What is Bisq?
Bisq is a so called “decentralized exchange”. It has been active since 2016.
DEXs Increasing in Popularity
Decentralized exchanges are becoming increasingly more popular. They are definitely gaining market shares against their centralized counterparts.
Decentralized exchanges do not require a third party to store your funds. Instead, you are always directly in control of your coins and you transact directly with a buyer/seller. Decentralized exchanges normally does not require you to give out personal information either. This makes it possible to create an account and right away be able to start trading. The servers of decentralized exchanges are normally spread out leading to a lower risk of server downtime. However, decentralized exchanges as opposed to regular top crypto exchanges normally have an order book with lower liquidity than the regular top crypto exchanges.
Bisq lists 6 factors on their landing page as the main benefits on trading at the platform. The factors mainly center around anonymity, security and ease of use. These are indeed very important factors for most cryptocurrency traders. We leave it up to you to decide whether they deliver on their promises.
Bisq does not explicitly prohibit US-investors from trading on its exchange. In any event, all US-investors should still perform their own analysis of whether their home state imposes any legal problems for trading at any exchange that would otherwise be the best cryptocurrency exchange site for them.
Bisq Trading View
Different exchanges have different trading views. And there is no “this overview is the best”-view. You should yourself determine which trading view that suits you the best. What the views normally have in common is that they all show the order book or at least part of the order book, a price chart of the chosen cryptocurrency and order history. They normally also have buy and sell-boxes. Before you choose an exchange, try to have a look at the trading view so that you can ascertain that it feels right to you. The below is a picture of the trading view at Bisq:
Bisq Trading fees
The fees at any exchange are very important to consider. For Bisq, the fees are a bit different from most other exchanges' fees.
Bisq doesn't distinguish between takers and makers, both parties pay the same price: 0.001 BTC. Then there's a mining fee of 0.0003 BTC that is charged three times (at the deposit from external wallet, at the actual trade, and then at the withdrawal to the external wallet), so in total 0.0009 BTC in mining fees. There are also trade security deposits to discourage dishonest traders (0.1 BTC), and arbitrator's deposits involved. However, the 0.001 BTC + mining fees are the ones you need to concern yourself with.
Bisq Withdrawal fees
The withdrawal fees here consist of the third mining fee mentioned above (withdrawal to the external wallet), currently around 0.0003 BTC. This fee is below the industry average. The global industry average BTC-withdrawal fee the last time we at Cryptowisser did a full-blown empirical study of it was approx. 0.0008 BTC per BTC-withdrawal. But today, we see more and more exchanges charging 0.0005 BTC per BTC-withdrawal, so one could argue that 0.0005 BTC is starting to become the new industry average. In any event, Bisq's fees for withdrawals are competitive.
Bisq offers wire transfer as a deposit method, but credit cards are not a permitted deposit method. This might of course be disadvantageous if you would prefer to use your credit card for any reason. However, as Bisq accepts deposit of fiat currencies at all, it distinguishes itself from many exchanges that only allows deposits in cryptocurrencies.
The servers of decentralized exchanges normally spread out across the globe. This is different from centralized exchanges that normally have their servers more concentrated. This spread-out of servers leads to a lower risk of server downtime and also means that decentralized exchanges are virtually immune to attacks. This is because if you take out one of the servers, it makes little to no difference for the network of servers in its entirety. However, if you manage to get into a server at a centralized exchange, you can do a lot more harm.
Also, if you make a trade at a decentralized exchange, the exchange itself never touches your assets. Accordingly, even if a hacker would somehow be able to hack the exchange (in spite of the above), the hacker can not access your assets. If you make a trade at a centralized exchange, however, you normally hold assets at that exchange until you withdraw them to your private wallet. A hacker can therefore hack a centralized exchange and steal your funds held at such exchange. That's not possible in the same manner when it comes to a DEX.