|Number of currencies handled
||Over 20 types
Bisq is an open-source, peer-to-peer application that allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for national currencies. No registration required.
Currently no other project fits our definition of a decentralized bitcoin-to-fiat exchange. OpenBazaar is one project that comes close to mirroring Bisq’s principles, but it’s a general-purpose marketplace, not a specialized currency exchange.
Most exchanges claiming to be decentralized either do not support fiat exchange, or operate with a client-server architecture and do not fit our definition. And of course there are a lot of ICO projects with whitepapers but they have not proven yet that they can deliver any working software.
To be properly decentralized, one must avoid single points of failure:
- Bisq does not hold any bitcoins. All are held in multisignature addresses rather than a Bisq-controlled wallet.
- Bisq does not hold any national currency. National currency is transferred directly from one trader to the other.
- Bisq uses a peer-to-peer network over Tor. This means there are no servers to be hacked or DDoS’d.
- Bisq does not know traders. No data is stored on who trades with whom.
- Bisq does not require registration. This means privacy is maintained, there are no “approval” wait times, and identity theft is impossible.
- Bisq is not a company. It is an open-source project organized as a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).
To discourage fraud in fiat transactions, Bisq imposes limits on trade amounts. These limits are derived from the payment method’s chargeback risk and the age of the account (i.e., the time since you entered the payment account in Bisq). There are no limits on the number of trades you can do—just the amount per trade.
For most bank-based payment methods like SEPA or Zelle the trade limit is 0.5 BTC per trade. For services like Swish, PerfectMoney and AliPay it is 1 BTC. For recently-added payment methods like Revolut, Popmoney, and MoneyBeam (N26) the trade limit is 0.25 BTC.
Security deposits create incentives for both buyer and seller to follow the rules of Bisq’s trading protocol. They are locked into multisig escrow along with the bitcoin being traded, and are returned to each user when the trade completes successfully.
Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin to solve the problems of centralized payment systems, so it seems inconsistent for centralized Bitcoin exchanges to be the primary way to acquire bitcoin. It often seems the dominance and vulnerability of centralized exchanges is the Achilles heel in the current Bitcoin ecosystem. There is much talk about decentralization in the Bitcoin space, and various attempts at creating decentralized exchanges to address this weakness.
Bisq is built for those who:
- Want to exchange a national currency such as dollars, euros, or yen for bitcoin.
- Want to exchange a wide range of alternative crypto currencies for bitcoin.
- Do not want to trust any exchange for holding their funds.
- Do not want to forfeit control or privacy to a central authority in order to trade with other individuals.
- Regard financial transactions as a form of private speech that should be protected from surveillance by banks, governments, and other institutions.
Bisq Dao Work
The primary purposes of the Bisq DAO are financing the project and determining strategy.
- Trading fees are distributed directly from traders to contributors with a token (colored bitcoin) called BSQ.
- Strategy is determined collectively through voting done in the Bisq software and recorded on the Bitcoin network.
Learn more about how this actually works in this series of short 3-5 minute videos.
No Identity Verification
Instantly Accessible. No need for registration or approval from a central authority.
Trading takes place on a global P2P network of users running Bisq on their own machines.
Bisq never holds your funds. Security deposits and multisig trade wallets encourage safe, successful trades.
No one except trading partners exchange personally identifying data. All personal data is stored locally.
Code is open source, and project strategy is discussed openly on Slack and GitHub.
Easy to Use
We’ve made all this sophistication simple—make your first trade in under 10 minutes!
Trusted and Secured
Bisq uses multi-signature authentication and “best in-class security” to keep your funds secure 24 hours a day. Funds are kept in secure offline cold storage wallets to prevent hacking.