LocalBitcoins expands partnership with Onfido, powering security-first cryptocurrency trading with trusted identity verification

December 17, 2020 Laura Noye

LocalBitcoins, the peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, today announced an expansion of their partnership with Onfido, scaling the integration of our AI-powered identity verification technology to securely verify the identities of customers signing up for and transacting on the LocalBitcoins exchange globally. 

As the world has become more online over the past year, cryptocurrency activity has rocketed, as has the sophistication of fraud and the need to remotely verify identities at scale. The Onfido partnership expansion is helping to fight the most sophisticated fraud on the market, layering in Onfido’s Identity Verification and Known Faces solution.

Onfido’s award-winning AI ​technology will empower LocalBitcoins to set itself apart from other cryptocurrency marketplaces, creating a secure environment for trading without hampering the user experience for new joiners. For users opening an account, they simply take a photo of their government-issued identity document (ID) and a selfie to complete the verification process. Onfido first checks that the ID is genuine and is not fraudulent, and then matches it to the user’s face. This ensures the person presenting the identity is its legitimate owner and is physically present. Users looking to access higher trading volumes simply take a selfie video and a photo of their ID, giving LocalBitcoins more assurance in that user. Users are able to join the service more quickly and with a more user-friendly online experience that meets regulatory requirements. 

The partnership has yielded immediate results:

  • LocalBitcoins has reduced the time to onboard a customer to just 16 minutes
  • LocalBitcoins has been able to accept and verify documents from 189 countries already

LocalBitcoins, launched in 2012, services over a million active users globally each year. They enable customers around the world to trade bitcoin easily and securely through over-the-counter trading of local currency in exchange for bitcoin. Essential to this is building a trusted environment between customers, as well as the LocalBitcoins brand; get security wrong and customers could lose their assets. Knowing their customers is therefore vital, both in terms of KYC requirements and preventing fraudsters from accessing the platform.

“In the world of cryptocurrency, security is our number one concern,” said Elena Umanets, Head of Investigations at LocalBitcoins. “LocalBitcoins is known in our market as the most secure marketplace out there. Onfido plays a big part in that, giving us confidence that our users are genuine at any stage in their journey with us.”

“We are very happy to be supporting LocalBitcoins’ vision to create a more trusted, secure crypto marketplace,“ said Reuben Sagar, Regional Director at Onfido. “We bring trust to digital interactions worldwide, and we’re excited to be partnering with a company that’s equally ambitious. We pride ourselves on delivering an experience that’s as rapid as it is robust, and look forward to helping LocalBitcoins scale this into new markets and use cases.”

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