The Ethereum Foundation has increased bounties for certain Byzantium-related bugs in an effort to boost cross-client consensus and reduce susceptibility to denial-of-service attacks before the Byzantium mainnet hard fork takes place.

The Ethereum Foundation has announced a temporary doubling of certain bug bounties to address issues that arose due to the release of Monday’s Byzantium implementation on the Ethereum testing environment Ropsten. This increase will remain in effect until the Byzantium mainnet hard fork, the exact date of which is currently unspecified. 

This change to the payout scale incentivizes users to improve different clients’ abilities to agree on certain information and to enhance the Geth client’s ability to prevent denial-of-service attacks, which intentionally overload the system with a flurry of requests.

Bug bounties, which are issued in the form of executable distributed code contracts (EDCCs), or smart contracts, are designed in such a way that a reward is tied to the resolution of a certain bug: by fixing the bug, an Ethereum user fulfills the conditions for the execution of the bug’s corresponding EDCC, and the bounty contained therein is automatically transferred to them. 

The Byzantium hard fork is the first of two hard forks that will eventually be implemented on the Ethereum blockchain in a set of upgrades collectively known as Metropolis. Among other things, these upgrades aim to boost Ethereum’s security and scalability.

The text of the announcement is as follows:

In order to get some extra eyes on the Byzantium implementations, we’ve temporarily increased the rewards: Between now and the Byzantium mainnet hardfork, we will double the ratio of points-to-USD for any vulnerabilities affecting cross-client consensus or Geth denial-of-service. A ‘High’ can thus yield up to $30K USD, and ‘Critical’ up to $50K USD. All Byzantium functionality is considered in-scope, as if it was already enabled on the mainnet.