Decentralized Net Platform MaidSafe Announces Bitcoin Paying Code Bounty Program for SAFE Network Development

MaidSafe, the company leading development of a decentralized internet platform without specialized servers and data centers, is introducing a code bounty program to attract developers to build its SAFE Network. The bounties will be paid out in bitcoins only.

Nick Lambert, MaidSafe’s head of marketing, stated the following:

We have mentioned the introduction of a code bounty program a few times recently and, in the true spirit of Open Source software, we want the community to be able to take an active role in helping MaidSafe roll out the SAFE Network. This will not only decentralise and spread knowledge of how the network functions, it will also enable SAFE to be released more quickly. The following post will provide a bit more detail on how we see MaidSafe’s code bounty program working initially.

MaidSafe will list tasks in Jira, a project tracking software by Atlassian, where any developer with a Jira ID can claim and start a task. MaidSafe indicates that the tasks will be fully specified by the maintainer of that library whose e-mail address is published in that library’s GitHub readme.

The terms of the bounty program include:

  • Participation will be on a first come first serve basis
  • The bounty only applies to open Jira tasks identified by the MaidSafe team
  • The developer that claims the task will be given a sufficient amount of time to complete it. For example, a task that is scheduled for 8 points, equivalent to around 8 hours work, should be completed in one day. However, if a GitHub pull request is not received at the end of this period, or the task is not correct (e.g. “doesn’t pass tests and other task requirements as specified in the task description”), it will be made available to the rest of the community. MaidSafe will be strict about timescales and work quality to avoid delays.
  • All submissions should take the form of a GitHub pull request
  • If the task is complete, meets the spec and passes all tests including coverage, MaidSafe will pay the bounty in bitcoins to the successful developer
  • Each contributor must agree to the terms of the MaidSafe Contributor Agreement
  • MaidSafe’s core development team and employees are not eligible for rewards

The rewards of the bounty program include:

    • $20 per story point, paid in bitcoins only. Story points are used by MaidSafe to estimate task timescales
    • One story point is typically calculated to be around 1 hours work
    • The reward will be paid on the merger of a contributors pull request to a bitcoin account of their choosing. MaidSafe says it can also donate the bounty to a preferred charity that accepts bitcoin. Contributors must enter the bitcoin address into the pull request description field
    • An “exclusive and limited” SAFE Network core development t-shirt (A one off reward and is limited to one shirt per developer)
    • The developers name will be added to the main SAFE Network repositories

According to Lambert, the MaidSafe bounty program is likely to change over time as it develops and grows.

Lambert noted:

We plan on starting the program slowly and in about 2 weeks time we will identify the tasks from the current sprint (RUST-3) that are eligible. Over time, we anticipate opening up all Jira tasks to the community, but we would like to trial the process first. In future, we may start to pick much bigger pieces of work, such as the addition of specific network features, and ask community members to compete for them. These types of projects would obviously carry many more story points and be much more lucrative, but we should learn to walk before we can run!

The MaidSafe development team recently reach an important goal, essentially getting a stable version of its SAFE Network functioning from end to end. Utilizing the Authentication API via the SAFE Client, users are now able to self-authenticate by creating their own username and password and accessing the network without the permission of a third party. During the process, the network’s transport connection layer connects the peer nodes, allowing a cryptographic identity verification layer to establish and maintain connections to other network nodes.

Lambert noted:

This is a phenomenal and long-sought achievement for everyone at MaidSafe, and is truly a major milestone ticked off. Yes, we have had an operational network before, but never one so stable, efficient or lacking in complexity. This lack of complexity is a very good thing and something of a personal mission for David [Irvine]. A significant reduction in the lines of code – from hundreds of thousands to a few tens of thousands – not only enables new network features to be added much more quickly, it also makes it easier for bugs to be spotted and for other projects to utilise our code, much in the same way that we have employed the code of others. Open source collaboration is truly a wonderful thing to be a part of!

David Irvine is founded MaidSafe in 2005 and leading development of the platform’s open source components.