallet (somewhat similar to MetaMask). The ETH never leaves your browser.

Question: Does LocalEthereum offer services worldwide? Are they available in Kenya?
LocalEthereum is available to anyone that has internet access. You just have to select Kenya in the offers section and see if there are any active offers in your area. If there aren’t, you can place your own offer.

Question: Have you thought about improving the affiliate section to attract more users to the platform?
Yeah. We’ve been improving this recently. If you have a look at the referral page, you’ll notice we recently added nearly 100 assets for referral partners to use, including brand assets, banners of all sizes, screenshots, GIFs, etc. We’re also working directly with larger affiliate partners.

Question: Cheating is always a big headache in any community activity. To prevent cheaters from earning reward from his/her referral links by faking IP, devices, what can we expect to see from LocalEthereum ‘anti-cheat system’?
We don’t consider referral program abuse a real threat to LocalEthereum or our business model currently.

Question: What is the main foundation of your platform? On the basis of which you can increase the network of your platform? Who is your competition at present time? How to come first position in all them?
The platform is built with decentralization, self-custody, security, autonomy and speed as main driver points.

As the platform grows in user base and usage, we’ll be expanding its capabilities to support it.

Other peer-to-peer marketplaces are our main competition at the time (e.g. LocalBitcoins). We’ll continue to strive to work on new features and improving what we already have in the platform, always with our users’ interest in mind.

Question: Do you have any plans of tokenizing LE, just like BNB to absorbing some fees?
No, we have no plans to do this. Adding a LocalEthereum token will only make the program needlessly complex.

Question: LocalEthereum will add block and favorite buttons to the platform? This can improve a lot the UX.
I agree! This is already under development. Thanks for the suggestion!

Question: Is money laundering common on LocalEthereum? How do you prevent it?
Like all marketplaces or bulletin boards, users are expected to exercise a reasonable level of care before entering into a trade to ensure they’re not breaching local laws.

Question: What is your 24 hour trading volume currently? And what are your goals for the next few months?
For Sunday, it was $63,310. This is our slowest day of the week historically. Our goals are for continual growth, however we can’t give specific numbers.

Question: What are the deposit and withdrawal limits? What do you have to make sure funds are safe?
To the first question, there are no limits on sending and receiving ETH. What do we do to keep funds safe? We don’t hold them, making it impossible for anyone to steal them from us. When you hold ETH in your LocalEthereum wallet, that ETH is stored offline in your browser, inaccessible by us. Only an encrypted copy of your wallet is kept on our server.

Question: Given privacy issues surrounding Google I just wanted to clarify whether LocalEthereum uses Google tracking codes to gather data on your users?
No, we don’t use any Google tracking services. We don’t use Google Analytics or any other externally-hosted resources. We only use a self-hosted tool (Matomo) for internal analytics – the data never leaves our possession.

Question: What are the fees on your exchange? How much does it cost me to create an offer?
Our fees are 0.75% for the taker (the one responding to an offer) and 0.25% for the maker (the user who created the offer). Added together, LocalEthereum takes a 1% fee.

Creating an offer is free. We only take the fee when you actually engage in a trade with another user and complete it.

Question: Can LocalEthereum users import their backups in their wallets to have access to their funds or need LocalEthereum support for that? If support is always needed, can users expect this be improved in the future, giving them more autonomy?
We’re working on this. We’re planning to publish open source tools shortly which can be used offline to recover wallets from backup files (without our help).

Question: What countries are you focused on for more users?
We’re not actually focusing on a specific country or countries. The platform is being improved for everyone to use! 😁

Question: What are the challenges that LE must face in the near future to provide a more decentralized and security experience for the community?
We’re currently working on creating a decentralized identity verification program, and this is posing some near-term challenges. There are a few unanswered questions in our concept such as how identity attestors are picked and/or voted on. We’re exploring different ideas/solutions with other teams in the Ethereum space.

