Decentralized autonomous organization

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The Bisq network is organized as a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). The Bisq DAO's purpose is to make the Bisq's governance model as decentralized and censorship-resistant as the Bisq network itself.

The Bisq founders realized that decentralized software—no matter how technically robust—is no good if it’s still controlled by a single entity. All the software’s technical strength would be worthless if the whole project could be ruined by attacking the single entity that runs it.

Thus the need for decentralizing the resources in charge of running Bisq itself. These resources cannot be organized in the form of a company, a nonprofit, or any other traditional organization because a single entity would be a single point of failure. But what to do? How can a project do anything useful without becoming an organization with some kind of structure? How can strategy be determined? How can resources be allocated? How can work get done? How can revenue be earned, and how can it be distributed?

The Bisq project needed infrastructure to provide these functions, and the Bisq DAO is its solution.

You do not have to participate in any aspect of the DAO or BSQ to use Bisq, but you may find it interesting. It's built entirely on Bitcoin and been operating since early 2019 without major issue.

This page aggregates resources to help you learn more about the Bisq DAO, what it is, and how it works!

General Information


Reference Material

  • DAO technical overview - see (1) what BSQ tokens actually are, how they’re created, and how they’re destroyed and (2) the various functions of the Bisq DAO and how BSQ enables them. The document includes several example transactions so you can explicitly see the processes.

Outdated documents

The following documents are outdated. They are provided here purely for those who would like to explore the ideas upon which Bisq was built, and how it has evolved through the years.

  • Phase Zero [PDF] - a thorough plan published in late 2017 covering the vision for the Bisq DAO, why it's needed, and how it would be rolled out
  • Overview [PDF] - an earlier version of the Phase Zero document
  • DAO technical spec [PDF] - a technical overview of the Bisq DAO written about 2 years before it launched
  • White paper [PDF] - a detailed look of Bisq's founding mission and principles, written early on (within a year of its launch)