EDITED Title: Scammer tries to defame Arbitrator (NOT)

Arbitrator (3b7cft5k4ae6a236.onion:9999) said that I’m refusing to accept payment, closed support ticket, and gave the other trader my security deposit.

Perhaps he made a mistake.

Can Bisq please give me my security deposit back?

I got from both arbitrators you cases reported. We actually have considered to ban you because it seems that you are a scammer abusing the patience of the arbitrators to make profit if the price moves in your direction and otherwise cancels the trade and only lose the low security deposit of the seller.
Now you seems to start to post lies and try to damage their reputation.
Users like you would force us to increase the security deposit, apply more strict rules and so hurt all other users as well. We have discussed already to take part of the trade amount as penalty in cases like yours and/or not accept that you refuse to accept the USD payment from a buyer.
The huge majority of Bisq users are super cooperative and friendly. If you don’t fit into that group, simply stay away!

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Hello Manfred,

Please read the support ticket discussion.

I not only said that I would accept the payment even though the price per bitcoin increased over $1000 but I was also ok with the trader giving me two payments over two days because of his or her bank limitations.

That contradicts with the story I heard from both arbitrators. Both had repeated cases with you observing a similar pattern. I leave it for them to answer.
But for all readers: Be caution with messages from that user!

Oh it gets worse!

My bitcoin that the Bisq Arbitrator(3b7cft5k4ae6a236.onion:9999) returned to me was sent using only 15 Satoshis per Byte.

Will this transaction ever confirm? How long will it take? Has Bisq locked up my bitcoin indefinitely?

I found a transaction accelerator which probably helped get the tx to confirm. It was free because the transaction was less than 400KB.


So now I’m just out .003 for the security deposit but btc has gone up so it worked out that the trade got cancelled.

I’d like to hear from the Arbitrator that cancelled this trade and then used such a small tx fee. Did he edit the default dynamic fee to something much lower? I’ve never seen bisq use this low of a fee.

Perhaps some Arbitration oversight is in order?

What’s the future of Arbitration, I heard it was going to change?

I think OpenBazaar has a lot scam issues with Moderators working with shady buyers or sellers. I hope there is a way to implement a system that prevents this with Bisq. I don’t see how these p2p systems can function well without a trusted Arbitration.

This can be seen as an opportunely to improve the software. Leaving machine on when you’re away, obviously the price can change wildly. Makers should be able to enter their low or high price limit and for bisq to unpublish/pause the offer so nobody can take it. You can take it another step further, a maker can begin the offer in a paused state, then if the price goes very high, its set to publish/unpause at good high price to sell. Similar can be done for maker buyer offers.

I think that this is already in plans, but the devs are focusing on the DAO to perfect the decentralization aspect of the app.

The arbitrators are currently people that are very involved with the project. It would be very unwise of them to mess with such small amounts of BTC, the whole project is a lot more important and it was invested a lot more of money and time in it then few security deposits worth of BTC :smiley:

Arbitrators have very strong incentive not to cheat and have a tamper-proof evidence before they make a decision. So the chances here are that if you lost your security deposit, you very likely broke the trade agreement between you and the other trader. But since you say that you got profit from not completing the trade, it seems that you knew this and did it on purpose.
Then again, if you didn’t lose your security deposit and haven’t tried to sell BTC in the first place, you would have the security deposit as well and earn profit on all your BTC during the price hike. Either way, the other trader got your BTC for his troubles.

I hope in future you stick with your trades and become a valuable member of Bisq, where we can all build the first exchange where you can trade cryptos for fiat in a decentralized and secure manner. :slight_smile:

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The trade went to a dispute because my bisq trade name didn’t match my zelle account name. I understand now, after talking to you earlier, that another reason Bisq has the name field is to try and prevent some sort of fraud…does this really work? I don’t think typing your name in the account setup should be required by bisq because zelle is like paypal and only requires an email address or phone number to complete. Perhaps there is some other way to prevent these type of trades from going to a dispute…

The arbitrator asked me to give my zelle account initials and asked me to take two payments over two days. Even though the price had moved up significantly while this trade was taking forever to complete. I agreed, and provided my initials for account verification and said it was ok to span the payments over a couple days.

