Bisq - The P2P Exchange Network

Bisq is an open-source desktop application that allows you to buy and sell bitcoins in exchange for national currencies, or alternative crypto currencies.

Has anyone been able to get this running? It seems to come pre-packaged with Tor? Is it trying to run Tor over Tor in Whonix? Did I read that Whonix has built-in measures to prevent this?

Bisq seems like an interesting project.

Edit by Patrick:
See user documentation.

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Bubonic Chronic:

Did I read that Whonix has built-in measures to prevent this?


If that works depends on the technical specifics how Bisq starts and
uses Tor.

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Well, I have not done any extensive testing yet. But out of the box, given enough time, Bisq seems to connect without a problem. (It says I am connected to 8-9 peers at any given time).

I have not attempted to use any currencies yet, but the program itself seems to run as expected.

I’m going to poke at it a bit more, then I’m going to see if I can exchange currencies without going broke.

I’ll keep this thread updated with my progress.

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If that works

-> Clarification: If Tor over Tor protection works depends on the Tor integration of Bisq. I don’t know.

There might be indeed connectivity but with Tor over Tor. Look for Tor in running processes and look how Bisq code starts Tor or checks if it is already running.

Tested. Results in Tor over Tor.
https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Dev/anon-ws-disable-stacked-tor can’t prevent it.
Doesn’t talk to system Tor’s default ControlPort.

See also:


# This file was generated by Tor; if you edit it, comments will not be preserved
# The old torrc file was renamed to torrc.orig.1 or similar, and Tor will ignore it

AvoidDiskWrites 1
ClientTransportPlugin fte exec ./PluggableTransports/fteproxy.bin --managed
ClientTransportPlugin obfs2,obfs3,obfs4,scramblesuit exec ./PluggableTransports/obfs4proxy
ClientTransportPlugin meek exec ./PluggableTransports/meek-client
ControlPort auto
CookieAuthentication 1
CookieAuthFile /home/user/.local/share/Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor/.tor/control_auth_cookie
DataDirectory /home/user/.local/share/Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor
GeoIPFile /home/user/.local/share/Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor/geoip
GeoIPv6File /home/user/.local/share/Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor/geoip6
HiddenServiceDir /home/user/.local/share/Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor/hiddenservice
HiddenServicePort 9999
HiddenServiceStatistics 0
PidFile /home/user/.local/share/Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor/pid
RunAsDaemon 1
SocksPort auto

/opt/Bisq/Bisq starts a process:

/home/user/.local/share/Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor/tor -f /home/user/.local/share/Bisq/btc_mainnet/tor/torrc __OwningControllerProcess 4987
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For anyone that knows Java, Bisq needs developers to help them fine tune their Tor implementation. There are quite a few Tor related issues on their tracker.

@Patrick Do these options work for you in Whonix Workstation?


Ok. I’ll give it a shot.

I’m a bit confused as to which parameters I should use for this. The port method or the cookie file method? Any documentation on applications with similar options would be appreciated.

I tried this command on workstation: ./bisq-desktop --torControlPort 9051 --torControlPassword notrequired

Got this error:

Apr-25 01:06:56.345 [NetworkNode-9999] INFO  b.n.p2p.network.RunningTor: Connecting to running tor 
 pr-25 01:06:56.492 [TorControlParser] TRACE o.b.netlayer.tor.Tor: >> AUTHENTICATE 6E6F747265717569726564
Apr-25 01:06:56.493 [TorControlParser] TRACE o.b.netlayer.tor.Tor: << 250 OK 
 pr-25 01:06:56.549 [TorControlParser] TRACE o.b.netlayer.tor.Tor: >> SETEVENTS CIRC WARN ERR
Apr-25 01:06:56.549 [TorControlParser] TRACE o.b.netlayer.tor.Tor: << 510 Command filtered 
Apr-25 01:06:56.550 [NetworkNode-9999] ERROR b.n.p2p.network.TorNetworkNode: Could not connect to running Tor: Error reply: Command filtered 
Apr-25 01:06:56.552 [JavaFX Application Thread] ERROR bisq.core.app.P2PNetworkSetup: onSetupFailed 

This command exits successfully: bash -x tor-ctrl -p notrequired -c "signal newnym"

My Tor Controller knowledge is limited so I would appreciate any troubleshooting suggestions.

Progress was made. Instructions https://www.whonix.org/wiki/Bisq updated. An onion-grater profile was written just now which solves the command filtered issues.

Bisq does not connect yet, says: “No seed nodes available.”

Cause unknown. Bisq has many native Tor issues so it may or may not be an issue caused by Whonix.

Found a bug:

The fix is now in Whonix 15 repository.
For Whonix 14 a workaround is documented.
Bisq is working for me now.
Testers welcome!


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Instructions bug fixed and improved clarity yet again.


Thanks! I’ve been using Bisq in the past inside the Workstation and guess it was Tor over Tor.

The instructions seems a bit scary though. Will it be possible to do it in Whonix 15 without touching the Gateway (include the onion grater profile as default? is it done for other apps?), and without opening all ports in the Workstation?

I feel this is a super important application to have for anyone serious about crypto.

Not that I know.

No, not good to do that by default.

bisq, onionshare, ricochet, zeronet

Not that I know.

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