Bisq is a great, free, open-source desktop software client and what I believe to be the only true, decentralized exchange platform (DEX) currently available to buy and sell bitcoin for national currencies, protecting your privacy like no other platform. The software is also actively maintained and new versions are being released in regular intervals.
From Bisq’s own website:
Bisq is a peer-to-peer trading network, not a centralized service. It’s software you run on your own hardware, not a website run by someone else. It’s open-source and community-driven.
And you can trade bitcoin for fiat currencies with it!
The difference between Bisq and other so-called decentralized exchanges is as stark as the difference between owning your own home and renting someone else’s—in the former case you have full control over the property, and in the latter you’re always subject to the landlord’s whims and demands (no matter how nice the landlord may seem to be).
With Bisq you’re always the owner—not just owner of your bitcoin, but also owner of your data.
- Bisq does not hold any bitcoin. All bitcoin used for trading is held in 2-of-2 multisignature addresses controlled solely by the trading peers themselves.
- Bisq does not hold any national currency. National currency is transferred directly from one trader to the other using traditional banking and payment services.
- All Bisq data is transferred over its own secure peer-to-peer network, which is built on top of the Tor network—no central servers. This means there are no data honeypots, rendering large-scale hacks of customer information databases impossible.
- Bisq does not know anything about traders who use its network, and no data is stored on who trades with whom.
- Bisq does not require registration. This means user privacy is protected, and it also means there is no waiting period to have your account approved for trading.
- Bisq is code, not a company. It is an open-source project organized as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) built on top of Bitcoin.
There are a few limitations and considerations you should be aware of:
- There is an entry barrier you need to overcome if you are a first time buyer of BTC. Bisq requires you to deposit BTC funds into your Bisq wallet to cover the security deposit, trading and transaction fees. So you need to find a way to obtain a small amount of BTC before you can get started. Bisq provides some useful suggestions: How to Obtain Your First Bitcoin
- Bisq currently only supports BTC trading, which is fine because there are plenty of DEX alternatives to exchange Ethereum-based tokens, such as McafeeDex.
- Liquidity on the Bisq exchange is quite low in certain countries and you might get stuck for a while trying to buy or sell.
Support this fantastic project by downloading the software client.
Stay safe, stay private!
The BKK Sledgehammer Messiah