UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — On September 1, new user verification rules on the LocalBitcoins p2p platform came into force.
The toughening of KYC / AML measures is connected with the new Finnish legislation, which the operator company must comply with. In the community, the innovations were somewhat wary, as they threatened privacy.
So, if the annual trading volume (which is updated every hour) does not exceed 1000 euros, users must provide their full name, country of residence, email and phone number. If volumes exceed this limit, the site operator will require a complete KYC procedure, which requires the provision of a passport or other identification document. In total, the new system has four levels of accounts that differ in the available volumes.
Previously, this platform allowed users in countries with economic downturn and progressive hyperinflation to quickly and safely conclude transactions with bitcoin, while maintaining anonymity. In Venezuela, LocalBitcoins actually provided citizens with the opportunity to conduct at least some kind of economic activity. However, an established system is now at risk.
At the end of August, the site extended the term for updating accounts until October 1. Users who do not fulfill the requirements before the deadline will lose the ability to trade until they complete the KYC procedure.
Tier verification deadline extended to 1st of Octoberhttps://t.co/H9FptsWrXk
— LocalBitcoins.com (@LocalBitcoins) August 21, 2019
Representatives of the platform also asked to enter personal data in Latin letters, but were allowed to provide them in several languages at once.
In connection with the new rules, the community wondered if LocalBitcoins can be considered a truly decentralized exchange. In the comments for Bitcoin Magazine, the head of the p2p exchange Hodl Hodl Max Ceydun said:
“LocalBitcoins has never been a decentralized exchange because it has stored user funds in its wallets.”
The same point of view was expressed by the anonymous developer of the decentralized exchange Bisq. He emphasized that the platform can be considered decentralized only in the sense that it allows anyone to place orders – this is different from the book of orders of traditional exchanges.
Both also expressed concerns about the safety of personal data on LocalBitcoins servers.
A list of countries whose documents are accepted for the KYC procedure can be found on the contractor’s Onfido website.
Recall that in June of this year, LocalBitcoins eliminated the possibility of selling and buying bitcoin for cash in person. This decision is also due to the requirement of the Finnish authorities.
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