While blockchain technology has been heralded as almost flawless with its decentralized distributed ledger able to operate with no issues or hacks, this is more of a misnomer. A lot of work and grind go into making sure a blockchain system or ecosystem operates as it is supposed to.
Part of this work entails looking to external sources to figure out and find bugs that need to be addressed so that the blockchain really is solid and secure. For those who have the ability to do so, there is often money to made here as it has been reported just under $1 million in bounties was paid out to find bugs.
These white-hat hackers who cashed in on the million dollars may seem like a small fraction in comparison to the amount of money involved in the cryptocurrency space, but in comparison to last year, there has been a notable increase. This could equate to more bugs being found, or more likely, more projects needing bugs to be found.
The insight into blockchain bugs can provide an overview as to where blockchain projects are headed, and also the alignment of hackers. Usually, when talking about hackers and cryptocurrency it is nefarious and damaging to the space, but these hackers are looking to help secure the space before issues arise.
According to the report, in terms of paid bug bounties, the cryptocurrency and blockchain ranks as the fourth largest. Internet services, computer software, and media make up the top three.
The cryptocurrency and blockchain industry also paid out the highest average bug bounty of $6,124.
The $1 million paid out marks a 64 surge from 2018. As reported at the time by The Next Web, Block.one awarded a significant amount – more than $500,000 – that year.
Bettering the space
The cryptocurrency industry is one that is quite polar in terms of agents in it. On one hand, there are a number of damaging agents who are looking to take advantage of the nascent and unregulated space. Everyone from scammers to the government in North Korea has been profiting from illicit gains in the space.
On the other hand, whitehat bounty seeking hackers not only help the companies by identifying bugs, they are also helping secure the system to make it harder for the nefarious agents. In fact, there is also evidence of exchanges and the rest of the community banding together when things get tough