What Are ICO Bounty Programs?

Market penetration is one of the main components of any marketing strategy, and its goal is to ensure that the product or service on offer reaches as many people as possible, while raising public awareness about the company and how to utilize its products and services. This creates beneficial word-of-mouth advertising which is one of the most effective ways to increase sales. it’s no surprise then, that social media and other forms of online marketing are great promotional tools that are widely utilized by most businesses, and bounty programs are an essential aspect of most digital marketing endeavors as well.  

What are Bounty Programs?

The concept of bounties originates from a system that online gaming platforms formerly utilized, where they would provide rewards for individuals who had agreed to participate in the development of their latest game. In that sense, bounties are a contrivance where companies reward individuals with incentives for performing a certain action task that will help the gaming company to promote a new product or service. Since then, bounties have actually become a really viable form of advertising for most companies.

In the world of cryptocurrency startups, ICO campaigns are incomplete without bounties. You see, ICO campaigns with bounty programs enable companies to rope in certain individuals for particular tasks associated with marketing, refining some aspects of the cryptocurrency framework and even bug reporting. The reward in this case, is usually in the form of fiat currency or cryptocurrency tokens, and bounty programs have proven to be a very useful mechanism which fits in well with the cryptocurrency space, as it provides superb incentives and rewards for both the individuals and the cryptocurrency companies involved.

The ICO Bounty Framework

At this stage, adding bounty programs to ICO campaigns has become the norm for cryptocurrency startups and the bounties are either done Pre-ICO or Post-ICO, but never directly with the ICOs.

Pre-ICO Bounty Programs

Pre-bounty programs happen before the ICO, and their purpose is to drum up enough buzz so that the cryptocurrency project can gain widespread social media presence. Its aim is to attract word-of-mouth advertising and spread awareness about the cryptocurrency ICO in order to increase its chances of penetrating the market. Simply put, the more people talk about the cryptocurrency ICO, the more people become aware of it and the more likely they are to share their knowledge of it with others.

Some of the main activities involved in a Pre-ICO bounty include:


  • Social Media Campaign Bounties


This part of the bounty program includes promoting the ICO through activities that are carried out on various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Participants are offered rewards based on the amount of engagement created by their posts on these platforms, and this includes engagement like views, comments, likes, shares and retweets.  


  • Article Writing Bounties


This particular bounty is aimed at bloggers that have a large online following, with big readership and subscriber numbers. Here, the blogger would be required to write an article or a blog post about the ICO, which would make them eligible for certain rewards based on the level of engagement that’s created by the posts and articles.


  • Bitcointalk Signature Bounties


As the name implies, this particular bounty is only open to individuals that have a Jr. Member status or above on the Bitcointalk forum, and it’s actually a very popular option for a lot of ICOs. However, the rewards on signature bounties are contingent on the number of stakes that the participants get for the signature.

Post-ICO Bounty Programs

After the fundraising and ICO has been done, the final step is to tweak the cryptocurrency project based on suggestions that have been received from the community. The post-ICO bounty, in that sense, is all about improving the cryptocurrency project so that it can get the stamp of approval from the community involved with the project.

Some of the main activities in a Post-ICO bounty may include:


  • Translation Campaign Bounties


The main aim of this task is to translate all the documents that are related to the cryptocurrency project in order to accurately moderate various forum groups. This bounty program is therefore aimed at native speakers of languages such as German, Dutch, Spanish, French and Japanese etc. The translations that need to be done include the Bitcointalk ANN thread, white paper as well as the entire cryptocurrency website.


  • Bug Reporting Bounties


This aspect of the bounty helps developers to further refine the cryptocurrency by fixing any issues or ‘bugs’ that may be hindering the efficient operation of its software and the overall platform. So bug reporting is actually a really effective bounty campaign task.

When it comes to Pre and Post-ICO campaigns, there is no one size fits all approach, and each cryptocurrency ICO can choose to incorporate the tasks mentioned above in any order for their bounty programs.

The most common occurrence though, is that a lot of cryptocurrency start-ups will choose to put a percentage of the available coin supply towards the bounty program, and then publish the amount on the Bitcointalk ANN thread, their website or on a white paper.

How to Get Involved in ICO Bounties

If you want to start earning tokens and become a part of the cryptocurrency market, then ICO bounty programs are a great place to start. The best part is that once you’ve earned the tokens, you can exchange them for actual fiat currency. Most of the tasks required are super easy and are probably things that you’re already doing anyway, and the best way to get in on the bounty program action is to join forums like Cryptocointalk and Bitcointalk, where you’ll find all the ICO bounties listed, and Altcoin is another great source of reliable cryptocurrency trading information as well.

The Future of Bounty Programs

Bounty programs saw a serious spike in popularity during the year 2017, mainly due to the rapid rise of ICOs. Of course, who doesn’t want free stuff? Crypto hobbyists are increasingly attracted to bounty programs because they come with the promise of free tokens for performing such simple tasks as being on social media. Still, bounty programs have also come under fire for placing participants in financial risk, especially from the United States SEC and other financial regulators.

