My First Exchange of BTC to ETH via Bisq

In my search for a sensible way to exchange BTC for ETH and vice versa, I came across Bisq. I have my own hardware-based wallet (Bitbox2) with accounts for BTC and ETH and would like to directly process transactions via my wallet – at least as much as possible. I installed the Bisq application and looked around the GUI, watched the introductory videos on YT and browsed the community information (forum, FAQ, Wiki, Telegram, Matrix).

So far I haven’t found any description of the different steps I need to follow for a first transaction from BTC to ETH. Can anyone help me with instructions or a reference to existing documentation? I would also appreciate an abstract description of the overall workflow or a description of the most important sub-steps.

I have a few more questions that I can’t answer from the documentation I’ve read. Maybe someone can answer one or two of them?

  1. What are the approximate fees for Bisq and the two blockchains for the first transaction?

  2. If I gradually change my BTC to ETH and back again later, can I credibly deny my ownership of the new BTC?

  3. The video instructions on YT are relatively old at three years. The last version of Bisq is from October 2023. How vital are the development, mediator and arbitrator teams?

  4. Is there a report available on what kind of problems mediators and arbitrators usually deal with in order to better understand my risks?

  5. I see relatively few transactions between BTC and ETH. Is Bisq a sensible respectivly the most sensible solution for my needs?

You will be able to use the hardware wallet to send ETH from it to the BTC seller, or receive it if you’re the BTC seller. The BTC part will have to go through Bisq wallet (at funds - receive funds you’ll get the address to send the funds to) so those BTC can be used to secure the trade (pay trading fees, set security deposits and trade amount).

Steps to buy ETH: Getting Started ‹ Bisq - A decentralized bitcoin exchange network

  1. Create an eth account (go to Accounts - Altcoin accounts and select ETH, you’ll need to introduce the ETH address where you want to receive ETH)
  2. Go to buy - other - ETH and select an offer, or create one.
  3. Receive the ETH. Your peer will click “payment sent” and you will click “payment received”.

About your questions:

  1. Fees: Trading costs are explained here. You’ll pay a lot less as a maker, and also trading fees are reduced to half when using BSQ. As mining fees are a fixed cost, trading under 100-200USD is usually not reasonable (you can see mining fees on the bottom left corner of your Bisq client). ETH will have the usual gas fees on the main chain for a simple ETH transaction.
  2. Deny it to who? Privacy at Bisq is achieved through the use of Tor, not sharing more personal data than the necessary (for alts, only public keys are shared) and also that it’s very hard to link eth payment to a Bisq trade since there is no information on the blockchain about it being connected.
  3. The Bisq teams work fine, Bisq will be updated soon, and the team is focusing on an almost brand new software called Bisq 2, with a new trading protocol.
  4. Risks trading altcoins is very low since payment is very easy to prove. You’ll need to pay attention to trades, they can be slow depending on your peer and some bugs. It’s a little difficult to get familiar with with the dispute resolution system and it’s not fast, but I think it’s safe which is the most important. Use the matrix bisq.chat channel for support.
  5. You haven’t specified your needs, but if you want to trade amounts over 500 USD per trade and you value privacy and security over fast trading it should be good. Bisq main focus is to enable private BTC/fiat trade, but ETH trading grew lately.
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