Bisq Review 2022

Sinead Burgess
Sinead Burgess
Article edited on November 29, 2021

Decentralized exchange platforms or DEXs are exchanges where users can engage in trades without a third-party mediation process or a middleman who has an insight into what, where, and how has been traded.

On the other hand, centralized crypto exchanges assist, forward, process, and execute trades in the name of their clients. Here, users can buy/sell digital assets and trade cryptocurrencies. Most traders today use the services of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges because they’re generally easier to navigate and offer a lot of support along the way. This however comes at a price, usually in the form of fees and personal data requirements.

Bisq exchange logo

Another area where decentralized crypto exchanges have a leg up on centralized crypto exchanges is quickness and speed of execution. Processing orders and deposits on centralized exchanges can last for days upon end. 

In many ways, decentralized exchanges are a lot simpler, provided that you know what you are doing and know how to read charts. If you have all that under your belt and you’re ready to take control of your trades, we’re ready to take off – introducing Bisq.

About the Trading Platform

Bisq saw the light of day in 2014 as one of the first Decentralized Autonomous Organizations or DAOs. The decentralized nature of this trustworthy and stable cryptocurrency exchange is what makes it available throughout the world.

Bisq homepage

The Bisq exchange functions as a peer-to-peer platform through which users can acquire bitcoins, trade tokens and swap one cryptocurrency for another (e.g. Bitcoin for Ethereum or another altcoin). The crypto platform supports over 120 cryptocurrencies such as DASH, ZEN, DOGE, ETH, and some of the most popular fiat currencies such as the USD, EUR, and CNY.

The available passthrough funds are stored in hot wallets that should only be only used during the transferring process. Upon wrapping up a trade, users should always transfer their funds to a private hardware wallet for safekeeping. The trading platform doesn’t ask users to register for an account at the exchange or provide any information about themselves and their wellbeing.

How Does Bisq Work?

Unlike centralized exchanges such as HitBTC, Kraken, Binance, or Huobi, at Bisq, users directly trade assets between themselves and not to a third-party platform. The trades are made possible and executed by the blockchain network, which means that Bisq is and can afford to be completely unregulated.

This makes the platform both very secure and risky. Paradoxical? Well, the exchange itself is safe because it is not connected to a server that can be breached or compromised, however, in most cases, as a trader, you have no idea who you’re doing business with and whether their assets are genuine or not.

Bisq Network features

It’s all about the angle and perspective. Some will feel safer because there is no central authority watching over their shoulder at all times, and some will feel unsafe for exactly the same reasons.

Bisq’s interface is very straightforward and a breeze to navigate. This is not the norm by any means, as most other decentralized exchanges have non-user-friendly APIs. In most cases, users will need to be well versed in centralized crypto exchanges before they can make the jump to decentralized ones. However, at Bisq, even novice traders will be able to get down to business in no time.

Trading Features

Bisq is a bit different from your traditional run of the mill crypto exchange in that it does not feature a website. So, if you’re asking yourself if the platform has an app, not only does it have one, it is one. Users can get it through Github on Mac, Windows, or Linux devices.

The interface is easy to navigate and the preferences are super quick to set up. Once you download and open the app, you only need to connect it to a bank account, choose a payment method and you’re done. Seriously, you can start trading on the spot.

As a P2P exchange, Bisq doesn’t ask for any verifications or registers of any kind. A noteworthy thing to mention is that, although users need to connect a bank account in order to receive their funds, the bank itself has absolutely no insight, say or influence over anything. It’s just a destination for your crypto assets.

Bisq network trading features

Traders are subject to a 0.03 BTC deposit on top of their orders. This deposit serves as collateral and doesn’t affect the trade itself. The funds are placed and stored in a multi-signature wallet.

What makes Bisq an incredibly easy-to-use platform is the fact that it’s a decentralized, cryptocurrency exchange that runs on its own blockchain. So, when it comes to fiat currency purchases on cryptocurrency, it does not require a third party in the fold. Some of the more utilized and popular deposit methods include national bank transfers, SEPA, Advanced Cash, Western Union, Zelle, Perfect Money, and Face-to-Face (F2F). 

Bisq Trading Fees

Unlike most of the crypto exchanges on the market, Bisq is a Decentralized Anonymous Organization (DAO). It is an open-source platform that is run by… Can you guess? It is run by you.

The trading fees are a means of keeping the Bisq DAO blockchain afloat. Users can choose between BSQ and BTC when paying the fees. Bisq rewards users that deal in the platform’s native token BSQ by giving them a 50% discount. The discount is tied to the BSQ/BTC rates and fluctuates accordingly.

