Expert Review
May 26, 2020

Bisq exchange was launched back in 2014. At that time it was one of the first Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (or simply DAO). According to the founders of the exchange, one of the goals of the Bisq network is to "keep the original spirit of Bitcoin alive".

To date, Bisq can be found on numerous lists of the best decentralized exchanges. It's safe to say that this exchange is not free of issues typical for decentralized exchanges, but it has become a significant player in this market.

  1. What is Bisq?
  2. A "Bisq" of History
  3. How to Send Money to Bisq and How to Use The Exchange?
  4. Bisq Exchange Fees
  5. Bisq Token
  6. Is Bisq Safe?
  7. Reputation

What Is Bisq?

According to the official website, Bisq is an open-source, peer-to-peer application that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in exchange for fiat money or other cryptocurrencies. More than that, it is stressed on the website that the service doesn't require registration or approval of any authority. Bisq exchange supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, US dollar, Euro, yuan, and many other currencies. In total there are over 120 cryptocurrencies and about the same number of national currencies traded on the exchange.

Bisq currencies

Unlike most of the exchanges, Bisq exists in the form of a client, not a website. The trading process takes place right on the blockchain and not on the servers of the exchange. It is an important feature that saves the Bisq network from censorship and prohibitive regulations. The exchange users don't share their information with anyone besides the parties involved in the transactions. There is no central server that could be successfully hacked in order to steal money from users, so Bisq is believed to be both safe and private.

Nevertheless, the lack of authority is viewed differently by different people. Some users might value independence and freedom, while others can't feel safe when there's no central authority responsible for the security of their funds. More than that, the necessity of using its own blockchain, requires all traders to pay fees even for placing orders on the exchange which can drive some traders away from using it.

Another significant feature of Bisq client is that it has a relatively simple interface. Decentralized exchanges often have a complicated design that can't be called user-friendly. It is one of the reasons why many people lean to centralized exchanges even if they wish to switch to decentralized ones. The developers have successfully coped with this problem and created a comfortable interface for this decentralized trading platform.

In contrast to many centralized exchanges, Bisq provides little market information. The exchange offers no sophisticated trading features that could be used for automated trading, protection from trading in loss, etc. Margin trading is not supported as well. In general, all that Bisq does is connecting buyers with sellers. 

A "Bisq" of History

Bisq was founded by a software developer from Austria Manfred Karrer in 2014. Initially, the project was called Bitsquare. It was made in an attempt to provide an opportunity to buy and sell Bitcoin without the need to use centralized platforms that collect user data. The idea of decentralized open-source and anonymous exchange meant to keep Bitcoin in a private peer-to-peer zone.

Since the moment of its launch, dozens of developers made their contributions to Bisq exchange. Currently, developers are free to participate in further development communicating via Slack and GitHub.

How to Send Money to Bisq and How to Use The Exchange?

There are two trading options on Bisq exchange:

1. The trader places an order on the trading book and waits for another trader to take it.

2. The trader takes the order placed by someone else.

The exchange users have numerous options for how they can send money to the platform. It includes Bank Transfers, AliPay, OK Pay, Perfect Money, Zele (ClearXchange), US Postal Money Orders, SEPA, and Faster Payments. Participants of the trade should decide which withdrawal method they are going to use before the trade takes place.

How to buy BTC on Bisq exchange

For example, if a seller is going to sell some BTC from his wallet in exchange for USD, he shares his USD bank account details with a buyer and makes the transaction. A certain amount of BTC gets debited from the seller's wallet and some amount of USD is credited to his bank account.

After the matching, the money involved in a transaction moves to a multi-signature address (here you can learn about it) and then these coins get to the wallets of the traders. To secure themselves from fraud, the participants pay a security deposit which is refunded as soon as both sides receive the money involved in the trade deal. Both parties must provide a certain additional amount due to collateral requirements. When the trade is over both parties get this money back via withdrawal.

Bisq Exchange Fees

On the exchange website, it is stated that "trading fees are distributed to contributors without the confines of a corporation or other legal entity".

For years the trading fees calculation system on Bisq was quite complicated and the fee was depending on multiple factors. Bitcoin buyers have been paying 0.0002 - 0.002 BTC depending on the market price distance and amount of trade.

The current trading fee system is more straight-forward. It's aimed to encourage the growth of liquidity on the exchange. Traders who add new orders (offer makers) pay 0.1% commission. Those who take orders (offer takers) have to pay 0.3%. There's a minimum fee set as low as 0.00005 BTC.

List of trades on Bisq exchange

Another part of the fee system is a mining fee. The "makers" pay only a trading fee transaction while "takers" have to pay the trade fee transaction, deposit transaction, and payout transaction.

Also, it's important to mention that traders using the Bisq native token (BSQ) to pay fees can get a discount of up to 90%.

Bisq Token

Bisq token is not an object for trading outside the Bisq exchange. It's rather has a function of fuel for the network. First 25 tokens were given to the core contributors as a reward for their work. An opportunity to receive Bisq tokens attracts developers and contributors because, as was mentioned, the fees on the exchange are lower for those who pay in BSQ.

Technically BSQ is a bitcoin, but it's marked in a special way (the wallet address with a 'B' prefix) and kept separate from other bitcoins. The owners of BSQ tokens are stakeholders and they participate in the governance of the platform.

