Discussion: Bounties vs. hiring Freelancers

Inspired by this Reddit interchange I’d like to summarize arguments and start a discussion about which way to go.

Bounty system


  • Reaching wider audience

  • Quick results

  • Multiple solutions


  • Not necessarily ‘fair’ (eg. Bounties could be claimed by minor contributors)

  • Lower quality of work (time as essential factor)

  • Partcipators feel cheated when they miss the bounty

Freelance Work


  • Higher skilled workers (assuming skilled people avoid Bounty gigs due to their nature)

  • Higher quality work


  • ?

In the end it might be a case to case decision depending on the work to be done. It makes absolute sense to me to hire a UI dev doing all things UI and still setting up bounties for Bitsquare on a RasPi.

Yes I agree, bounties are a bit problematic and limited, though an interesting tool out of many others (freelancers, fixed hired devs, volunteers).
As atm we don’t have funding to pay full time devs we only can pick some task and give away limited amounts of our donations. Unfortunately the highest prio tasks are too complex/big to fit into a bounty, so I also don’t want to over-expand the bounty program.

As the first bounty has been completed we will see how the cooperation v.s competition relation plays out. There have been many devs contributing and either they all are fine to not get anything or the winner is willing to share with others. But there was clear rules and I don’t expect any problems that people will feel unfair treated.

I see bounties as a good tool for reaching out to devs, run small limited test tasks and see how it works. I can imagine that some bounty hunters will end up contributing more to Bitsquare once we have the DAO in place. Bounties cannot replace the work of full time devs who have a full picture of the whole project, but as said that will require the DAO to have in place to offer compensation.

I agree with most of the criticism against bounties. I am not a big fan of it myself, but I felt it was appropriate in this case. It’s probably fine with small concrete tasks, perhaps where there’s a small problem that is hard to solve.

A much better approach I think is what they’re doing over at the monero forums with the forum funding system. For those not aware it’s basically a built in fundraiser where anyone can propose to do anything to improve monero. E.g a developer can offer to work 50 hours on the UI for 1500 XMR. Once approved, everybody can donate to an address held by core devs. The forum system keeps track of donations and will display % funded. The project is split into milestones and developer is paid for each milestone. It has worked very well so far and many projects has been funded this way.

But with bitsquare there’s no currency behind, so there’s less incentive for people to spend money on a fundraiser. I’m not sure it would work as well here. That’s why I’m looking forward to see the DAO.

The monero approach is interesting. Though the DAO model will hopefully fit better to what we need. Donation based systems still have the problem of free riders and generally I think there is not a sufficienttly high number of altruistic supporters/donators to really scale to what is needed for such a project (3-5 fulltime devs, 1 full time communtity manager,…).

At the current date, I can see that about 340k Euros are sitting on a Bisq BTC address and it looks like they been there for awhile (of course, BTC have risen drammatically recently).

DAO is currently being developed and is in phase zero.
Some or all of these 25 BTC will be “colored” to create colored coins called BSQ that will be used by the DAO for funding and voting.

Thank You. I understand now. Still though, it looks like they’ve tbeen here for awhile and they could have brought you in substantial additional money if staked on other coins (PoS coins). Although, I can undersand that price fluctuations could have wiped out all gains (it wouldn’t but it’s easy to say it afterwards).