Repository Management

While the following guidelines are not an absolute requirement, writing your code by these standards will ensure greater compatibility with the ARK Ecosystem and increases the likelihood your pull request will be accepted.


Repositories across an organization should have a consistent basic structure to make it easy to find everything across different repositories.

At a bare minimum a repository should contain the following:

  1. - Should contain at least a description, installation instructions and a contact address for security issues.
  2. LICENSE - Should contain the software license of the project, commonly the MIT License for open-source projects.
  3. .editorconfig - Should contain a configuration that is enforced by everyone's editor if an appropriate plugin is installed.
  4. .gitignore - Should contain a list of files and directories that should not be committed with git push.
  5. .circleci/config.yml - Should contain a configuration for CircleCI to run tests.


When a new repository is created for a project, the first thing you should do is create a develop branch and set it as default. This will indicate to developers that this project is not stable yet. This branch should be used until the initial implementation is done, and merged to master without squashing. master should then be set as the default branch.

Once the initial implementation is done and merged, only squash merging should be enabled and all future PRs should be squashed with meaningful commit messages.

Squashing Pull-Requests

When working on any project all pull-requests must be squashed.

The goal of doing so first and foremost is to keep PRs small and focused on a single issue. If you think to yourself: "all my hard work and organized commits are going to be lost", then your PR is most likely out of scope and trying to solve more then one issue at a time which means you should split it up into multiple PRs that are meaningful even after being squashed.

Another benefit of squashing is to have a clean & flat git history which allows to easily blame changes without having to go through 100 commits to finally reach what you were looking for.

We only care about the net effect of the pull-requests, i.e. "feat: wallet integration". We don't care about the 30 commits of "bugfix, added, removed, refactored". We want a clear and concise history without any noise.

How to Label and Organize GitHub Issues & Pull Requests

To make everyone's life easier when looking for issues or pull requests of specific types, priority or severity it is important to make proper use of labels so it is possible to identify the status and importance without having to look into it.


  • The Type: Bug label always has to be combined with a Priority: * and Severity: * label to indicate how severe the problem caused by the bug is and how many users are affected by it. The combination of those determines how fast the bug needs to be fixed.
  • Bounty tiers need to be assigned before a pull request is merged. If no tier is assigned or is assigned to a team member the ARKEcosystem Bot will comment in the affected issue.
  • For issues that are tasks a Difficulty: * label should be assigned to provide developers a sense of how much work it will be.
  • The Complexity: * labels should never be assigned manually as the ARKEcosystem Bot will evaluate the complexity of a pull request and assign a label.


  • #e11d21 Tier 0

    • Custom reward at the discretion of the team, for large projects or changes.
  • #ff9900 Tier 1

    • Awarded for big features, important fixes or significant improvements. This is valued at 100 USD.
  • #ff9900 Tier 2

    • Awarded for performance, minor features or substantial documentation changes. This is valued at 50 USD.
  • #ffdd44 Tier 3

    • Awarded for code refactoring, moderate docs changes or full translations. This is valued at 25 USD.
  • #ffdd44 Tier 4

    • Awarded for adding test coverage or resolving small bugs. This is valued at 10 USD.
  • #007700 Tier 5

    • Awarded for small documentation updates or minor code refactoring. This is valued a 5 USD.
  • #007700 Tier 6

    • Awarded for typos, text corrections, dependency updates, etc. This is valued a 1 USD.


  • #e11d21 Undetermined

    • Needs specialized, in-depth review.
  • #ff9900 High

    • More than 256 lines changed.
  • #ffdd44 Medium

    • Less than 256 lines changed.
  • #007700 Low

    • Less than 64 lines changed.


  • #e11d21 Challenging

    • The issue requires an extensive understanding of the code base.
  • #ff9900 Advanced

    • The issue requires an advanced understanding of the code base.
  • #ffdd44 Intermediate

    • The issue requires a basic understanding of the code base.
  • #007700 Beginner

    • The issue doesn't require any specific knowledge about the code base.


