Several hundred thousand years ago, I had a job that paid in Bitcoin and converting BTC to usable cash wasn't easy at all.
I was working at a start-up turned crypto exchange and they did offer a card. And everything went well until it all went wrong.
One night, I was at my favourite pub in my hometown - I remember the moment as if it was set in crystal - and I received an alarming email from my company / exchange. It basically said Visa had unilaterally terminated all cards linked to crypto effective immediately.
I'm not gonna get into details because it doesn't matter. What matters is I sort of #panicked.
Desperate to figure out a way to get some of my BTC out as it was my only source of income, I started looking on the internet and found three options.
Option one, a do-it-all payment provider (sort of like Revolut today, but a lot less refined). Option two, an ATM in Girona, Spain (which I actually used, twice). And option three, a website called LocalBitcoins.com.
LocalBitcoins was like P2P eBay for crypto. Sort of.
Scratch that. It was like Tinder for crypto. You could either buy or sell, you could opt for cash, wire transfer or paypal. Once you'd agreed on the terms, you'd interact with the other party - in person or online - or concluded the transaction.
I never used it. And while it is true that LocalBitcoins shutting down marks the end of an era, I see this as good news.
It was a convoluted, slow and cumbersone system. And the fact of the matter is you don't need it today. These days, you got crypto exchange debit cars, you got a million crypto ATMs located just about anywhere.
You even got crypto wallet cards.
Still kinda sad, thought.