Bisq: Fiat Limits and Reputation

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.

My previous post introduced fiat payment methods and their advantages/limitations. Other considerations for fiat payment methods include trading limits and reputation. For this post, I'll focus on the 5 most popular methods (Zelle, Strike, cash, Amazon egift cards, and money order).

Bisq doesn't really have a reputation system, just proof you had a successful trade as buyer. This is only applied to payment methods with a real (though low) chargeback risk. From this perspective, the buyer in a fiat trade is the most trusted type of trading peer. Aging and signing lends credibility to the peer by building a very basic reputation aspect.

Aging and signing of trade accounts used to affect multiple types of accounts for both buying and selling. Now it only impacts buying for certain fiat currencies and payment methods. Aging is how long ago you created the account in Bisq. Signing happens when you complete a trade as buyer with someone who's already signed. Of the top 5 payment methods, this only applies to Zelle because it has the highest chargeback risk. Sellers are no longer considered risky. Really, they never have been since they lock up the sale amount plus security deposit in the multi-sig escrow.

USD Payment Methods with Signing
Bank transfer
Chase QuickPay*

*No USD trades in 2023

These are initially limited to 0.01 BTC, but this is per trade. You can still do as many trades simultaneously as you want. Once you complete a buy with a signed peer, you will become signed too. Your buy limits will be increased on day 30 and day 60. This is the aging part.

Days Since Signed Buy Limit Sell Limit
Day 0 0.01 BTC 0.25 BTC
Day 30 0.125 BTC 0.25 BTC
Day 60 0.25 BTC 0.25 BTC

With aging and signing taken into consideration, the limit for USD fiat trades is 0.25 BTC. This is Bisq's limit. Zelle and Strike have their own limitations. Strike limits you to $1,000 per payment and Zelle is determined by the sender's bank.

Payment Method Trade Limits Trade Duration
Zelle Bank fiat limit or 0.01-0.25 BTC 4 days
Strike $1,000 or 0.25 BTC 1 day
Cash 0.25 BTC 8 days
Amazon egift card 0.25 BTC 1 day
Money Order 0.25 BTC 8 days

The Trade Duration listed above is really the minimum amount of time you have to wait until opening a dispute (more on this in a later post). This shouldn't be considered a deadline, as long as both peers are okay with waiting longer.

Lastly, there is a trade limit for new users. Bisq recommends you wait 5 trades before attempting to buy or sell more than 0.1 BTC. This can simply be turned off under Settings > Preferences.

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