To my surprise, the arbitrator cancelled the ticket, rewarded my security deposit to the other trader and used 15 sat/byte to return my btc.

This is why I think some Arbitrator oversight wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider.

Although cancelling the trade is what I would have preferred because of the price move. I suppose I took to this forum because I didn’t appreciate the arbitrator saying things that weren’t true and I wanted an explanation. I rarely talk on forums, I looked for a support email address to privately discuss the matter but was directed to the forum, but perhaps something will improve with this public discussion.

Well this is the best solution for that type of fraud we could think off, any suggestions would contribute to the discussion, but as you might see, this is the simplest and most reasonable way. There is nothing really at cost here either, the name of is usually displayed to the other trader anyway, which is why breaking this rule can get you into a dispute in the first place.

It simply seems by what you say that the main problem for you here is that price of BTC increased after you sold them. This is not really something you should blame these hard working arbitrators. No one wanted you no harm, no one even knows you and the community is too small to risk chasing people away. We appreciate every member of our community, especially in these relatively early days of Bisq. This is why we need to protect them from frauds in the first place.

As for the small fee, it might be some mistake or a bug. Either way, I doubt that waiting a bit longer was your main issue with this, you lost your security deposit, that is lost money, this is just delayed money. And I am sure that you are aware that Bitcoin network experiences difficulties with surges of high fees and that apps like Bisq need to constantly adapt to these things, so it is not like it was intentional or a horrible unforgivable mistake, these things happen all the time on the Bitcoin network in last few months.

I hope you recover from your feelings of loss quick and understand the whole situation from a third point of you. That way we can get back as soon as possible to better the whole Bitcoin ecosystem and bring the world what it needs. We are all here on the same side :blush: We need to stick together to defeat the banks and get to own our money we fairly earned.

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Just a short note from the arbitrator of this trade to people reading this thread, in order to keep the facts correct.
Avocado is lying when he says that he "provided my initials for account verification and said it was ok to span the payments over a couple days."
Avocado waited more than the stipulated two days to reply to my question if he could accept two payments and give his initials. His reply was only “This trade is taking too long”.
Avocado violated at least two points of the protocol and has done so on several occasions. It is clear for me that Avocado wants to use arbitration delays to do forward trading.
Note avocado: I will not discuss with you, since you are lying.

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Hello Keo,

When this gets sorted I would appreciate an apology.

I responded 12 hours later to your question, exactly the way I described above.

A lot of people seem to think your a good guy. So I will assume you made an honest mistake and/or we have exposed some bisq bug.

I am another Bisq arbitrator, and I was working through a second dispute that involved @avocado at the same time @keo was arbitrating the dispute mentioned above. Both dealt with the same issue of @avocado using one name in Bisq trading details, and a different name on file with Zelle. I can report that this dispute was the most involved, difficult, and frustrating dispute in my history as a Bisq arbitrator. @avocado would not listen to reason, and in the end, he flatly refused to accept my decision in the dispute—something that virtually never happens. What follows is the full text of my closing remarks in this dispute, with personally identifying information redacted. Note my apologies to his trading counterparty, as I was unable to bring the trade to a fair result. Because of this incident, we very well may increase seller security deposits in the future, which is a shame; we simply haven’t needed to before now.

Seller used the name [redacted] in the details for this Bisq trade, but had a different name, [redacted] on file with Zelle. The buyer, upon seeing this discrepancy did the correct thing by emailing the seller and asking for clarification. The buyer’s email was filed into the seller’s spam folder, and the seller never saw it. The trade window expired, and this dispute was automatically opened.

