Solana Launches Bug Bounty Amid Speculation of a Kill Switch by Sam Bankman-Fried

Solana, the decentralized network, has initiated a bug bounty program amid unconfirmed rumors suggesting that Sam Bankman-Fried, the prominent backer of Solana, had the capability to disable it. This development comes as Solana’s name keeps surfacing during Bankman-Fried’s ongoing criminal trial.

During the trial, former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellison informed federal prosecutors that FTX developers possessed the means to control the Solana blockchain at will. This revelation raised questions about the decentralized nature of Solana, generating discussions on Crypto Twitter.

In response to these discussions, Jacob Creech, the head of developer relations at the Solana Foundation, announced a bug bounty program. He offered a $400,000 reward to anyone who could identify code that could potentially shut down Solana. This move aims to provide reassurance to the community that the network is safe from manipulation and create separation from FTX and Bankman-Fried.

It is unclear how a single developer could feasibly shut down a decentralized blockchain designed to prevent any single entity from having control over it. Nonetheless, this bounty is intended to address concerns and maintain the integrity of the network.

Solana and its on-chain SOL token were once strongly supported by Bankman-Fried, with FTX offering a marketplace for Solana NFTs and FTX investing in numerous Solana-related projects. However, after the collapse of FTX, Solana faced challenges, and many DeFi projects on Solana distanced themselves from Serum—a consortium that included FTX, Alameda, and the Solana Foundation—due to concerns that their private keys, once held by FTX, could be compromised.

Throughout Bankman-Fried’s ongoing criminal trial, Solana has been frequently mentioned by witnesses, which has had an impact on the value of SOL, the network’s native cryptocurrency. SOL, ranked as the eighth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has declined by 6% over the past week.

Before the trial, a U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware approved FTX to begin emptying its cold storage wallets, including a significant amount of SOL. A court filing in September revealed that FTX still held approximately $1.16 billion worth of SOL, which is around a third of its $3.4 billion portfolio.

Additionally, it was recently discovered that the trustees overseeing FTX’s bankruptcy are staking about $122 million worth of SOL. Staking involves depositing tokens to validate blockchain transactions in exchange for rewards. Concerns have arisen about the potential sale of a significant amount of SOL tokens, which could impact the token’s price. However, many of these tokens remain locked, meaning they cannot be immediately sold, mitigating their immediate impact on the token’s price.

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