Author: StJohn Piano
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This page contains a record of buying bitcoin using the LocalBitcoins exchange. The record is not quite complete / accurate, and since it was made some aspects of the LocalBitcoins system may have changed, but the process that you will encounter should not be too different from the one shown here. Quoted sections contain information found on the LocalBitcoins system.

You will need:
- A computer connected to the Internet.
- A mobile phone.
- A digital camera, an integrated camera on your phone, or a scanner.
- A bank account with online banking enabled. Fast payments must be already set up (i.e. payments will be completed within a 2-hour window).
- The bank card associated with your bank account.
- A passport or driver's licence.
- A piece of paper.
- A pen.

1) Open a browser. Go to localbitcoins.com.

2) Create an account using your email address and a password.

3) Open your email application. Wait for a confirmation email to arrive in your email inbox. Click the confirmation link.

4) Switch back to LocalBitcoins. Go to [User Icon] / Edit Profile / Real Name. The [User Icon] looks like a small grey head and torso. Type in your real name.

The first person you trade with will check this against the name on your bank account when you pay by bank transfer. [WARNING: can be set only once.]

You may need to set your name before you can buy bitcoins from some advertisements. After setting your real name it is not displayed publicly, it is only shown to Bitcoin traders with whom you've opened trades to buy Bitcoin. You can set your real name only once and it can't be changed after it has been confirmed by a bitcoin seller.


During a trade where your real name is required the bitcoin seller will verify your real name. The seller may ask to see your government issued id or a utility bill or other documents.

When you complete a trade where your real name was required the trader will mark your real name as verified or rejected. Real name verifications receive trusted status when a bitcoin seller with considerable reputation performs the real name verification.

5) Go to [User Icon] / Edit Profile / Verify Phone Number. Enter your mobile phone number. Wait for an SMS to be sent to your mobile phone. It will contain a verification code.

7) Go to [User Icon] / Edit Profile / Verify ID.

Once your ID is verified with LocalBitcoins you will be able to buy and sell Bitcoins from many more traders.

For a successfull verification make sure that:

You haven't hidden or blurred any information on your ID.
You haven't written any text on top of the image or ID.
All four corners of your ID are visible in the photograph.
Your ID is photographed straight on, distorted images do not work.
You didn't use a camera flash when taking the photograph and no reflections are visible.
Your image is in color.

8) Take a photo or scan of your passport or driver's licence. Transfer it to your computer and submit it to the ID verification service. Wait for it to be accepted as valid.

You start with no reputation, so you must trade at a somewhat higher price or higher starting volume with people who are willing to trade with new people initially.

9) Go to Trades / Buy bitcoins. Browse the lists of sellers. Choose a seller that is willing to trade with new people. Carefully note the minimum limits.

Example payment conditions:

Proud member of the BitBroker.co.uk Team, led by y3peto.

Trade With One, Trade With All Guarantee

If you have traded with myself, y3peto or any other BitBroker.co.uk member before then you will not be asked for another nuisance ID or bank card photo if opening a trade with ANY of us!

Hi, I'm Ben from BitBroker.co.uk! :)

When trading with me you can expect a fast, friendly and reliable service!

Anyone I haven't traded with will be required to send a picture of yourself holding your ID, matching bank card and hand written note!

Please note that for particularly large transactions I may require other information in addition to pictures of your ID and matching bank card.


Please note: I will not supply BTC for use in illegal activities.


10) Enter an amount and submit a buy request. Payment window = 90 minutes.

Example first message from seller:

BitBroker.co.uk.Ben : Hi,

Please could you send a picture of yourself holding your ID and a seperate picture of your bank card showing your name (hiding the long number)? You will need to use the attach document button in this trade to upload this! Please note if the text on your ID and bank card are not legible I may ask for an additional close up photo(s).

I will also require a picture of you holding a hand written note which has written on it "I am fully aware that my funds are being used to purchase bitcoins. I have not been contacted by any friends/relatives/acquaintances on WhatsApp/Facebook or other messaging apps and I have made this decision on my own accord. I also confirm I have not been asked to install Teamviewer on my PC or laptop"

This is standard practice for customers I haven't traded with before but once I have verified your details then I won't ever ask again!

Following the completion of this trade you will become a trusted customer of mine and the BitBroker.co.uk network - this means no more annoying photos when opening a trade with ANY of us!

Please remember to use the include reference/message and don't mention bitcoin!

Account Number: XXXXXXXX [8-digit number deleted]
Sort Code: XXXXXX [6-digit number deleted]
Name: XXXX LTD [Company name deleted]

[not shown: an extra message or section of a message from the seller in which a reference was provided for the new payment (e.g. HGJFQWERT).]

11) Follow the identity verification instructions in the seller's message. Wait for the seller to confirm that you have met their conditions. Wait for the seller to confirm that he/she is ready to receive your payment.

12) Log in to your bank account. Make a payment to the seller's bank account. You will need to create a new contact and confirm it (e.g. you may receive an automated telephone call from your bank that asks for confirmation). For the new contact, use the name provided (XXXX LTD). For the new payment, set the reference provided (e.g. HGJFQWERT).

13) Switch back to LocalBitcoins. Confirm that the payment has been made.

Trade status: Payment marked as complete, waiting for escrow release.

14) Wait for money to appear in your LocalBitcoins wallet.

WARNING: Please note that this is not bitcoin. It is LocalBitcoins credit that represents bitcoin stored on LocalBitcoins's system. You can use this credit to transfer bitcoin to a Bitcoin address, by going to LocalBitcoins / Wallet / Send bitcoin.