Crypto DEX stops all trading due to critical security flaw

on Apr 8, 2020
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • A popular decentralized crypto exchange, Bisq, halted trading due to security vulnerability.
  • The exchange noted that the users' funds remain safe due to its security model, but users should stop trading.
  • Exchange used the alert key to stop trades, users can still override it, although they should not to do it.

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Decentralized crypto exchanges typically see fewer security issues than centralized ones. This is due to the fact that they do not act as custodians for their users’ funds. As a result, bad actors do not have much to steal, even if they did manage to go past the exchanges’ security.

However, they are still not immune to security vulnerabilities. One good example is the DEX, Bisq, which recently announced that it has stopped all trading activity.

Bisq temporarily halts trading

The exchange made its announcement of the critical security vulnerability yesterday, April 7th. It said that it also disabled trading via the alert key. However, it stressed that trading is only halted temporarily.

As a proper distributed P2P network, it allows users to “override the latest alert key functionality that blocks trading.” However, it also added that it “highly discourage you from doing this for your own security.”

It announced that the update for its trading app will arrive shortly. Meanwhile, traders should stay patient and calm, and not send any funds, even if they have active trades. It is better for everything to stop until the platform implements the solution.

The fix should come within hours

The new, upcoming version, v1.3.0 will fix the problem, and as soon as it gets implemented, traders can continue trading as usual. Until then, however, existing trades cannot be completed. The exchange noted that the users’ funds are not at risk, thanks to its security model.

Bisq itself is an open-source, P2P application that lets its users purchase or sell digital coins with fiat currencies. It is a popular entry-level exchange that doesn’t keep users’ funds in its own storage, as centralized exchanges do. Instead, users can trade from their own wallets directly. This allows for greater security, although such systems usually lack the liquidity of major centralized exchanges.


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