At the end of August, the Binance cryptocurrency exchange removed the US-sanctioned banks Sber, Tinkoff and Alfa from its P2P platform, and a few days later OKX and Bybit followed suit.
In this article we will talk about alternative platforms where you can exchange crypto assets for fiat without restrictions.
Current state of P2P trading on centralized exchanges
Currently, four large centralized crypto exchanges (CEX) have limited P2P trading for Russians: Binance, OKX, Bybit and KuCoin. The latter banned transactions with the banks Sber and Tinkoff, which it notified in a letter.
At the same time, Sber, Tinkoff, Alfa and other Russian banks are still available on the P2P platform of the HTX exchange (formerly Huobi).
In addition, sanctioned banks still support Bitget and Phemex, which are among the top 50 sites in the CoinMarketCap ranking by spot trading volume.
CEX still seems to be the simplest and safest solution for trading cryptocurrencies, however, against the background of tightening regulation, users are increasingly paying attention to alternative services: exchangers, P2P platforms and Telegram bots.
Cryptocurrency exchangers are specialized services that provide services for buying and selling cryptocurrencies at a fixed rate. Clients make transactions with the platform, and not with each other.
As a rule, users search for exchangers through aggregators like BestChange, which check reserves, collect reviews and rank sites depending on the rate.
- greater liquidity. As a rule, it is better than P2P platforms, although it is inferior to centralized exchanges;
- quick deals. Most operations in exchangers are automated.
- high commissions. Quotes in exchangers are almost always inferior to CEX and often to offers on P2P platforms;
- passing verification. Depending on the jurisdiction, exchangers may require documents that confirm the client’s identity.
Bots in Telegram
In September, the TON Foundation integrated the TON Space cryptocurrency wallet into Telegram. Users of the messenger were able to buy Bitcoin and USDT using bank cards and through the built-in P2P service.
Only peer-to-peer transactions are available to Russian users. The P2P platform does not charge commissions from buyers, and sellers pay 0.9% of the transaction amount.
Cryptocurrencies can also be traded in Telegram bots of popular exchangers: Bitpapa, ExaTON Wallet, Any.Cash and others.
However, experts warn about the risks of such trading: bots often fail security audits. According to Hacken CEO Dmitry Budorin, an additional risk is created by the technical features of the messenger itself – closed code and lack of independent verification.
- convenience. Users trade directly in the messenger: no need to log in to third-party resources or install additional applications;
- flexibility. Developers can add new features that make cryptocurrency exchange easier and enhance the customer experience.
- risk of hacking. Compared to CEX, Telegram bots have more potential vulnerabilities due to low security standards. Fraudsters also create fake bots: you need to check their nicknames before performing transactions;
- Fewer payment methods. Typically, bots provide a limited set of payment gateways.
On these platforms, users trade directly with each other. P2P platforms act as guarantors for transactions and fight fraudsters using a rating system.
For a long time, LocalBitcoins was the leader in this segment, but in February 2023, the service announced its closure after 10 years of operation.
An alternative to LocalBitcoins can be called non-custodial P2P platform Hodl Hodl: it has been running since 2016 and does not require completion KYC. The site’s team is the organizer of the Baltic Honeybadger Bitcoin conference and is developing the Debifi landing platform.
A direct competitor to Hodl Hodl is the MySecure platform, which also allows you to exchange Bitcoin without KYC. All transactions on the site are made using multisig contracts.
In 2023, emcd, a software developer for storing, exchanging and mining digital assets, launched its P2P platform. The company is one of the top 10 mining pools for Bitcoin production.
emcd. supports Bitcoin, USDT, Ethereum, Litecoin and other cryptocurrencies. Until 2024, users can conduct transactions without going through KYC.
Advantages of P2P platforms:
- non-custodial. Users store funds independently and make transactions directly with each other;
- anonymity. Most often, such sites do not require verification;
- variety of payment methods. In addition to bank transfers, clients of P2P platforms have access to payments in local payment systems, cash and gift cards.
- security risks. Users may lose funds due to the inattention or fraud of the counterparty;
- exchange rate. As a rule, quotes on P2P platforms are slightly higher compared to centralized exchanges.
How to exchange cryptocurrency for fiat without intermediaries
Let’s consider selling USDT for rubles using the emcd P2P platform as an example. We tested the web version of the service, but the site is also available in a mobile application for Android and iOS.
After confirming your email, your personal account will open. To go to the P2P platform you need to click the button “Buy and sell crypto”.
We are studying advertisements for the sale of the Tether stablecoin for rubles: seven offers are available for Tinkoff, ten for Sber, and the rest for other banks. The market rate of the US dollar at the time of writing the review was 96.60 rubles.
We carry out a test transaction – sell 25.74 USDT. To do this, indicate the order amount directly in the list of offers and press the button “Sell”.
We recommend turning it on in advance 2FA in the profile settings (section “Statistics”), otherwise this will have to be done during the transaction.
Although two hours were specified as the deadline for the transaction, the seller transferred the payment within a couple of minutes.
On the downsides of emcd. One of the reasons is the lack of a rating system: sellers have no reviews, and you can see the number of completed transactions only after opening an order.
Centralized exchanges remain the most popular solution for buying and selling cryptocurrencies with fiat. However, against the background of tightening regulation, investors are increasingly choosing alternative platforms: Telegram bots, exchangers and P2P platforms.
The latter have been present on the market for quite a long time and allow users to trade directly with each other without losing control of their assets. Thanks to decentralization, clients of such services can bypass the restrictions of regulators, as well as hide the very fact of direct interaction with them.
Found an error in the text? Select it and press CTRL+ENTER
ForkLog newsletters: keep your finger on the pulse of the Bitcoin industry!