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Bounties are no new concept for the cryptosphere. Teams developing new blockchain projects often use them for building a community, increasing engagement with their platform, and even finding bugs in their network.

However, as the industry continues to grow, bounty programs haven’t kept up with the new technological shift. Bounty programs often run in the same old-school way they’ve always operated: tracking how many users click and convert on a specific link. While not updating bounties isn’t detrimental to the programs, it’s nowhere near as efficient as it can be.

What if development teams were to upgrade bounty programs for their initial coin offerings (ICOs) with smart contracts to ensure the best results? That’s exactly where the industry might be heading.

What are Bounties?

Simply put, “bounties” are incentive programs used to achieve any number of goals. Teams building a new cryptocurrency use these programs to take care of tasks they either don’t have time for or ability to do on their own. The structure is simple: people help the development team accomplish tasks and are rewarded with coins or tokens from the project (the “bounty”) for their efforts.

Bounty programs have grown in popularity because they don’t require the development team to have additional funding to pay for help upfront, and they create a further incentive for those pursuing the bounties to see the project succeed. Bounty hunters, whether looking for bugs or helping build the community, are rewarded with tokens from the project they’re promoting.

Since the hunters are rewarded with tokens from the same platform and not ETH, BTC, or fiat currency, it remains in their best interest to help protect the reputation and growth of the project so that their own tokens increase in value as well. The bounty system generates a win-win for both parties.

How Can Bounties Be Improved?

Though bounties are a great way for blockchain teams to accomplish additional tasks and marketing efforts, they’re still lacking in their efficiency. In its current stage, bounties are handled much in the same way that typical referral programs are. When dealing with bounties related to community expansion and social media marketing, they’re often calculated based on how many clicks a specific link gets and whose name is assigned to that link. It doesn’t matter who posts the link, where it gets spread, or who utilizes it, just who the original person affiliated with the link is.

While the old style of referral links may work for something like an exchange referral program (think Coinbase’s “Get $10 worth of BTC after spending $100 with your link”), they’re not as effective for tracking value with more sophisticated programs. For example, when links are shared with a network of people, it’s difficult to track and record who shares them and who to reward when a successful lead or sale is made. If a link is only affiliated with one person (or a general group of people), it’s difficult to reward the specific person(s) responsible for the outcome.

Generating leads, converting sales, and growing the number of people in an ICO community is already difficult enough. Add keeping track of link-sharing and conversions to the mess and the whole process can be overwhelming.

Are Smart Contracts the Answer?

Luckily, there are companies looking to not only streamline this process but make things more equitable for all parties involved. 2key is building a system that can greatly reduce friction in link-sharing chains through smart contracts. By developing their Multi-Step tracking technology, 2key is going to improve bounty programs for ICOs.

Like other referral programs, bounties are crucial for the success of ICOs. The programs enable blockchain development teams to expand influence and accomplish tasks without being required to pay large sums of money beforehand. Since bounty programs allow for cryptocurrency teams to not spend money upfront on these important steps, it frees up funding for other aspects of the project while still rewarding the bounty seekers. With the Multi-Step tracking design, the entire bounty process is going to be uprooted and improved to be fairer.

By leveraging the technology of smart contracts with the viral nature of bounty programs, the Multi-Step tracking system enables links to track and reward every person involved by keeping a real-time record of where links go, who uses them, and where they’re most effective.

When ICOs get involved in community growth and their social media strategy, that recorded information is paramount to their success. With Multi-Step tracking, everyone participating with the link gets rewarded fairly and accurately for the value they contribute to the platform, keeping track of how each link performs for the project.

The Future of Bounties

Smart contract enabled link-sharing chains could be the next thing for bounties, ICOs, and the companies behind them. Besides rewarding affiliates in an equitable and efficient manner, Multi-Step tracking records valuable data for those running the bounties. Bounty organizers get important market insights about where their links are performing the best, what demographics their platform interests the most, and other valuable marketing information about where to concentrate their efforts in the future.

With access to not only an improved referral bounty program, ICOs are going to be able to conduct part of their market research as bounties go out. Accurate market research can cost companies a fortune, but this would allow the development team real-time updates on their efforts and how they should cater their efforts for the future. Just as smart contracts revolutionized and improved the blockchain industry, now they’re doing the same for bounties.


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