The Wild West Gone Digital

Estimated time to read: 6 minutes

Introduction

Software bounty hunting services are not a unique concept. However, and to the detriment of all parties involved, bounty hunters rarely have certainty of payment and are deterred from picking up projects. Bounty0x is attempting to fix this market flaw by creating a trustless bounty hunting service with smart contract functionality.

Despite not even reaching the soft-cap in their initial coin offering, Bounty0x has spent the weeks since its release drumming up community support, advertising the growth in bounty listings, and firing off partnership announcements by the day. While their bounty campaigns were initially marketed towards ICOs, the Bounty0x exchange is already busy with orders ranging from translation requests, bug-testing, and even tracking down hackers.

Technology and Use Case

Bounty0x is an ERC-20 token and as such enjoys similar benefits to other altcoins operating on the Ethereum blockchain. Importantly, the Ethereum smart contract functionality is what makes the deregulated staking mechanisms and decentralised transferal of funds possible.

What separates Bounty0x from other bounty hunting platforms are its smart contract staking systems. Here, businesses or persons posting bounties (the ‘Host’) must stake the Bounty0x token before their task is viewable on the exchange for software engineers (the ‘Hunter’) to peruse. The tokens are at this point taken out of the host’s hands and locked into a smart contract until the job listing is either completed or invalidated by third-party moderators (the ‘Sheriff’) who stakes tokens for the privilege of being a sheriff. The sheriff validates both the authenticity of the host’s listing to deter spam and also assesses where or not the task was completed. If the task is complete, the hunter receives payment. If the task is flagged as inappropriate or spam, the tokens are burned. It should be noted that while the host stakes the Bounty token, the hunter can be compensated in a variety of currencies.

While there are exceptions to this formula — such as ‘Super Bounties’ where the hunter stakes tokens — it is otherwise a straightforward job listing process:

  1. The host lists a task by staking Bounty tokens, which constructs the smart contract,
  2. A sheriff validates the listing,
  3. A hunter completes the task,
  4. A sheriff ensures the quality of the work,
  5. The smart contract is executed, paying-out the hunter.

On face value, this is a functional product (albeit in Alpha) with bounties being listed and completed at this very moment — and people are noticing. Making crypto-news headlines, an individual recently staked $100,000 for information which could lead to the arrest of the Ether Delta hacker. There are, of course, other less-exciting posts for bug-fixes and hack-proofings, but despite only roughly a month passing since emerging ICO, and in a market where even Top 20 currencies have barely-functional products, Bounty0x has shown it’s more than just a Whitepaper and cute web-design.

However, while the project is commendable, the actual Bounty0x token sits in an awkward middle-ground. The token is only necessitated by the platform’s staking mechanism, whereas payout can be in any number of currencies, and there doesn’t yet exist any compelling incentive schemes for hunter’s to elect payment to be made in Bounty0x tokens. It has to be wondered if the token has longevity when there is minimal utility, and if this project would have been better constructed as a general crypto exchange.

To their credit, the team has been releasing weekly development updates, the most recent outlining feature releases relating to automated testing and design, and interestingly, a mention of a user interface redesign. Overall, it seems no significant platform changes been implemented since their crowdsale, however, their roadmap indicates significant changes to their automated payment distribution network will be released in March and the sheriff staking mechanism should be live by Q2 of this year.

Our rating: ★★★★☆

Team

There’s no denying that what has been created under the Bounty0x brand so far is impressive. However, contrasting other projects TheBitFeed has reviewed (such as Waltonchain whose advisors had together published 290 academic papers), Bounty0x just doesn’t deliver an all-star team — or even a seemingly experienced team. While Reddit threads questioning this might get downvoted into obscurity, it still needs to be addressed.

Despite the high likelihood that Bounty0x will update their website and relevant LinkedIn’s sometime soon to reflect their growing team, this is currently all we have to go off right now — and it’s a little underwhelming.

In the Whitepaper, lofty statements are made as to the founder’s credibilities and working history. Angelo Adam (CEO) claims to have worked as an equities trader “at a hedge fund”, yet the only hedge fund listed on his LinkedIn directs to a broken website. Continuing the trend of being incredibly vague, Pascal Thellmann (Sales & Marketing) was interning at TecForFun in 2015, and the only other notable part of his employment history is supposedly “work(ing) on a successful German e-commerce website”. Lastly, Deniz Dalkilic (Leader Developer), the only founding member with experience in software development, impressively received his Masters in Computer Software Engineering in 2012. However, it seems he may only be working on Bounty0x part time, as he he still indicates that he is employed as a Software Engineer at Thomson Reuters.

This is not intended to discredit the team — it’s rather impressive a young team has accomplished so much and seems equipped to continue delivering their project. Further, the team is still looking to hire and is making every effort to bring as much experience as possible to the Bounty0x brand. But amongst crypto teams Bounty0x will be compared to — especially as they continue to climb in Market Cap — then the Bounty0x team (in its current state) would leave most people wanting.

Our rating: ★★☆☆☆

Social

And then there’s an elephant in the room: Bounty0x have really doubled-down on the ‘Old West’ theme in their marketing, terminology, and creative direction. Yet in an space where projects are opting for identically inoffensive and minimalist stylistic choices, Bounty0x — in our opinion — stand out from the crowd and carry an original and unique charm. Ultimately, this will come down to personal preference, because if cowboys and Indians aren’t your jam then you’re going to get pretty bored pretty quick with the Bounty0x platform.

Like other tokens emerging from a shaky-at-best ICO, Bounty0x has since enjoyed rallying community support. With an active Reddit where developer’s regularly pop by, a Telegram breaking 4,500 members, and a Twitter focused on informing followers of updates, growth in adoption, and successfully completed bounties — as opposed to discussing #Gains and moonshots — the Bounty0x team have executed a textbook social media campaign.

Our rating: ★★★★☆

Conclusion

After their unremarkable initial coin offering and the lack of a compelling case for the Bounty0x token, Bounty0x — had the team only come together today — would have been a perfect candidate to have their ICO and token facilitated by Simple Token.

But despite the odds, Bounty0x has still been settling business partnerships, organising further exchange listings, and climbing in Market Cap. With a business model that’s already very much in demand, unrelenting community support, and Alpha v2 just around the corner, Bounty0x will continue to remain relevant and can expect to see more and more bounties being listed throughout 2018.

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