A bounty is a reward paid out for the completion of a certain task. In the “Old West,” sheriffs used to post bounties in order to encourage bounty hunters to capture dangerous criminals. This concept is alive and well in today’s world and the cryptocurrency space has made it a core concept of its very special culture. In the crypto world, bounty rewards are almost exclusively paid in Bitcoin and ICO tokens.

Bitcoin faucets

Bitcoin faucets are websites or apps that dispense rewards in the form of Bitcoin. Visitors can claim this reward in exchange for completing a captcha or task as described by the platform. The main revenue stream from this faucets comes from advertisements.

Back in 2009, Bitcoin faucets used to pay up to three Bitcoin per hour. With today’s Bitcoin prices, that would net around $19k. It’s important to note that back then the Bitcoin price was just a fraction of a cent. Nowadays, faucets pay rewards in “Satoshis,” which is a hundredth of a millionth Bitcoin.

Bounty campaigns

In the ICO space, a bounty program is an offer made by many startups which enables individuals to receive compensation for performing marketing tasks, reporting bugs or improving a product or service. Blockchain startups that plan to hold a crowdsale often allocate a certain percentage of their total tokens to such a campaign.

Bounties are mainly found on forums like Bitcointalk and bounty networks. There are rarely any barriers of entry at all and the only thing a bounty hunter needs to do in order to participate is submit a link to his work. This submission will then be checked by the admin of the campaign who will decide if the submission deserves a reward or not.

Many ICO startups choose to hold a bounty campaign because it enables them to get tens of thousands of dollars worth of marketing impact or improvement suggestions for just a small token allocation. Additionally, bounty programs have proven to be an excellent tool to build a community around a project or service.

How to become a bounty hunter

Typically bounty campaigns consist of a variety of bounty types. These bounties range from simple retweets and Facebook likes all the way to article writing, bug bounties, and platform feature ideas. Anyone can complete these tasks and receive a portion of the bounty awards provided the submission meets minimum quality requirements. Generally, bounty campaigns contain detailed instructions explaining to the bounty hunter how to submit completed bounties and receive rewards for doing so.

It is very important that a bounty hunter carefully selects what bounty campaigns he dedicates his time and effort to. Many tokens distributed in bounty programs may have no value at all. Some red flags a bounty hunter should be looking for:

  • No whitepaper
  • Start-up uses Google/Instagram ads to promote ICO
  • Less than $50k allocated to the bounty program
  • Check the team. Do you trust that they’ll pay your reward?
  • Token mechanics. Do they really need a token?

Endless gold-rush?

The times of receiving three Bitcoins an hour from faucets are long over. However, there are still lots of opportunities out there for Bounty Hunters to earn some impressive rewards.

As Pascal Thellmann, Co-founder of Bounty0x pointed out in a tweet:

“Bounties are becoming a major use case for cryptocurrency. Payments are instantaneous, trustless and anonymous if necessary.”

With new ICOs popping up everyday and a general trend towards “tokenization,” the popularity of bounties will very likely follow the trend of cryptocurrency adoption.