Want "cash by mail" as a payment option? Upvote this feature request

I’ve created a Github feature request to add “cash by mail” and “cash in person” as a payment option for bisq. If you want this feature, please upvote and/or add your comments in support, so that the devs know that this is a desired feature.

In the feature request, I outlined how such payments would work in practice (including how arbitrators might handle disputes).

For purposes of discussion, I’ve reproduced my github feature request below.


Bisq advertises privacy as one of the features it offers; to whit:

“Private – no one except trading partners exchange personally identifying data. All personal data is stored locally.”

However, this is not true. All of the currently listed payment methods require signing up with a bank or financial institution and sharing with them rather invasive details about one’s identity and financial history.

The currently allowed payment methods are also unavailable to anyone who is unbanked, such as an immigrant, or a resident of a country where the banking system is underdeveloped and only available to the wealthy.

Therefore, I’d like to request that bisq add support for payments by “cash in person” and “cash by mail”.

Note that this is already an option at several other exchanges/companies:

https://localbitcoins.com/buy-bitcoins-online/cash-by-mail/

Here’s how “cash by mail” payments for bitcoin (BTC) are handled on other sites:

Bitcoin buyer packages cash in a tamper-resistant cash control bag

Buyer films packaging with the tracking number already affixed to packaging.

Buy sends the package with USPS tracking.

Seller films the opening of the package, making sure that the tracking number provided by the sender is visible in the video.

Seller counts the cash, and authenticates the cash.

If the unpackaging video shows there is nothing in the package, the cash is short, or the cash is counterfeit then then the seller can lodge a dispute.

If the cash is short, then the arbitrator can ask the buyer to send more cash to the seller, or refund some of the BTC.

If there is extra cash, the the arbitrator can ask the seller to send the buyer extra BTC as a separate transaction.

If the dispute goes to adjudication:

For the buyer to win, they’d do so on the basis that the unpackaging video showed some evidence of either tampering with the tracking sticker or the package. Or the seller didn’t do a proper job of filming the unpackaging.

For seller win, they would need to somehow prove that they did not receive the package or it did not contain the contents promised. This is a tall order. Adjudication would be able to see that the tracking number provided showed that the package was delivered (and possibly signed for). The packaging video would also clearly show that the right amount of cash going into the package. In order to succeed with a scam, the seller would need to tamper with the tracking sticker and transfer it to another package and video that as the fake video they would submit to adjudicators–in practice, it’s quite a bit of work to make the packaging look similar enough to fool the arbitrators.

On LocalBitcoins the adjudication standard is that if the cash doesn’t make it to the Bitcoin seller for any reason, the default resolution (with rare exceptions) is that the escrow will be resolved in the favor of the seller.

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I do not trust much in the security of a film to guarantee security. It is a field for skilled people. If I was a TV conjurer I’m sure I would know a thousand ways to make fraud with that.

I made an effort to build an algorithm to send money by mail in a totally secure way.

It is not perfect, but it is bad to cheat: any attempt would result in a serious loss on both sides, no one can earn money cheating. It also introduces, but in a subsidiary way, a system similar to the one you propose (in case the seller says he has not received the payment)

Perhaps both systems can be combined.

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I agree–if the seller doesn’t dispute or respond, then the BTC should be sent to the buyer after some reasonable time.

I’ve created a separate feature request to describe how to do a “Cash in person” purchase here:

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