In the latest blow to the cryptocurrency market, LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer Bitcoin (BTC) exchange and one of the first crypto-trading platforms that served as a gateway to the sector, has announced that it will cease operations. after a decade in business.
According to the service closure announcement published on February 9, the crypto exchange informed the public that it can no longer provide Bitcoin trading service, urging all customers to withdraw their funds from LocalBitcoins and then from their LocalBitcoin wallet.
The LocalBitcoins team, which was originally created under the motto Bring Bitcoin Everywhere and works with a mission to promote financial inclusion around the world, expressed pride in its achievements over the past decade:
“LocalBitcoins was originally created to bring Bitcoin everywhere and promote global financial inclusion. We have been on this mission for over 10 years and are proud of what we have achieved together with all of you, our loyal community.”
The exchange cited "problems during the current very cold crypto winter" as the reason for the suspension, which it was unable to overcome despite its best efforts.
Service closing schedule
According to the schedule specified in the announcement, the crypto trading platform will suspend new registrations from February 9, after which trading on LocalBitcoins and use of the LocalBitcoins wallet (except for withdrawals) will be suspended.
After February 17th, "LocalBitcoins customers will only be able to log in to withdraw their Bitcoins" as "trading and wallet services will no longer be available for the time being". The exchange also specified a 12-month period during which its users would be able to withdraw their funds, but also urged them to "continue withdrawals earlier."
It's an unexpected turnaround for the once-leading peer-to-peer bitcoin exchange, whose CEO Sebastian Sontag said in 2021 that the platform was registering more than 135,000 new users per month, with 4,000 to 5,000 new members per day.
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