As most of you will have followed there is some risk that with the first of August Bitcoin might get disrupted with a potential chain split.
See here a good summary about the risks and background:
As Bitcoin is used for the security of the trade (MultiSig, security deposit) and of course for the transfer of one side of the trade we are exposed to the risks of such a situation.
It is not clear yet if we will halt trading (arbitrator revokes so nobody can create new offers or take offers) or if we only display a warning alert. We will decide when we get closer to the event and have better estimations for the risks that a chain split will happen. But we have to do that at least 1-2 weeks before as trades need to complete before 1.8.
Bisq used BitcoinJ and BitcoinJ is following automatically the longest PoW chain, so there is no easy way to force it to one specific chain. Even if there is it might be that your trading peer want to use the other chain and the Multisig deposit transaction will likely fail or the situation will get at least very messy.
Also if we would be able to force the whole Bisq network to one chain there is th open risk that transcactions don’t get confirmed for a very long time and in the worst case that the chain gets attacked by a reorg and past transaction would simply disappear (though the fiat or altcoin has been settled). So that is an in-acceptable risk and we cannot leave it to the users as some will simply be not sufficiently informed and might lose money.
We added with 0.5.0 the support for alternative currencies as base currency (Litecoin, Doge) and that will be the recommended way how to continue trading without being exposed to the risks of a chain split on Bitcoin.
We will add also the alternative Bitcoin currencies to the client so people can trade those on the other base currency markets (they are like altcoins out or system, transfer is on the users own risk).
The names and ticker symbols are not decided and we will probably follow that community suggests, in doubt if there is no clear distinction (there is expected a hard fight which one is the real Bitcoin) we will consider the unchanged Bitcoin as the original Bitcoin and any chain which have changed anything with a new name (e.g. UASFCoin, BitMainCoin, SegWit2xCoin,…).
Please be aware that trading and transferring any kind of Bitcoin in that time will come with a high risk and Bisq will not support you if you have issues in that area. It is completely out of system like any other altcoin and you are solely responsible to understand the technical implications and risks if you transfer one of the Bitcoin variants in such an event.
Hopefully miners consider to avoid the potential damage and activate SegWit before of 1.8. and then we will have very little risk that a fork will happen and has chances to succeed.
I personally am supporting both the unchanged Bitcoin (with BIP 149) and UASF (BIP 148).
I consider the block size debate as a vehicle for a political attack and attempt to obtail control over Bitcoin and reduce the level of decentralization and censorship resistance of Bitcoin.
I also consider the block chain congestion of the recent months as a result of a coordinated tx spam attack for increasing pressure on the political side as well as increasing the mining fees. As one can see in statistical data block chain congestion has not happened anymore since the SegWit2x parties have signed the NY agreement. Seems likely it was part of the deal to stop those attacks. That raises the question if those miners who are getting paid very well with mining rewards and fees for securing the network are working in the interest of Bitcoin and its uses or if they are motivated by other agendas.
I am aware that some of our users have other opinions and that is or course perfectly fine.
I just want to emphasize that Bisq will not act like other exchanges “neutral” or try to make opportunistically business with everybody but will take side and I see that aligned with our core values for decentralization, protection of privacy and censorship resistance.
If we accept politically motivated damages to those areas to Bitcoin we would also accept it to Bisq.
So for me it is a logical consequence to take a clear position instead of being opportunistic.