By Guest Author- Danie, Philippines
For many Bitcoin users, the web service localbitcoins.com allowed them more freedom. It was a way to exchange cryptocurrency without having to go through an intermediary. It’s a truly peer to peer method of exchange. Users can post ‘listings’ on the website wherein they can set meetups. They can then agree on a date, time and place to use their smartphone applications to do the transfer. It was at times cumbersome. Physically going to a place to exchange cryptocurrencies isn’t that convenient. The exception would be if you are doing so in authoritarian states or in places with no Internet access. It’s also the best way to go, if you do not want governments to keep track of how you spend your money.
The Bitcoin Civil War
Now Bitcoin has recently been embroiled in a civil war of sorts. Last August 2017, a fork of Bitcoin split from the original blockchain. This fork is now called Bitcoin Cash. Its main proponent, Roger Ver digressed from the ‘original’ Bitcoin’s development plans. He also had a different opinion about the politics of Bitcoin’s use. Localbitcoincash.org aims to supplant the function of its counterpart. The service allows bitcoin cash to be sent via email or meetups.
On a reddit post made on New Year’s Day, Localbitcoincash’s founder and developer Eric, posted an ‘Ask Me Anything‘ (AMA) thread. Localbitcoincash’s development goals are in line with Bitcoin Cash’s libertarian system. Through the service, users can exchange various cryptocurrencies with more privacy. Unlike its counterpart, the main denomination would be in Bitcoin Cash. A plan to integrate a decentralized exchange app is also in the road map. Users can also use escrow to make their transfers.
At the time of the writing, there are now meetup listings all over the world. Places like Bogota, San Diego and Nigeria are on the list. Eric also mentioned that a ‘Shapeshift-like’ service would be included later on. This would mean very little to almost no fees for exchanges. It would also translate to better privacy.
Users from economically devastated countries like Venezuela stand to gain from such a service. Venezuela at the moment is reeling from hyperinflation due to many factors. This has prompted some Venezuelans to use cryptocurrencies. Using Bitcoin Cash instead of Bitcoin can be a better alternative. Governments around the world are turning a keen eye on such exchanges. Localbitcoincash’s services can provide financial relief to those who are being oppressed. Unlike traditional remittances or money transfers, there are no Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols. Much needed financial resources, would be able to reach the desired recipients.