  • #f9d0c4 Development

    • The issue or pull request affects the development environment.
  • #f9d0c4 Production

    • The issue or pull request affects the production environment.
  • #f9d0c4 Test

    • The issue or pull request affects the test environment.
  • #f9d0c4 Continuous Integration

    • The issue or pull request affects the continuous integration environment.


  • #dddddd Windows

    • The issue or pull request affects users on Windows.
  • #dddddd Linux

    • The issue or pull request affects users on Linux.
  • #dddddd Android

    • The issue or pull request affects users on Android.
  • #dddddd macOS

    • The issue or pull request affects users on macOS.
  • #dddddd iOS

    • The issue or pull request affects users on iOS.


  • #b60205 Critical

    • The issue or pull request will affect all users.
  • #ff9900 High

    • The issue or pull request will affect most users.
  • #ffdd44 Medium

    • The issue or pull request will affect roughly half of users.
  • #007700 Low

    • The issue or pull request will not affect most users.


  • #b60205 Critical

    • The issue is blocking an upcoming release.
  • #ff9900 High

    • The issue causes data loss, crashes or hangs processes, makes the system unresponsive, etc.
  • #ffdd44 Medium

    • The issue reports incorrect functionality, a confusing user experience, etc.
  • #007700 Low

    • The issue reports cosmetic items such as formatting, spelling, colors, etc.


  • #000000 Abandoned

    • The pull request could not be merged because it did not get any updates in a timely fashion.
  • #000000 Won't Fix

    • The issue is legitimate, but it is not something the team is currently able or willing to work on.
  • #007700 Resolved

    • The issue has been resolved.
  • #007700 Owner Approved

    • A code owner has approved the pull request.
  • #007700 Member Approved

    • A member has approved the pull request.
  • #007700 Collaborator Approved

    • A collaborator has approved the pull request.
  • #007700 Contributor Approved

    • A contributor has approved the pull request.
  • #043a96 Accepted

    • The proposed solution has been accepted.
  • #d2dae1 Available

    • The issue is not assigned to anyone and available to be worked on.
  • #d2dae1 In Progress

    • The issue or pull request is being worked on.
  • #d2dae1 On Hold

    • The issue or pull request is not being worked on for the time being.
  • #d2dae1 Stale

    • The pull request is in need of updates but there has not been a sufficient response.
  • #b60205 Blocked

    • The pull request is blocked from being merged for the time being.
  • #ff9900 Cannot Reproduce

    • A developer of the team cannot reproduce the issue.
  • #e11d21 Reverted

    • The pull request was reverted after an initial merge.
  • #e11d21 Has Merge Conflicts

    • The pull request cannot be merged because it has a merge conflict.
  • #e11d21 Tests Failing

    • The Circle CI build failed when running for this pull request.
  • #ffdd44 Needs Information

    • The issue needs more information before it can be verified and resolved.
  • #ffdd44 Needs Investigation

    • The issue needs more investigation before it can be verified and resolved.
  • #ffdd44 Needs Review

    • The issue or pull request needs a review by a developer of the team.
  • #ffdd44 Needs Testcase

    • The issue or pull request relates to a feature that needs test coverage.
  • #ffdd44 Needs Changes

    • The pull request needs additional changes before it can be merged.
  • #ffdd44 Needs Discussion

    • The issue or pull request needs more discussion before it can be closed or merged.
  • #ffdd44 Needs Documentation

    • The pull request needs additional documentation before it can be merged.


  • #7936a5 General

    • The issue or pull request is related to the test config, platform or setup.
  • #7936a5 Functional

    • The issue or pull request is related to functional tests such as end-to-end or browser testing.
  • #7936a5 Integration

    • The issue or pull request is related to integration tests between internal or external elements.
  • #7936a5 Unit

    • The issue or pull request is related to unit tests for testing individual elements.


