In the introductory part of Bitcoin’s whitepaper published in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto stated:
‘What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.’
Not only is this a diss to traditional monetary systems based entirely on trust, but it also reveals what Bitcoin needs to stand on its own: a network that allows direct transactions without intermediaries.
A decade since Bitcoin’s inception, millions of coins have been created, bought, sold and held by millions of people across the world resulting in the current market cap of 350 billion. While this is an amazing feat, all these were made possible by companies and centralized exchange sites which allows traders to do all kinds of crypto-related transactions.
By utilising foolproof cryptographic algorithms, Bitcoin removes the need for banks and institutions to verify the legitimacy of transactions. But to conduct transactions, traders still need a platform where they can buy or sell coins for fiat or vice versa. This is where exchange platforms come into play.
As time passed, exchange sites boomed into large companies with millions of users around the globe. With high fees and central servers, they’re not much different from the traditional institutions crypto has steered away from. A group of concerned developers recognized the growing need for a network built on the same principle as Bitcoin itself. As a result, the Bisq exchange was created.
Drawing back to Nakamoto’s vision of a foolproof monetary system, the Bisq team created a peer-to-peer network that allows crypto traders to exchange assets while ensuring the privacy of their data and the security of their funds through a decentralized system.
What is Bisq
Bisq is a decentralized exchange (DEX) platform where traders can buy and sell their crypto for fiat currencies without the need for an intermediary. Unlike centralized exchange platforms such as Binance or Coinbase, Bisq is a software platform that runs on your own personal computer and not on a website hosted by a third party. This allows you to conduct direct transactions in a secure and private network that is invulnerable to online hacks.
Bisq started as an open-source project by a grassroots collective instead of a start-up company. Rather than being profit-driven, the collective focuses on building a network that remains true to Bitcoin’s decentralized vision by bringing much-needed peer-to-peer trading services to the crypto sphere.
Originally called Bitsquare, Bisq has been operating since 2016 with servers scattered all across the globe. Completely driven by the community’s purpose to make trades direct and private, the Bisq team has no control whatsoever over your trades or funds, which makes it secure for all.
Bisq DAO: Decentralized autonomous organization
As the Bisq team states on their website, ‘Decentralized software is no good without decentralized governance’. So to stay true to their principles, the collective created DAO or decentralized autonomous organization, a decentralized governing mechanism that acts as the software’s traditional governing body.
The Bisq DAO functions as the managing component of the system. It ensures that contributors who work on protecting and preserving the network’s code are rightfully compensated in the form of the network’s token, BSQ. Considered as a coloured coin, BSQ is essentially Bitcoin ‘re-coloured’ to represent a different form of value.
To determine which contributors are incentivized, the DAO implements a monthly voting and compensation cycle where contributors file a compensation request. BSQ stakeholders then hold a voting period where they vote on whose compensation request is accepted or rejected.
Advantages of using Bisq
What makes Bisq different from others? What makes it stand apart from the other DEXs? Here are some advantages to consider about Bisq.
Since Bisq is decentralized, its numerous servers scattered across the globe are almost impossible to be tampered by hackers. To make it even better, there is no need for users to give any private information when signing up so even if hackers do get into the system, they won’t be able to retrieve sensitive information.
Instead of using websites hosted on centralized servers, the Bisq network takes place on a global peer-to-peer network. Your data is stored in your computer’s server, securing your data in one place.
The Bisq team is composed of a passionate group of people spread out around the world. Though smaller compared to centralized exchanges, Bisq’s non-profit and community-driven purpose makes them stand out among the rest.
Safe and secure
The Bisq desktop application comes equipped with a Bitcoin wallet where you can store, receive and transfer funds. But this isn’t a custodial wallet that is hosted somewhere else like in centralized exchange sites. Bisq’s built-in wallet is hosted locally so only you can access and control all your financial data. Bisq does not hold anyone’s funds.
Streamlined user interface
Compared to other exchange sites, Bisq’s user interface is navigable and friendly for both beginners and advanced users alike. Making and taking offers or buying and selling coins are easy to do since everything you need to get started is easily accessible. Customer support is also well within reach if you require immediate assistance.
Problems faced by Bisq
Bisq’s purpose may be grounded and well-meaning, but there are still a few hiccups that need to be addressed before this project can really take off.
First, it’s without a doubt that decentralized exchanges are a minority compared to centralized exchanges where thousands of people conduct trades on a daily basis. A considerable lack in the number of market makers or sellers is a problem faced by Bisq today. It remains the underdog in the world of crypto exchanges, meaning there are a few users compared to other sites.
This small number of users results in low trading volumes and slow speed. Since there is no significant amount of trades demanding to be processed, there aren’t a lot of validators that can accomplish the tasks at a faster rate.
Though Bisq is yet to overcome these hurdles, many believe that its success is still on the horizon. If it took a decade for people to see Bitcoin’s use, then it may be just as long before people realize that Bisq is a useful and much-needed tool in the crypto sphere.
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