Privacy with Zelle

I’ve been all over the place for weeks trying to grasp all this crypto stuff. I’ve learned a lot but I finally found bisq and the
which is exactly what I was looking for in the midst of LocalBitcoins, Paxful, and the couple of non-functional ATMs near me. I value anonymity above all else and this platform seems to be the answer.

Q: If I fund with Zelle to start, what is known about my dealings/transaction with BTC within the Zelle developers/owners? I guess I could just get Zelle and send USD to friends (outside of bisq) to see what results. Is Zelle blind to the fact that someone is returning BTC to me for my payment to them? Is it just seen as a one way transfer to all but the other bisq trader and the 3rd bisq signer?

I want to fully understand and make sure my cryptocurrency dealings remain off the radar before I jump in.

Thanks in advance!

Unfortunately you can’t just start with Zelle, you need to have some BTC first to use Bisq for the security deposit.

Bisq is entirely peer-to-peer so only the other trader will be aware of the trade. There is no 3rd signer, only 2 are needed. Arbitrators only get involved in case of a dispute.

You will need to provide your name when creating a local Bisq account for your client. This name is only shown to the other trader in Bisq, so they can be more sure that you own your Zelle account, to mitigate some possible scam issues. Name is visible anyway during Zelle transfer, as far as I am aware, to the other trader.

Your bank shouldn’t be able to know that you are dealing with Bisq or Bitcoin in general. Using any reference to Bitcoin or Bisq in the payment reason section during transfer is strict violation of the Bisq trading protocol and will likely result in loss of security deposit that will be given to the other trader.

If you feel concerned about privacy, I recommend this good reading:

Using zelle inserts multiple layers of clearinghouses and unknown banks into your transaction. When you use CASH, you know the transaction ends at the depositing bank. zelle ACH databases correlate in thousands of different ways. You cannot be sure where, how or when the money will arrive. Voluntarily inserting yourself into the zelle database is for rubes. have fun! use cash.

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What do you mean by “the depositing bank”? If I use cash, am I going to to a bank? How would I include a bank in the transaction and remain anonymous and have my transaction be protected? I’m probably missing something but the way I envision it is that the only way to use cash is to meet in person and I’m not 100% clear how that would even work utilizing bisq. I’d love to hear a walkthru for safely and anonymously trading bitcoin for cash in the U.S. maybe using bisq and without using bisq.

You can pay with cash deposit into the seller’s bank, I think.
That is probably pretty anonymous.

However face to face trades are as simple and anonymous as it gets.
You just post an offer saying in which town you will meet and agree on details with the other trader once he takes the offer.

Your bitcoins will be locked in a multisig until the trade is finished at which point the seller just confirms the payment in the app and coins go to the buyer. Seller can bring his laptop when meeting with the other trader so he/she can confirm there.

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Won’t a bank ask for ID or something, even to deposit? As a buyer in F2F, I just need to verify funds have arrived before walking away? As seller, I will need my laptop to confirm buyer made payment, correct? Did I read somewhere that bisq needs to be running somewhere during the whole transaction?

I am not sure if and which banks as for ID during a cash deposit.
I think I heard one user said that in US you could do a cash deposit without an ID.

Yes, you got he F2F trade process right. Not many of those happened to this day in Bisq, since it is a relatively new method, so any feedback on how did it go could be useful.

No, Bisq just needs to be running for your offers to be available. You can turn down Bisq safely any time you want. Once the trade has started there is no reason to keep your Bisq online, just to check on the status of the trade.

I’m new to Bisq and have been considering this Zelle/privacy thing before I do my first trade. It would seem to me that; while the Zelle payment is known to the world; what was purchased is only known between the seller and the buyer; and possibly also, an arbitrator; and in this; if someone wanted to determine what was bought, it would take a whole lot of tracking and asking of questions that would have to be answered before what was bought could be learned.

@btc_n_me - Yes. I agree. It would be difficult to track. Perhaps I’m a bit of an extremist when it comes to enrolling in another bullshit payment provider that requires ALL of your identity info and operates through some weird clearinghouse system that the banking cabal recognizes as legit.

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Agree. With all the time and trouble involved with a cash deposit, I’m going to take my chances with Zelle.
Getting off the subject, can you tell me? … suppose I have .3 BTC in my Bisq wallet and accept to buy a listed sell … for my BTC deposit for this TX, would only the .011 deposit be taken out of my Bisq wallet for the deal, or would my whole .3 BTC be sent to the multisig transaction wallet?

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Only the security deposit will be required to start the trade.

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OK, thanks!

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many US co-op (credit unions) allow for cash deposits into a bank account. Besides for a face to face transaction a cash deposit cannot be beat. I would advise you search for sellers who are willing to do cash via a co-op

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Zelle is a peer to peer money transfer system affiliated with many online banks like wells fargo. There are millions of such transactions and there is no way any bank can know why you are sending funds. It could be anything. A friend or family transfer or an purchase or a service. I suggest you stop being paranoid that everything you’re doing is suspicious.


I have a bank account connected with my Bisq account and I have Zelle active in my online banking system. I’m not so stupid as to mention anything in Zelle connected with crypto. The question is when accepting an offer, how do i proceed to complete the Zelle transfer and to whom? There are details with this that remain unclear.

The bank account of the other trader will be displayed to you inside the app once you take the offer.

After that you will just need to confirm that you sent the payment and the other peer will need to confirm that he received it.

I understand what you’re saying in concept but not procedurally. There are gaps. I need to see an actual video or have someone walk me through it on a screen share or over the phone. If you’re willing to do this with me it could then be an immensely useful learning tool for countless others.

Bisq guides you pretty well once you have taken the offer. It should be pretty simple. There are tutorials on Bisq’s youtube channel that are a bit old, but follow the same procedure. Here is one of them.

We can always do a test trade on testnet. You just need to set to use testnet network in the Settings.