  • #1144ff Feature

    • The issue is a request for new functionality.
  • #1144ff Release

    • The issue or pull request is related to an upcoming release.
  • #44bbff Maintenance

    • The pull request updates dependencies or configuration files.
  • #44bbff Performance

    • The issue or pull request relates to performance.
  • #44bbff Refactor

    • The pull request improves or enhances an existing implementation.
  • #c7def8 Duplicate

    • The issue or pull request is a duplicate of another feature request or bug report.
  • #c7def8 Expected Behaviour

    • The issue is a bug report, but the behavior is intended.
  • #b60205 Breaking Change

    • The issue or pull request documents or introduces a breaking change.
  • #e11d21 Bug

    • The issue relates to broken or incorrect behavior.
  • #e11d21 Bugfix

    • The pull request fixes an incorrect functionality or behavior.
  • #e11d21 Regression

    • The issue is a bug that relates to functionality known to work in previous releases.
  • #b60205 Security

    • The issue documents functionality that could expose private data or cause harm otherwise.
  • #fef2c0 Discussion

    • The issue is a discussion about a generic topic.
  • #fef2c0 Documentation

    • The issue or pull request relates to documentation.
  • #fef2c0 Information

    • The issue contains information for users by a developer of the team.
  • #fef2c0 Question

    • The issue is more of a question than a request for new features or a report of broken features.
  • #ffdd44 Task

    • The issue is a request to set up third-party integrations or any general non-code related tasks.
  • #ffdd44 Good First Contribution

    • The issue appears to have a simple solution.
  • #ffdd44 Standards

    • The issue reports problems with the compliance of contribution guidelines or code standards.
  • #ffdd44 Weekly Digest

    • The issue is a weekly report of the latest activities.

Assigning Bounty Tiers Before Merging a Pull Request

Before a developer merges a PR, it is required to assign one of the seven bounty labels. Those labels will be used by the ARKEcosystem Bot to calculate bounty rewards and inform the contributors about those and other activities or requests.

Tier 1 - $100

Tier 1 pull requests cover substantial code changes that usually bring new functionality and have a higher impact on the codebase.

Examples of this include a new API endpoint, resolving structural issues that cause circular dependencies, or adding new bigger features to our codebase (an example would be settings page to the explorer, adding new indenticon package to the desktop wallet or a new small non-essential plugin in the Core).

Tier 2 - $50

This tier covers medium features and improvements to the codebase that bring in new functionality, have a big impact on the performance of the product or significant optimizations and refactors of the code.

An example would be optimizing some parts of the Core for improved performance of a specific function, implementing a medium, non-critical new feature in the desktop wallet or writing large documentation files that require an understanding of the ARK code.

Tier 3 - $25

These pull requests cover smaller refactors or optimizations of the code or small non-essential features.

An example of this would be reducing complexity or improving the performance of existing code, improving the readability of the code or writing new documentation files, full translations of the projects aka desktop wallet or mobile wallet.

Tier 4 - $10

Standard small tier pull requests that fix minor bugs or add a new test.

Examples of this include adding more test coverage for existing functionality or resolving small bugs that usually get reported by users.

Tier 5 - $5

Small documentation updates or improvements that don’t have much code or smaller refactors of the code.

Tier 6 - $1

The lowest tier is for items that don’t usually have much to do with the code, but rather, are considered cosmetics.

An example would be a typo, language corrections, grammar corrections, dependency update, link updates or broken links.

Tier 0 - Custom

If you want to work on much more significant changes or custom projects that you don’t think fit any of the above tiers contact us at

Some examples of what a custom tier 0 could cover — developing new modules for core that bring in new functionalities (PoW module instead of DPoS), different voting systems, proxy voting, implementing AIPs …

Some issues will also have labels with custom (usually higher) values that you can take on. Labels on those issues will have a defined monetary value, so if you see these available you can request to take point on resolving them. Upon completion and review you will receive payment in ARK.