On review of the facts of this case, it is clear that the seller made a mistake by using different names in the trade details that what was on file at Zelle. It is my conclusion that this was an honest mistake, as the seller did not understand that it is possible to verify first and last name with Zelle, and I do not believe the seller had any malicious intent in his actions. Nevertheless, it was the seller’s mistake that caused confusion and concern on the buyer’s part, and in turn caused this dispute to get raised. The buyer made no mistakes, and cannot be faulted in any way. (It should be mentioned here, for the buyer’s benefit, that the buyer used a different email address to email the seller than the email address they specified in the trade details, and that had they used the same email address, there may have been a better chance that the seller would have seen it and recognized it, but this is beside the point.)

For the reasons detailed above, my decision in arbitrating this dispute was clear: the seller should have honored thish trade contract by agreeing to accept the buyer’s payment; had he so agreed, I would have told the buyer to initate payment, and we would have brought this ticket to a fair and honest completion.

Unfortunately, the seller has refused to accept my decision, and will not accept the buyer’s payment. It is clear from the content of our conversations that this is because the market price of bitcoin moved against his favor while this trade was in dispute, and because he does not want to “lose” the 0.2 bitcoin in this trade that he might later be able to sell at a higher price.

I engaged in extensive discussion with the seller to help him understand why this is an unreasonable, unjust and unfair position to take on his part. I spent, collectively, more than two hours corresponding with him, answering his questions, and clarifying my own arguments. In the end, he was unwilling to accept these arguments, and offered no compelling counterarguments or evidence to change my decision.

It is exceedingly rare in my experience as a Bisq arbitrator to deal with a trading counterparty who is acting in bad faith. I am afraid this is one such case. I am disappointed at this result, and I offer my sincerest apologies to the buyer that I was unable to bring this dispute to an equitable resolution.

I am awarding the seller’s security deposit (0.003 BTC) to the buyer, but this is hardly a just compensation for the time, effort and would-be gain that the buyer has lost. In Bisq, we keep seller security deposits low, because in our experience, there is virtually never a problem on the seller side, and risk of sellers acting badly is quite low. This dispute is causing me, and in turn my fellow arbitrators to reconsider this policy. If we see additional actions like this on the part of this or any other seller, we will indeed likely raise security deposits for sellers to a level that ensures unfair outcomes like this one are impossible.

My best regards to the buyer, and again, my sincerest apologies. I hope that this experience does not sour you on using Bisq in the future. You have my word that situations like this are vanishingly rare. All my best for your future trading, and please keep in mind that you can avoid this seller in the future by taking note of his onion address in the trade details (click the “Details” button here in the arbitration window). You can always click on sellers’ avatars in the order book and double-check the onion address there.

P.S.: Note that with regard to the 0.003 BTC transaction with a low sat/byte tx fee, this was very likely my fault. I had overridden my withdrawal transaction fee value (in Settings->Preferences), but for reasons of a personal transaction unrelated to this dispute. In the future, I will be sure to disable any such overrides and go with dynamic tx fee values so they do not cause these kind of negative effects in transactions related to dispute resolutions.


@avocado Please send me screenshots from all dispute messages so I can check if there was something wrong. I don’t expect that but only if I can compare both versions I will see if there are issues with date/time or lost messages.

Beside that we will react to such cases with a few changes:
We will add a new feature for arbitrators to exclude traders by onion address, so a trader cannot choose such an arbitrator. The arbitrator has also the right to choose for whom they are willing to work. The trader can choose already, so we add that feature also on the other sides. Will put that on my todo list…
Beside that we will adopt the rules so that the arbitrator can take part of the trade amount in a custom payout if the security deposit is not covering the caused damage. Not accepting the payment from the buyer is not tolerated. The arbitrator should tell the buyer to send and then after the buyer has provided evidence of the payment close the case so the buyer gets the BTC to the agreed price.
This kind of “future trading” by abusing some soft spots in the system will not be tolerated and will cause severe costs for those who are engaging in that.

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From the screenshot regarding that dispute I can confirm that @avocado sent the initials and accepted the 2 payments. It seems that message got lost. We had some issues with unstable seed nodes recently which might have caused that issue or the network connection was bad on @avocado’s side.
Please send me the screenshot of the remaining disputes so we can figure out if there are issues as well with lost messages.

