Why do people buy Bitcoin for fiat from each other, and not on exchanges

Bitcoin is updating the historical maximum again, attracting attention and new users. It may be surprising, but many people still misunderstand cryptocurrencies, and current events can be a reason for them to buy Bitcoin.

If you live in the USA or Western Europe and do not seek anonymity, the exchange process is simple and cheap for you. You can use a bank card or direct transfer to the exchange. It will be almost instant and with relatively low fees.

But for the rest of the world, it is not the same.

The fee for funding an exchange account by card or local alternative can be more than 10%. There may also be significant costs associated with local currency conversion. Direct bank transfer is often not an option because the exchange has no bank account in this country. And international transfers will not pass the financial monitoring. Some countries have local exchanges, but the liquidity is low, and cryptocurrency rates are usually worse.

You may have heard about Paxful or Noones, exchanges popular in Africa, Remitano or CoinCola, and the decentralized BisQ. Or you may have seen P2P sections that appeared on almost every global exchange a couple of years ago. Those are platforms for trading peer-to-peer. The correct name would be OTC (over-the-counter) trading, but the term P2P became popular, which sometimes causes confusion with DEX exchanges.

Simply put, P2P platforms are open message boards where users, most often as individuals, post ads to sell and buy Bitcoin and other crypto using local payment methods. This way, regional traders create a market for exchanging BTC for local currency.


We know about 100 P2P platforms, and they are diverse. There are P2P platforms in the ecosystems of large exchanges (Binance, HTX, Bybit, OKX, Bitfinex). There are local platforms in sanctioned Russia and Iran and in Ukraine at war. There are services with incredibly high activity in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Also, some projects have a lot of trading liquidity in CNY despite the complete ban on cryptocurrencies in China.

At Monetory, we are researching the P2P market and developing tools for it.

And now, we have launched an open database on P2P platforms. It includes 54 P2P platforms and more than 600 local exchangers. For each site, you can find comprehensive information, liquid currencies, restrictions, KYC difficulties, level of decentralization, and more.

How you can use our base:

  • Study the P2P market in general and the features of on/off-ramp solutions in different countries.
  • Choose a platform that is convenient for you if you already use P2P exchanges.
  • Find a way to buy or sell Bitcoin with a sufficient level of privacy.

We regularly add data to our databases and update current information. So, if you save the link, the list of current platforms will always be at hand: https://monetory.io/exchangers/platforms

P2P platforms are significant to the entire crypto community. They make it easy for new users from all over the world to start using Bitcoin. And the easy way to buy BTC through P2P exchanges brings mass adoption closer.

What is the most preferable and cheapest way to convert fiat to bitcoin in your region and why? Write in the comments!

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