LocalBitcoins, a Finnish peer-to-peer (P2P) cryptocurrency platform, will close its doors following more than a decade of service to its customers. As a result of the strong current market conditions in the cryptocurrency market, Local Bitcoins announced the end of its service on February 9.
According to an announcement from LocalBitcoins, users have 12 months to withdraw bitcoins from their LocalBitcoins wallet and are encouraged to do so. The announcement recommends that all users withdraw crypto assets from LocalBitcoins according to the instructions in the announcement.
Due to the termination process, LocalBitcoins will suspend any new registrations immediately. In addition, trading will be terminated on February 16 at 11:00 a.m. The wallet will then only be accessible to users to withdraw their funds.
Several days ago, LocalBitcoins was suddenly shut down after the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network listed it among the Bitcoin senders on the Russian exchange Bitzlato, citing the platform as a source of money laundering. Bitzlato has been accused by US authorities of money laundering and assisting in evading sanctions imposed on Russia by a major enforcement action launched by the agency.
LocalBitcoins has denied any relation; however, it benefited from the growth of the Russian market, with the volume of Bitcoin transactions on the platform exceeding an all-time high in December 2017, according to data from Coin Dance.
While users will have time to withdraw their funds, LocalBitcoins cautions them not to wait. They recommend users retrieve their funds now, which might be an indication that later may be too late.