For every 1 BTC traded, users are subject to a 0.001 BTC or 13.16 BSQ fee. Taker fees come at 0.007 BTC or 92.15 BSQ. The minimum fee on BTC trades is 0.00005 BTC, which means that even if your 0.8% BTC trade fees come at a lower number, you will still be charged 0.00005 BTC. BSQ minimum trading fees come at a low 0.03 BSQ.

Bisq DAO fees

The Bitcoin rates stay consistent throughout, while the BSQ rates are adjustable and differ from cycle to cycle. The employed currency in which the trades are paid depends entirely on the traders, as they have the option to select BSQ or BTC when they are making or taking their offers.

Security

Some traders are instantly turned off by decentralized peer-to-peer exchanges because there is a stigma attached to the safety and security of these platforms. This mostly comes from the fact that P2P crypto exchanges aren’t regulated, audited or insured.

Although there have been instances where traders have been scammed out of their hard-earned binary code, not everyone that does business through a decentralized P2P exchange is a criminal. In fact, there is a good chance that as a trader, you will be far less damaged by a P2P scam, compared to a centralized crypto exchange that employs KYC and AML tests before it lets you move a finger.

Bisq network security features

The fact that decentralized P2P exchanges hold no assets or funds whatsoever, makes them a null target. If there are no funds on the site, why would someone go through so much trouble to breach the platform’s security and get nothing? Most traditional centralized exchanges transfer the acquired BTC in native platform wallets. If someone figures out how to get inside, it’s all you can eat at a highway buffet. They can literally walk out of there with everything that’s in your wallet. On the other end, if someone scams you at a P2P exchange trade by, say, providing fake altcoins, then you only lose the amount you have traded for.

Bisq Support

Bisq offers a large FAQ database through which users can familiarize themselves with some of the most frequently asked as well as obscure questions. The platform also has its own online encyclopedia in Bisq Wiki. Here users can read anything and everything regarding the platform history, features, and documentation.

The Keybase chat team is standing by to answer all of your queries at a moment’s notice, so by all means, type away. The turnaround times are relatively quick because Keybase is a live chat support feature. When there is a lot of traffic the reply times can lag behind a bit but the support team will get to you eventually.

Under the support coverage tab, users can get in touch with Bisq’s support agents. The support agents have their schedules displayed on the platform, so users know exactly when they’re working on platform maintenance. This way, they can resolve bigger and more complicated issues on the spot, instead of wondering when and how.

Bisq wiki page

Users can also turn to GitHub if they suspect or believe that there is a bug at play, communicate with other traders through the platform’s forum page or go to Reddit and find the Bisq subreddit for more lengthy free-spirited discussions.

A Few Words Before You Go...

If you are looking for decentralized crypto exchange, Bisq is one of the best in the industry. It provides everything you could ever need in order to successfully execute a trade, without worrying that someone is out to steal your personal sensitive information. At Bisq, anyone can be Agent Smith for a small Bitcoin-denominated fee. The platform provides ample liquidity and a peer network where users can sell Bitcoin and enjoy low withdrawal fees in the form of a network mining fee.

The only drawback of using a decentralized crypto platform is that you have to do and set up everything yourself. There is no one to guide you through the process, no chaperone and no one to set the table for you. While this isn’t a problem for experienced traders and institutions, it does not hold well with beginner traders, which is why we suggest that you do not start trading crypto on a decentralized P2P exchange. It’s better to get a bit of mileage before jumping in.

frequently asked questions

Yes. The trading limits are closely tied in with the employed payment methods. Furikomi, as well as PayID, have a limit of 1 BTC, while providers such as Zelle or SEPA are limited to 0.25 BTC. Since Bisq does not offer conversions, altcoins cap out at 2 BTC per trade.

You can trade anything you set up. However, keep in mind that the initial trade setup does not occur on Bisq’s premises, so users have to send payments via credit cards or bank account. Bisq and every decentralized P2P exchange are more along the lines of a dating app. It helps you find a match. The platform matches peers and locks the deposits in place upon submission, much like an escrow. 

Since everything on Bisq is analog, there is no automation on peer matching. A real person has to come to the fold, place a security deposit – arbitrator deposit, browse and find what they are looking for. Traders that are used to trading on centralized exchanges might find this process a bit slow. However, there are different degrees of speed execution. For instance, instant payment methods such as Faster Payment are faster than SEPA payments.

Yes, Bisq offers an open-source app for both iOs and Android devices that is part of the Bisq network. Conveniently enough, users can get notified of matches via the app. In order to pair the mobile app with the desktop application, users will have to scan a QR code. The app can be configured to send out notifications every time a new trade or offer request is being made. Users retain their privacy and anonymity as neither Apple nor Google have insight into which device is getting the Bisq notifications or the content that is featured in them.