Is Bisq Safe?

Bisq's decentralized structure supposes that there's no way to steal users' money or affect the speed of operations. If one of the servers gets hacked, the network will keep on working using the rest of the servers. In case if hackers manage to hack several (or all) servers they won't be able to steal money as Bisq doesn't hold its users' assets, it rather orchestrates the transactions. Also, it's important to mention that the exchange users' data is not available to anyone besides the participants of the trade. This makes Bisq a relatively safe platform, just like other decentralized exchanges. 


User reviews about Bisq are mixed. On the one hand, the exchange is praised for its high security and resistance towards censorship. Experienced traders regard that the Bisq interface is better compared to other decentralized exchanges. Reviewers say that it is not typical for decentralized exchanges to provide so many supported currencies including fiat money. On the other hand, even given the better interface of Bisq it is still not very simple for total novices, while veteran traders won't be happy about the lack of numerous specific trading features.

If you have experienced trading on Bisq yourself or if you can say something significant about the code of this exchange, please leave your review here.

Our Score
Functionality 4 / 5
Reputation 4 / 5
Security 5 / 5
Support 5 / 5
Fees 4 / 5
Our Score
4.4 / 5


No censorship

Lots of supported fiat money and cryptocurrencies

Entry-level exchange

Strong security


Low liquidity

The interface is not convenient for active trading

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User reviews
Indigo 24 June, 8:20 PM

For me, an ordinary trader, the exchange is why I looked for. Low fee with a high level service.

Pitt 6 February, 9:33 PM

The interesting way of traiding via the platform and it looks pretty secure, I haven't experienced any hacks at least. More or less it's fine, it's secure and operable.

Rich 1 February, 9:00 PM

They've had a new addition of coins, it's a good news, it means they are not going to close. Bisq is one my of my favorite, never fails me.

Koln 31 January, 9:29 AM

I think, they need to increase the liquidity and then there won't be anybody to match. Aside from that, the service is reliable and I often trade here.

Reed 30 January, 10:23 AM

The exchange used to have some problems, but I gotta say that they've improved their service. I've noticed that support has become mush helpful and useful. The devil team works on themselves. It deserves respect.

Steve 26 November 2019, 5:38 AM

The Bisq exchange app is clunky and somewhat buggy. The contributors seem to have lost faith in developing a legacy platform that is lightweight and safe without KYC. The added security measurements are really awkward. They are likely in transformation to an off-chain trade protocol in a more closed environment where relatively large long-term security deposits (bonds) in their own token is required to trade. Low liquidity and cautious limits makes trading dull here.

Condrad 5 October 2019, 2:46 PM

It’s awesome to see that BISQ has a very simple withdrawal process of BTC and some other coin. The big advantage is the support they are providing fast and solid responds to every issues I have had here.

Tommy 23 September 2019, 9:55 AM

I like Bisq for their responsive and fast support. I recently had some issues with getting access to the exchange and tried everything possible. After contacting the support my problem was solved within moments, well, it took some time but at least I knew that this thing was getting fixed. Now I'm back and trading. But the worry is still there in the back of my mind.

doomy 21 September 2019, 3:38 PM

BISQ can provide a reliable client support. Additionally, I think the trading platform is an easy to use. I’m hoping they are going to add more tokens and coins soon. I haven’t faced any big difficulties and I like trading here.

Ava 18 September 2019, 5:22 PM

Good thing about this exchange is the possibility to deposit and withdraw using both cryptocurrencies and fiat. Thus Bisq is quite newb-friendly exchange and it was easy to start out trading with almost zero knowledge. Also, the trading view looks way too simple without any advanced features to use like building graphs and historical stuff like that.

Roberto 17 September 2019, 5:50 PM

This is a prompt exchange. I think decentralized system provides a good level of the security and I don’t bother myself with the security issue. I’m trading here without any problem at all. I’ve contacted support on the consulting matter and they gave a good piece of advice regarding trading tools of the exchange.

Michael 17 September 2019, 3:49 PM

I’m not having any problems with the small transactions. But the withdrawal fee is really high and I think it’s non-profitable to do that here. But at that moment I think I’m not going to trade with the big amounts and this platform will be enough for me.

Bush 16 September 2019, 10:31 PM

I am little bit confused with the fee structure. The fee depends on the size of the order as I understand. It means the larger one is more expensive. Sometimes, if I’d like to buy more than 1 btc I’m going to pay more the 0.002.I think it’s quite high compare to the platform.

Lee 16 September 2019, 6:09 PM

I’d love to change the website a bit. It seems to me that the trading tools are not good enough for the active trading; sometimes I can start the new trade without finishing the previous one. I believe, that the dev team will listen to this advise and make the website better.

James 13 September 2019, 3:14 PM

I can not say something bad about bisq. But I want to talk about my experience. After 2 months of using the exchange, I had problems with transactions and when I wrote to support about it, they answered me within 2 days, and my problem was solved only after a week. I'm not saying that this is a long time, but I cannot say that it was a quick solution to the problem. Perhaps this didn't depend on people from support, but I decided that you should know about it. I haven’t had more problems yet, at the moment I’ve been using Bisq for about 3 months already.

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