LocalBitcoins, a Bitcoin exchange platform, halves the trading fee from the current 1% to 0.5% for all Bitcoin trades done in the UK from September 5th until October 2nd.
In an email to Cointelegraph, its CEO Nikolaus Kangas explains what difference it will make for traders:
“UK market is really interesting, since the spread is really low and in general the market is really competitive. Possibly it will decrease the spread even more, and obviously that should trigger more arbitrage opportunities for traders. Of course, that remains to be seen. It could also provide new business opportunities to traders who currently might have difficulties in keeping their business viable, like remittance use cases where small marginals are important.”
LocalBitcoins states that the UK has been an important market for its platform as it was the first market to see growth in P2P trading which empowered the site to hire its first employee in 2012. Hence, in the wake of “the hard times” being experienced after the results of the Brexit vote on June 23rd, particularly the pound’s gradual 16% drop in value, LocalBitcoins says the halving is its way of giving back to users in the UK to help them “get out of the pound before it's too late.”
Possibility of an extension
On whether LocalBitcoins may not be able to achieve that goal within the stipulated period, Kangas says the options are open.
“Of course everything is possible, but right now we thought that it would be fun to try something like that short term and just see what the general reaction is. We are really interested in seeing how this will affect the UK market, and if we see things we like, we will definitely consider something similar in the future.”
He added that it is too early to say if there is any plan to introduce such a move in another country after the UK. “...but let’s say, for example, that some European country decides to ditch the euro as a currency, we would be really happy to help people make their own decisions as to what kind of currency they would prefer to have.”
Founded in June 2012, LocalBitcoins is one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges in the world. As of August 2016, it says it has more than 1.3 million registered users from 249 different countries exchanging $14 million worth of Bitcoin weekly.