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BSQ or BSQ colored bitcoin tokens are a core element of the Bisq DAO.

BSQ Token

A BSQ token is a coloured coin on the Bitcoin blockchain. More plainly, a BSQ token is merely a few satoshis with some additional properties that identify it as BSQ in Bisq software. Outside Bisq, a BSQ token just looks like a few satoshis. But on Bisq, the additional properties have the following results:

  • the satoshis take on the market value of a BSQ token
  • the owner of the satoshis is endowed with power to participate in various Bisq governance functions

See it for yourself: here’s a BSQ transaction on an ordinary block explorer, and here’s that same transaction on a BSQ block explorer.

The value of a BSQ token is determined by the market as stakeholders buy and sell tokens to perform various functions in the DAO. Because BSQ tokens are only recognized by Bisq software, BSQ trading can only happen in Bisq software.

  • The BSQ token is not associated with any kind of initial coin offering (ICO) or capital-raising initiative. It’s merely a tool to decentralize the governance of the already-functional Bisq exchange service. As of December 2018, Bisq has facilitated over 19,000 trades without major incident since it went into production in April 2016.

You can learn more about coloured coins here in this interview or here. Technical details of BSQ tokens are available here.

More About BSQ

A single BSQ token is denominated as 100 satoshis (i.e., it’s represented on the Bitcoin blockchain as 0.00000100 BTC). This bitcoin is 'coloured' with additional properties that allow the Bisq software to recognize it as BSQ.

BSQ can only be created in one of two ways:

  • through the genesis distribution (detailed below)
  • through an issuance transaction (compensation request or reimbursement request)

While BSQ is just bitcoin, it should only be stored in a Bisq wallet.


Please do not try to send BSQ to a non-Bisq wallet, or to otherwise create your own BSQ transactions. The rules to form a valid BSQ transaction are rather complex, and even the slightest error can result in invalid BSQ. Even the technical overview does not cover every single detail—the only complete reference is the source code. Also note that future code changes may break custom transactions or implementations. Bisq will NOT provide support for any such cases.

BSQ Wallet

BSQ is stored in a Bitcoin wallet, but the Bisq software takes several measures to keep BSQ and BTC separate to prevent mixing the two by accident. On disk, BTC and BSQ wallets are stored in separate files. In the Bisq interface, BSQ wallets are prefixed with a 'B' to prevent users from mistakenly using BSQ as BTC.

As an additional protection measure, Bisq wallets use a special BIP44 derivation path that other wallets won’t understand.

For user convenience, the built-in Bisq wallets for BTC and BSQ share the same seed.

More details are in the technical overview.