If you follow interesting cryptocurrency projects on forums and social media then you've likely seen the term "bounty" appear every now and then. What is this bounty they refer to and how can you profit from it?
As you've probably noticed, cryptocurrency projects are community-driven. Some ICOs have distributed teams around the world, aren't physically together and many times some members of the ICO team haven't even met each other personally! The same applies to the Bitcoin development team. It's a diverse group with software engineers from many areas, from academia to cipherpunks to self taught coders.
Cryptocurrency projects leverage this distributed know-how by offering bounties to freelancers who can contribute to a project but are not directly attached to it. Since most crypto software is open source, a bounty could be offered, for example, for anyone who finds bugs in the code. Projects with lots of visibility usually attract the help of hundreds of bounty hunters who'll study the code from start to finish looking for possible bugs in exchange for a reward.
Bounties are usually paid in the token being traded in the ICO. This presents both a risk and an opportunity for bounty hunters. If the ICO is successful, the value of the bounty may multiply many times over. Those who received a decent amount of Ethereum during its ICO, for instance, could potentially be millionaires today. Other ICOs weren't as successful and didn't necessarily provide a good reward to contributors.
So how do you participate in a bounty? It's simple. Search Google for a string like "ICO bounty" and filter by recent results, weekly or monthly. You'll then find crypto projects which are paying bounties for specific tasks. Twitter is another good source for bounty hunting, you may search the social network for combinations of ICO and cryptocurrency bounty and sort by latest, many opportunities may show up.
Note that many bounties being offered are posted by bounty hunters themselves! Some of these bounties are related to social media promotion, where the freelancer promotes some kind of social interaction in exchange for tokens. Others may offer a tracking link with a bounty hunter ID encoded in it where the ICO managers will pay the ID owner a certain amount of tokens when people sign up using this specific link. Promoting Telegram channels is also very common with bounty hunters, since Telegram seems to have become the de facto instant messenger for cryptocurrencies. Many bounty hunters will establish their own Telegram channels, much like you'd set up email lists, to hold on to potential investors and send them periodic offers.
Bounties are a great way to earn some cryptocurrency while learning a lot about the promotion and development of ICOs. Many bounty hunters may end up getting hired by crypto projects later on, as their talent is displayed during this preliminary phase of a successful cryptocurrency public offering.
The kinds of tasks for which bounties are paid include:
And many, many more. Bounties are usually meant to form a community and get folks interested in the ICO or cryptocurrency project. The more people join a project in whatever capacity, the more buzz is generated and more demand is generated for the project. The idea behind bounties is to get a loosely knit team together, mostly made up of people who the management has never met.
For bounty hunters it's an opportunity to display your talent, to candidate yourself to be hired in the future by the successful projects you promote and, in the short term, it's a great way to earn some tokens, coins and make some cash in the world of crypto.