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Ethereum to Launch First $2M Protocol-Wide ‘Attackathon’

ByDayne Lee

Jul 10, 2024

Ethereum to Launch First $2M Protocol-Wide ‘Attackathon’

Ethereum is gearing up to launch its first-ever hackathon, dubbed the “Attackathon,” with a reward pool of $2 million. This event aims to be the largest crowdsourced security audit of the blockchain’s codebase.

Attackathon Details

The “Attackathon” invites security researchers to “actively search for vulnerabilities in the protocol’s code” over a four-week “time-bound audit challenge,” according to the Ethereum Protocol Security (EPS) research team in a July 8 blog post. Participants will adhere to specific competition rules, and only impactful and rule-compliant reports will be rewarded.

The event will kick off with a technical walkthrough of Ethereum’s code to ensure participants are well-prepared to identify and understand potential vulnerabilities. After the event concludes, the bug bounty platform Immunefi, which is hosting the event, will compile the findings and produce a report detailing the discovered vulnerabilities.

Prize Pool and Sponsorship

The EPS team has already contributed $500,000 to the competition’s prize pool and is seeking sponsors to raise an additional $1.5 million by August 1. The team plans to share more details at that time.

The EPS team intends to host similar hackathons with every hard fork, covering changes to the codebase. Ethereum’s next major hard fork, “Pectra,” expected to go live later in 2024 or early 2025, will combine the “Prague” and “Electra” upgrades. These updates will introduce significant features for users, including a “social recovery” feature designed to eliminate the need to remember the 24-word private wallet key and give wallets smart contract-like functionalities.

Importance of Hackathons in Crypto

Hackathons are common in the tech world, and the cryptocurrency space is no exception. Various blockchains and projects host similar hacking sprints to improve security and innovation. Crypto projects frequently offer bug bounties to incentivize hackers to report exploits rather than use them maliciously. According to Immunefi’s website, most bounties range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, with the largest reward offered by LayerZero reaching $15 million.

Event NameAttackathon
Reward Pool$2 million
DurationFour weeks
Start DateTBA, with more details by August 1
Initial Contribution$500,000 by EPS team
Additional Sponsorship Goal$1.5 million
Hosted byImmunefi
PreparationTechnical walkthrough of Ethereum’s code
ReportingImmunefi to compile findings and create a report
Future PlansSimilar hackathons at every hard fork
Next Hard ForkPectra (combines Prague and Electra)
Major UpdatesSocial recovery feature, smart contract-like wallet features

The Ethereum Attackathon is poised to set a new standard for security audits in the cryptocurrency space. By involving the community in a structured and rewarding way, Ethereum aims to enhance the security of its protocol and foster a collaborative environment. This initiative reflects a broader trend in the crypto industry, where community-driven security measures are increasingly prioritized.

  • Proactive Security Measures: The Attackathon represents a proactive approach to identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
  • Community Engagement: By engaging the community in security efforts, Ethereum is leveraging the collective expertise of developers and security researchers.
  • Innovation Encouragement: Such events encourage innovative solutions and continuous improvement in the blockchain space.

Industry experts have praised the initiative, highlighting the importance of robust security measures in maintaining trust and reliability in blockchain technologies. Some have pointed out that these hackathons not only improve security but also drive technological advancements by encouraging creative problem-solving.

  • Security Experts: Advocates argue that crowdsourced security audits are essential for maintaining the integrity of blockchain protocols.
  • Developers: Highlight the benefits of community involvement in identifying and addressing potential security issues.

Ethereum’s first-ever Attackathon marks a significant step towards enhancing the security and resilience of its protocol. With a substantial reward pool and a structured approach to vulnerability assessment, this event is set to attract top-tier security researchers and developers. As the Ethereum community prepares for this large-scale audit, the broader implications for the cryptocurrency space are clear: collaboration and proactive measures are key to sustaining and advancing blockchain technologies.

Featured image credit: elifxlite via Needpix

Dayne Lee

With a foundation in financial day trading, I transitioned to my current role as an editor, where I prioritize accuracy and reader engagement in our content. I excel in collaborating with writers to ensure top-quality news coverage. This shift from finance to journalism has been both challenging and rewarding, driving my commitment to editorial excellence.

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