The posting of jobs in this community isn't allowed, but unsolicited tipping, as per Is tipping allowed on the Ethereum StackExchange site? is allowed. An honorarium isn't the same as getting paid to complete a contract (job), so should posts like 1 ETH stuck in a live contract, 0.1 ETH reward if you can get it back be allowed where a bounty, paid in a cryptocurrency, is provided to someone who can solve the problem?

Edit: So it has begun... https://ethereum.stackexchange.com/a/23931/11155


4 Answers 4


My opinion: No.

Openly allowing crypto-bounties will be disruptive at a minimum, and cause hurt feelings and drama at the worst. But here's the second question: Supposing we draw a line, who draws said line? Is there some price threshold we can all agree on? Or activities that are forbidden? Are some going to bend site rules in the hope that they'll be the one to get the prize? How far is too far?

Suppose one party of a contract asks for "crypto-legal" advice to get ETH out of a contract, while another party demands that it remain. Is that something we really want to see on here?

OK, well, that last example could happen even without crypto-bounties, but it would be orders of magnitude worse. I say that banning all crypto-bounties would be the path of least suffering to all involved.

  • Good points all round. I'm wondering if we should revise the community stance on tipping (even voluntary) because of hurt feelings.
    – lungj
    Aug 10, 2017 at 18:23

I think in this particular instance, the answer should be yes (@MikeYoung is essentially providing an honorarium for finding a lost physical wallet), but I was wondering where the community thinks the line should be drawn. Part of what makes me say that the referenced question is okay is that the bounty, valued at current prices, is relatively small. If this had been a 10000 ETH transaction with a 100 ETH reward or even a 10 ETH reward, I would be less charitable to permitting the post to sticking around.

I think another distinction in this case is that this person has "lost" ether; this is different from someone who has a technical issue (e.g., someone who is trying to mine on a blockchain) and is... incentivizing people to help. I'm really not sure how to phrase the distinction in my head!


I think the phrase "banning for the best of a supposed majority" should not serve as an argument to stop certain actions on the community.


Absolutely! I see many questions in this community with 0 answers, I assume because it's such a specialized topic that the universe of people who even could answer is very small. But the end result is that it's hard to get answers to tough questions here. And because the pace of innovation is so high, the documentation available online is scarce.

Allowing bounties would be really helpful for people who have important questions, that they are struggling to answer on their own.

  • 1
    I think if we went full-on bounty, then that might stop people from answering "un-bountied" questions (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivation_crowding_theory) as an unintended consequence. If bounties become the norm, then this space becomes more like a freelancing board than I think stack exchange is intended to be or that this community currently is. Also, are you seeing a lot of highly rated questions with zero answers?
    – lungj
    Sep 4, 2017 at 17:19
  • Here's the search I use for highly rated questions with no answers, if it's useful to anyone :-) ethereum.stackexchange.com/…. There are a few, but most of them are pretty old. I agree with what @lungj has said. Sep 6, 2017 at 10:08

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