Blockchain financial services firm NYDIG’s two-week old Bitcoin Task Bounties program to pay developers to improve the Bitcoin network has paid out $1,800 for two tasks that have been completed so far, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The firm’s Bounty Alliance (BIL), a Bitcoin Improvement Protocol (BIP) developed in conjunction with the company, recently unveiled its $59,000 in BTC which will be “rewarded for BIP’s that improve and enhance the network.” The initiative is designed to help developers who work on improving Bitcoin and create a new level of relationships between developers and enterprise companies. BIL aims to attract more developers by providing an avenue for them to earn cryptocurrency for their efforts.
The first completed task was worth $800 and involved improving network security by reducing the size of Bitcoin blocks from 1 to 0.5 megabytes, according to sources.
Individuals who want to contribute to the NYDIG network can visit the Task Bounties page, select a task to complete and receive payment in U.S. dollars or the equivalent amount of bitcoin (BTC) upon completion of the task. The minimum request is $200. The company will also have a BIL token that can be used to track the progress of tasks in real time and reward developers for maintaining quality work throughout the initiative.
The bounties program is just one of the ways that NYDIG is encouraging developers to work on improving the Bitcoin network. The company also launched the Bitcoin Infrastructure Grants Program earlier this year, which provides funding for projects that improve the scalability, privacy or security of Bitcoin.
NYDIG has earmarked $59,000 to be paid out, with the bounty for current tasks ranging from $600 to $8,400 per task. Tasks include fixing bugs, configuring block height managing consensus checks and more.
While NYDIG is the first company to offer bounties for developers, it’s not the only organization that has expressed interest in blockchain development. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently concluded its second annual Blockchain Challenge, which saw a number of startups compete for prizes and funding to help develop their projects further.
The bounties program is open to anyone, although NYDIG says it will prioritize developers who are new to the Bitcoin space. This is not the first time that NYDIG has offered bounties for Bitcoin development. The company previously ran a similar program in 2019, which saw $25,000 paid out to developers.
NYDIG seeks to advance blockchain technology into mainstream use by providing financial services for corporations. In December, the company raised $1 billion in funding to develop its product infrastructure. More recently in February, it launched a program for companies to allow employees to receive a portion of their paychecks in bitcoin.
Critics of the NYDIG bounty program argue that it is essentially paying developers to build applications on top of Bitcoin. Such a practice would further centralize mining and development power, which critics claim could have negative consequences for the network. Each payment from the bounty program currently includes a 250-bitcoin transaction fee, drawing criticism for its high cost.
NYDIG is one of many companies that have recently announced large investments in the cryptocurrency space. Many experts believe that the recent influx of capital into the sector signals a strong rebound for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies after a difficult year in 2018. Although there are some concerns around centralization, many experts continue to see great potential in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a decentralized store of value and medium of exchange.
What do you think about NYDIG’s $59K Bitcoin Bounties Program? Do you believe that it will help to improve the Bitcoin network or could it have negative consequences? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!