Facebook Declares Bug Bounty Program for its Libra Cryptocurrency

Facebook has announced that despite regulatory issues, it will be moving forward with its Libra project and is partnering with HackerOne on a bug bounty project for applications that have been built on its blockchain. The media giant is offering up to $10,000 bounty to developers who are able to point out bugs and flaws in code on the blockchain’s testnet. The company has said it is doing this to demonstrate how serious they are about security and ensuring people find Libra safe enough to turn to at all times. 

Libra is Very Security Centered

In a statement on the bounty, Dante Disparte who is the Head of Policy and Communications at Libra said,

“we are launching this bug bounty now, well before the Libra blockchain is live. Our hope is that people around the world can turn to Libra for their everyday financial needs, so the infrastructure must be dependable and safe”

Disparte also clarified doubts on if the company would be ignoring regulatory concerns raised by the US government and going ahead with the launch. According to him,

“Libra Blockchain remains in testnet, which is an early-stage version of the code that is far from final. We remain committed to taking the time to get this right and we will not launch the Libra Blockchain until regulatory concerns have been taken into account and required regulatory approvals have been received.”

Even though Libra is not set to launch till 2020, the Libra Association thinks it is not too early to show the public they are committed to ensuring the platform is secure enough for people to use and has declared the bounty program open to the public. 

The security program was launched in June but was only open to 50 selected security researchers. Michael Engle who is Head of Developer Ecosystem at Libra Association in a blogpost explained that the bug bounty program is

“designed to encourage members of the security community to dig deep, helping us find even the most subtle bugs. We want to help our researchers uncover issues while the Libra Blockchain is still in testnet and no real money is in circulation.”

Engle also reiterated that the Association recognizes that Libra is a global project and would be patient enough to take the required time needed to build it. 

That Libra is crowdsourcing security concerns do not come as a shock to anybody familiar with Facebook whose founder also owns Libra. Facebook is well known for crowdsourcing its security problems and has dolled out millions of dollars in rewards. 

Bounty Program Premature

As earlier reported, Libra has come under serious scrutiny from various regulatory bodies and there is a possibility the project might not get the required approvals from the various parties involved. President Trump also made very scathing comments after Libra was announced, further reducing the chances of acceptance. While the Libra Association’s optimism is applauded, the bug bounty might just have been opened a little too soon.

The Libra Association is backed by more than 20 companies including Mastercard, PayPal, and Uber.

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