Worker Proposal is Active
Stay tuned: we're working on the website!

by Matt Beckman
BitShares App Contributor


BitShares is a decentralized exchange (DEX) built on top of delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) blockchain technology. With all financial technology in the blockchain space, a major concern for users and traders is security.
If someone found a critical bug in the DEX, they might be tempted to exploit the bug, and attempt to steal funds from unsuspecting users. Without a public bug bounty system, hackers do not have an obvious path of disclosure for reporting their findings. They also do not have any incentive to share their exploits and techniques, rather than using them for personal gain.
With this proposal, we’d like to start a BitShares bug bounty program for security researchers and penetration testers (...aka hackers!) to disclose important security vulnerabilities they find within the BitShares core protocol, reference wallet, and related code repositories.
The proposal will use allocated funds to reward those that step forward with exploits, relative to the overall risk assessment of the exploit. The higher the payout for critical bugs, the more incentive there will be to attract higher quality researchers, and ultimately providing better security coverage for the DEX.
Funds will also be used to build and maintain a basic public website for reporting vulnerabilities. The website will include all the information needed for researchers to report a vulnerability, as well as an archive of bounty reports and a leaderboard to encourage a little friendly hacker competition. It will also lay the groundwork for future HackTheDEX worker proposals to improve the security and safety of BitShares as a whole.
Worker proposal funds will be held in an escrow account and unused funds will be refunded back to the network at the end of the proposal period.


Audit Panel

When a vulnerability is disclosed, care must be taken to minimize public disclosure until the issue can be verified by key developers and a bug fix can be released.
Auditors that take the time to perform a thorough review of the vulnerability and/or write code to fix the bug will also be compensated appropriately. Sometimes, but not always, an auditor may need to work with the researcher(s) to come up with a solution to lock down the vulnerability.
For transparency, each awarded bounty will include a public report along with which auditors were involved.

Audit Panel Selection

When a vulnerability is reported, the panel will be selected from available appropriately experienced and trusted contributors within the respective BitShares development community. The primary points of contact below will be asked to coordinate appropriately experienced and active developers to audit the report and resolve all issues as quickly and safely as possible.


Rewards paid out will vary based on severity (using the OWASP method).
Overall Risk Severity
Impact HIGH Medium High Critical
MEDIUM Low Medium High
LOW Note Low Medium
Rewards will be paid out in bitUSD based on available worker proposal funds. The audit panel will use the following values as a guideline to decide an appropriate reward:
Researchers who have been awarded bounties will also be listed on the leaderboard.
To qualify for higher rewards, the submission should include everything the auditing panel would need to reproduce and verify the vulnerability. The submission should also be well-prepared and of high quality so that it can be shared with the community as part of our transparency process.

Open Bounties

Security vulnerability bounties apply to the following source code repositories, with some exceptions:

Protocol security

An example of a potential issue in this category is Bitcoin’s “zero-day” flaw, which required a hard-fork.

Network security

Here is an example from bitcoin of a global network based DoS scenario.

Node security

Attacks on witness or public API nodes
DoS example from bitcoin. DoS / Resource abuse example from bitcoin.

Client application security

This category addresses more classical security issues:
Here is an example of a problem hidden in an external library.

Fund Allocation

Funds will be held within an escrow account managed by the BitShares Blockchain Foundation. At the end of the proposal period, any excess funds will be returned to the BitShares reserve pool.

Legal Information

The bug bounty program is an experimental and discretionary rewards program for our active community to encourage and reward those who are helping to improve the platform. It is not a competition. You should know that the voters may cancel the worker proposal at any time, and rewards are at the sole discretion of the auditing panel. In addition, we are not able to issue rewards to individuals who are on sanctions lists or who are in countries on sanctions lists (e.g. North Korea, Iran, etc). You are responsible for all taxes. All rewards are subject to applicable law. Finally, your testing must not violate any law or compromise any data that is not yours.