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What is an ICO bounty program?

What does a rewards system look like on the blockchain? In this, we explore different types of ICO bounty programs.

Written by Rebecca Leighton Published on

The concept of a bounty program comes up every now in and again in initial coin offering (ICO) projects. Despite what it might sound like, it has nothing to do with getting paid in coconut chocolate.

The origin of online bounties

The term “bounty” is known to mean a reward for some sort of task or activity performed and it is carried into online platforms too. In the digital world, bounties made their first appearance on gaming platforms which offered rewards to users who participated in the development of games.

In other words, one could describe a bounty as a trade exchange whereby the participant offers a service and is granted a reward in compensation.

Bounties in cryptocurrency

Like in the gaming world, bounties have made their way into the cryptocurrency ecosystem and many an ICO project have seen the inclusion of the concept. This is in order to explore a range of tasks that the development team might not be able to get to. Many crypto startups use bounties as a means to test for bugs, for marketing strategies or for looking at ways in which to improve the infrastructure of the project.

There are certain occasions where a company might make use of a bounty without the inclusion of an ICO, such as in the case of trying to find out important information. Earlier this year Binance, one of the leading trade exchanges, offered $250 000 USD in reward for the arrest of hackers involved in irregular transactions. However, it is more common that bounty programs are offered before the ICO has opened or after the ICO has closed.

Pre-ICO Bounty Programs

There are many different types of activities which might be offered as bounties but common types of pre-ICOs include activities such as:

Bitcointalk Signature Bounties

This bounty is offered to most junior members of the Bitcointalk forum. In this activity, a project would launch a code-embedded signature and participants who post the signature stand in line to gain rewards from the project. The participant’s ranking plays a major role in how big the reward might be.

Social Media Campaign Programs

As the name suggests, this sort of bounty program involves activities which will be used to advertise the project using social media platforms. For example, a participant might be expected to promote the project on their social media account, such as retweets on Twitter, shares on Facebook or likes on Instagram. Rewards might be offered depending on how much engagement a participant might offer or how far a post might reach.

Article Writing Bounties

Participants who have a notable following on their blogs are likely to be eligible to perform a sort of task which might see feature articles about the project published. Similar to a social media campaign, rewards are most likely based on the impressions or reach that an article might make.

Post-ICO Bounty Programs

Like pre-ICO programs, there are a variety of different activities on offer. Most common tasks come in the form of:

Bug Reporting

This is offered with the intention of sorting any bugs that might be in the tech development of a project. Participants are rewarded for finding and reporting on any bugs that might appear in the project’s platform.

John McAfee, of the McAfee anti-virus software company, has made use of this bounty program in his “unhackable” wallet.

Translation Campaigns

This task sees participants translate certain project related text into different languages. Participants who are multilingual can gain rewards for either translating pertinent project documents or for acting as a translator in online forums. Most copy that is often translated in bounty programs is text on the company’s website or the project’s white paper.

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Written by

Internet writer looking to find the right piece. Also presents things on radio and happens to be a chip off the old blockchain. @BeckyRLeighton