July 8, 2024 at 12:49 GMTModified date: July 8, 2024 at 12:49 GMT
July 8, 2024 at 12:49 GMT

Devs can earn $1M by finding bugs in Solana’s new Firedancer client

Firedancer is anticipated to significantly enhance Solana’s network performance.

Devs can earn $1M by finding bugs in Solana’s new Firedancer client

Starting Wednesday, 10 July, Solana ($SOL) developers have a golden opportunity to earn up to $1 million by identifying bugs in the new “Firedancer” independent validator client.

This bug bounty program is a collaboration between Jump Crypto and Immunefi, a platform specialising in crypto security services. 

The program, which runs from 10 July to 21 August, will feature a reward pool of $1 million, with the highest individual bounty also set at $1 million, paid in USD Coin ($USDC).

Firedancer is anticipated to significantly enhance Solana’s network performance. As an independent client validator, it will be crucial in processing transactions and building blocks within Solana’s $60 billion network. 

Built with a dual-language foundation of C and Rust, Firedancer is designed for high-speed and secure blockchain operations. 

During a 2022 live demonstration, it showcased its capacity to handle over 1 million transactions per second.

Designed from scratch, Firedancer introduces a critical layer of client diversity to the Solana ecosystem. 

Unlike existing clients, which are primarily derivatives of Solana’s native implementation, Firedancer’s independent codebase mitigates risks associated with supply chain attacks and common vulnerabilities inherent to uniform systems.

Details of the bounty program

The bug bounty program invites security researchers and developers to test Firedancer v0.1’s resilience against potential exploits. 

Hosted by Immunefi, the program underscores the high stakes involved with its $1 million reward pool. 

Participants are required to complete KYC procedures to ensure transparency. 

Immunefi has committed to addressing all bug reports within 24 hours on weekdays. The program will last approximately six weeks, concluding on 21 August 2024.

Jump Crypto is fostering a supportive community around Firedancer. 

The technical team will actively engage with users and developers through the “firedancer-v0.1-boost” channel on Immunefi’s Discord. This interaction aims to facilitate rapid feedback and improvements. 

Following the bounty launch, a live technical walkthrough will be hosted on the Immunefi Discord to demonstrate Firedancer’s capabilities.

The development of Firedancer v.0.1 has been spearheaded by the pseudonymous engineer Cantelope Peel from Jump Crypto, who announced the bounty program on 3 July. 

Peel mentioned that the team is actively working on the first versions of the Solana consensus and fork choice algorithms, as well as live voting and other components. 

Firedancer is implemented in the C and C++ software languages to handle high trading volumes efficiently.

Solana Labs co-founder and CEO, Anatoly Yakovenko, previously highlighted that Firedancer can significantly increase the speed of the Solana network. 

Firedancer is touted as a superior solution to “QUIC,” a Google-developed data transfer protocol that has struggled to process transactions during network activity surges.

Solana’s growth in Q2 2024

The second quarter of 2024 has seen remarkable growth for Solana

According to a report by Coin98 Analytics, Solana’s transaction fees and revenues surged, surpassing $26 million—a 42-fold increase from the previous year. 

Trading volume reached $292 billion, a seven-fold increase compared to the same period in 2023. 

Solana handled 15.3 billion transactions in Q2, with daily active addresses exceeding 900,000, marking a 499% year-on-year increase.

The total value locked (TVL) on the blockchain increased by over 1000%, indicating robust growth in DeFi activities. 

Despite a brief decline at the beginning of the new quarter, the price of $SOL has regained momentum, rising over 3% in the last week to settle around $140.57. 

The introduction of Firedancer is timely as Solana, known for its high throughput capabilities, faces increasing challenges and competition from other Layer 1 blockchains innovating in scalability and security.

Currently, Solana supports a limited number of validator clients, with most nodes running on the same client software. 

This homogeneity presents systemic risks such as single points of failure and network centralisation. 

By diversifying the client software available to node operators, Firedancer enhances network resilience and positions Solana as a more attractive option for developers and validators concerned with security and performance.