Bisq Primer Part 3

This is part of a series of posts on Bisq, the peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading platform. This series will serve as a primer to a Meetup presentation planned for February 2024.

The First Purchase

(Taken from Wiki Introduction "In a Nutshell" with my edits)

To complete your first trade on Bisq, I recommend the following steps, some will be detailed in future posts:

  1. Download from
  2. Verify digital signatures (instructions here).
  3. Add a fiat payment account for Zelle, cash by mail, or money order by mail.
  4. Load your wallet with Bitcoin.
  5. Go to the "Buy" tab and select the "Create new offer to buy BTC" button.
  6. Set competitive security deposit and price criteria.
  7. Wait for someone to accept your offer.
  8. Wait for the prompt to send payment.
  9. Send fiat payment and hit "Yes, I have started the payment" button.
  10. Wait for seller to confirm receipt.
  11. Bitcoin is automatically sent to your self-custody Bisq wallet. You can choose to keep it there or withdraw to another wallet.

Some notes

  • You must keep your software running for most of these steps.
  • The Bisq software handles all bitcoin sending and receiving.
  • You need to start with a little bit of bitcoin for the security deposit.
  • Each trade requires 4 on-chain transactions.
  • All fiat sends/receives are handled by user-attestation (meaning you click a button to confirm).
  • The entire transaction is 100% self-custodial unless there is a dispute not resolved by trader chat or mediation. There is no third party escrow.

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