Question: Does LocalEthereum run its own node or use some third party API? If API, then which one?
We maintain our own cluster of Ethereum nodes, and try not to rely on third-party APIs. If you’re interested in an Ethereum-node-as-a-service, I recommend QuikNode.

Question: How big is the company? How fast is it growing?
We currently have a team of six, plus we work with contractors and agencies. LocalEthereum’s weekly sign ups are up 66% since April, and in the past two weeks, nearly $1 million worth of ETH was exchanged in 59+ countries.

Question: Does LocalEthereum believe it is possible the idea of real innovation raised by Vitalik Buterin to bring more benefits to the general population?
We do believe in innovation as a bridge to help people overcome certain obstacles that would be difficult to beat otherwise. The fact that LocalEthereum is being used by people for sending and receiving funds (i.e. Venezuela) in a fast, simple and secure way is proof of that.

Question: Why doesn’t LocalEthereum have many payment methods like Paxful for example? I don’t use them all but I like the choice.
We have over 30+ payment methods available, however we’re planning to add even more!

Question: If your system is hacked, who is responsible? And how will you handle it?
We are responsible for a hack, of course. However, LocalEthereum is a non‐custodial platform, meaning we don’t carry the burden of safeguarding a customers’ ETH.

Question: In what countries is LocalEthereum active? Do you have a system to support multiple languages?
We’re active everywhere. LocalEthereum is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Ukrainian, French, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese and Malay.

Question: What are the future plans of the LE network for the next 5 years?
We have three major focuses over the next few years: ease-of-use, safety, and further decentralization. We plan to move more components of LocalEthereum over to decentralized infrastructure. We plan to continue to crack down on fraudulent activity. And we’re always listening to our users and adding new and improved features to make trading as simple as possible.

Question: Given that LE is a DApp running on the Ethereum blockchain, how does LE contribute to Ethereum’s development?
We contribute as much as we can to the Ethereum ecosystem. We’ve worked with many wallet developers to help debug and perfect integrations with WalletConnect and other protocols. LE is the only non-custodial P2P Ethereum market, providing ramps for Ethereum devs and ordinary ETH users.

Question: The positive point is that LE is still new and has plenty of space to develop in the future, but on the negative side, no one can guarantee that LocalEthereum will become more valuable in the future or it will disappear. That’s what investors/customers like us are very worried about, so how doesn’t that happen?
LocalEthereum is a private enterprise. We can’t guarantee everybody will find the platform valuable. Traders on LocalEthereum are buying and selling ETH, not LocalEthereum shares.

Question: Why are most of the Ethereum blockchain applications based on finance? Are you planning to develop applications in other important fields?
Cryptocurrencies, in part, were born out of a critical situation within the financial sector. So, it’s only natural that its main field of application is related to this. However, applications in other fields are being explored as well. We’re looking forward to these!

Question: Why are the rates quoted higher than the market?
Price depends on the payment method and location, and whether you’re posting an offer or responding to an existing offer.

It’s important to realise that when one person is buying ETH for 5% above market price, there’s another person selling at a +5% margin (and vice versa). If you’re not in a rush, you can be the latter guy and capitalize on the price difference.

The convenience you provide is valuable. Other factors contributing to price include speed, availability and risk (some payment methods such as PayPal are riskier to accept, and merchants account for that risk in their price).

Question: What do you appreciate the most now, as LocalEthereum has grown as large as it is, that you didn’t have when you started out?
Our support team. Without a dedicated customer support person, development was slower because we spent the day clearing the previous night’s support ticket backlog (I would often wake up to 100+ tickets). Now we have a distributed team who cover pretty much every timezone, and I can spend my time more effectively.

Question: Can you list the risks when users trade on LocalEthereum?
Market fluctuations while the funds are in escrow, fraudulent payment receipts and charge-back fraud (specifically with PayPal and Venmo) are some risks in trading peer-to-peer.

Question: The ERC20 tokens are quite relevant in the ethereum ecosystem. Do you think that in the future LocalEthereum will implement the possibility of exchanging them for local money?
Our focus is solely ETH at the moment. We have no immediate plans to implement ERC20s.