The SEC specifically, sees the bounty campaigns as investment contract transactions, and as such, they should be moderated by the SEC’s securities regulations. Similarly, financial regulators in the UK are also of the same view and as the crypto market continues to refine its regulatory framework, you can bet that the bounty program will continue to stay on the radar for most governments.

What’s an Airdrop?

In the cryptocurrency market, it is not uncommon for you to wake up and find that the amount in your crypto wallet has increased from the previous days without you putting any effort into making that happen. This is largely due to airdrops.

Airdrops can come in many different forms, from freebies like Binance’s free TRX to forks like Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin Diamond and even ICO purchases like the Raiden Network. These airdrops are often giveaways to the cryptocurrency community from the team of a particular blockchain project that has done well.  

Bitcoin has one of the most famous airdrop examples ever, which occurred when Bitcoin Cash, which is a Bitcoin fork, started giving away Bitcoin cash equivalents to Bitcoin holders who were holding a minimum of 0.4 Bitcoin. This giveaway probably amounted to a lot of money for the qualifying participants, because Bitcoin is actually valued at $2, 469. 36 USD at the moment.  

Why Do Airdrops Happen?

So, why do airdrops happen? What inspires the teams behind them to give away tokens? Well, I think it’s best to use an analogy for this one. Let’s say you’re shopping at one of your favorite grocery shops and one of the employees asks you to try out a sample of a new product that they have. Chances are, if it’s love at first bite, you’ll want to find out more about the product and are more likely to buy it than if you didn’t taste it.

So that’s kind of how airdrops work. At the end of the day, it’s all about marketing and promotion of the product, which in this case is the cryptocurrency, and once you get a taste of how the currency works through the airdrop of the tokens, you’re more likely to actually purchase the coins on your own. The good news for project teams is that airdrops are generally a more cost-effective approach than social media advertising, yet they’re way more effective at showcasing coins.

How to Find Out About Upcoming Airdrops?

There are actually plenty of online platforms in the form of websites, forums and groups, whose aim is to raise awareness about airdrops, whether it be past, present or future drops. Good examples include Airdropalert and Icodrops, both of which always have a list of impending drops. They’ve also got information on when exactly the drops will be taking place and good advice on which currency to hold in order to benefit when the airdrops happen.  

Probably the easiest way to stay informed on airdrops is to follow the relevant project on social media to get updates.

However, most of the time airdrops come as complete surprises that you just cannot have predicted, but sometimes they are announced ahead of time and carry certain rules and criteria for qualification in order to get the coins. The team involved with the project will usually come up with the rules, which is why each airdrop strategy is so unique. Also, there are currently no standard rules on how airdrops should be implemented or designed. That said, the government may decide to get involved and come up with some form of regulatory framework for this process in the future.

The ShipChain project is a good example of a unique airdrop strategy that requires more than just making sure that you hold certain currency in your wallet at the time of the drop in order to qualify for the tokens. ShipChain’s complex strategy will see qualifying airdrop receivers getting free tokens dropped into their wallets on condition that they follow these guidelines:

  1. You have to be an existing and active member of the project’s Telegram group, which means that you need to have been a member of the Telegram group before the signup process into the airdrop is complete.
  2. Also, you have to pass a test known as the Know Your Customer/ Anti-Money Laundering, which involves filling out a form that will have been sent to you within 1 to 3 weeks of finishing the registration process.
  3. Participants also need to have a legal ERC20 non-exchange wallet.

What Wallets Do You Need?

Most of the time, airdrops happen on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain, which means that you need to have an account on an exchange in order to qualify. Now, from time to time, some project teams require that participants have a particular wallet, such as the “ERC20 non-exchange wallet”. If like many people, you don’t know what this refers to, it’s alright, because we’ll explain it to you in a bit.

A non-exchange wallet simply refers to a wallet that cannot be traced to exchange websites like Coinbase or Binance. Some of the most trustworthy non-exchange wallets to use include Jaxx and Exodus. If you need more information, you can actually find a Bitcoin Wallet guide online by simply inputting the phrase “non-exchange cryptocurrency wallet” on an online search engine like Google. You’re most likely to find a guide that includes pros and cons of the different wallet types that are available, as well as tips on how to keep your tokens safe.

The ERC-20 wallet is basically a wallet that’s open to the Ethereum blockchain system, and it’s important to keep in mind that some tokens are based on Ethereum procedure, while others favor Bitcoin etc. so having a wallet that’s able to keep ERC-20 tokens can come in handy when there’s an airdrop that requires it. One of the most popular ERC-20 wallet’s is the MyEtherWallet (MEW).

Final Recommendations

An important consideration to make when it comes to airdrops is to always visit the project’s official website and social media platforms to get updated and correct information about everything. Also, avoid scam sites as much as possible, as they may mislead you, and there’s a lot of them out there unfortunately due to the lack of proper regulation in the cryptocurrency industry.

Also keep in mind that no reputable blockchain project will ever ask you for private wallet information, except for its public address. So don’t ever private divulge details like private keys to ICOs and similar information to anyone, no matter how convincing they sound, and look into smart contracts before you participate in any kind of bounty program.

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