On a side-note you kind of given me an idea, a feature: do you think it will be somewhat beneficial to the bisq users to have some sort of a “banlist” or “scamlist” within bisq platform, so that when arbitrators decide on a user being a scammer with legitimate evidence, that they upload/post his onion address and whatever necessary details such as country, bank, etc. into that list that broadcasts that list to all bisq users?

That list can have an option in the options page to either automatically add ‘broadcasted’ onion address to banlist or if the user wants to manually view it and add it himself. That way, we can make the bisq community safer and rid people that try to scam new people. i think this could prove very effective to remove scammers completely.

@ManfredKarrer what do you think?

I don’t think that is necessary if arbitrators are able to choose in which trades they don’t have to participate.
As long as there are no arbitrators that you selected that want to arbitrate trades with the baned peer, you will not be able to get into a trade with him (you would not have common arbitrators to take the offer).

the point im trying to make is the arbitrator should make it known to the public bisq peers that a specific onion address is a scammer, specifically for new users that have not traded with said scammer.
The arbitrators can ban the scammers themselves but that wouldnt protect the rest of the new users if a new dispute starts, how would the user know he wasnt supposed to trade with scammer if the arbitrator doesnt broadcast previous scam attempt to notify users.?

To avoid a trade in the first place (because of well-known banned onion addresses) - will prevent new disputes from being opened up.

This is feature already in place, but I try to not use it as far as possible because it is a centralized element we want to get rid of some day and only in place for limiting damage in severe cases. I can send out a signed message to ban users by onion address then others cannot take an offer from such the banned peer or if the banned user tries to takes your offer it will get rejected. There are more sophisticated methods as well like banning by name, email, bank account nr. (any payment account data), but that will only be applied for a trade and leads to a failed trade (requires dispute). So that will cause also damage for the other peer (lost trade fee, time).

Users can also ban others themselves locally (in the settings) so you can protect yourself to get into a trade with the banned peer.

For the “future trade by extending dispute case” issue I see that we have already sufficient tools in place to stop that.

  1. We will state clearly in the arbitration docs that the seller has no right to not accept the payment from the buyer.
  2. In upcoming releases we will add the feature that arbitrators can exclude peers by onion address so they cannot choose that arbitrator anymore
  3. In very severe cases the arbitrator can take part of the trade amount to give it to the other peer if security deposit is not sufficient to cover the created damage. Though I want to try to keep that as last option as it might become problematic once we have more arbitrators who might use different policies how strict they will apply that.

In the worst case (like a chargeback scam) I still can ban the users.

A side note: Those ban messages can be ignored by users by a program argument flag (–ignoreDevMsg=true). That serves as protection against abuse by the one who can publish those ban messages (myself). If the majority of users would set that flag the messages would have no effect. That applies to all those dev messages (updates, direct notification,…)

@avocado @keo @cbeams:
I got a few more screenshots and got a basic overview of some of the cases.

In one case with @keo one important message was missing so keo did not received that. But that would not have changed the result that @avocado broke the rules by using a wrong name so the dispute result and payout was correct, independent of that lost message. He repeatedly used different names and had several cases with that problem. Maybe it was not communicated clear enough to him that this is rule violation, but 99.9% of the other trader understand those rules without extra explanation. The payment account screen has the field “Full name” for the name. It should be clear to everybody who is able to deal with Bitcoin that this does not mean nickname, no-name or random name. Of course we could annoy all users by an additional popup stating that the real name is required but I think it should be clear enough like it is.

So I want to close that discussion and give @avocado the benefit of the doubt that he did not understand the importance of that rule and that he was not intending to abuse a prolonged dispute case for “future trading” - though quite a lot of the dispute messages suggest that he was aware of the benefit to “cancel” a trade if the price moves against him.

We try to keep usability for all as good as possible and that has some consequence for security. E.g. a much higher security deposit for the seller would help to prevent such abusive behavior but comes with the cost that all traders need to lock up more funds. We will try instead to sort out the users who are not valuable for the Bisq network (by creating loss or bad experience for other traders, causing exceptional work for arbitrators) by the features discussed above.