Looks like this could be an interesting intro project.
Last time we've checked one of the bounties (the initial website bounty) my team was put off by the bounty approach (and several other issues) so we backed off. We think that the wide-open bounty approach is not agile and discourages pre-existing professional teams from participating. 3rd party products which are build on top of 3I products are crucial to the 3I ecosystem and need to be build in an agile manner. Block explorers, faucets, browser extensions, etc are the equivalent of "launch titles" for gaming consoles or an app ecosystem for mobile phones, they make or break the underlying technology. Development bounties without assurances don't fit the bill. The current kind of bounties are also not scalable, you have to micromanage too much, maybe even outsource bounty oversight.
That said, we think that we can build the faucet with email and gravatar verification + reasonable spam protection in a week. We haven't worked with the Bitshares toolkit RPC yet, so that might need a few days to get used to. The whole thing should take at most 2 weeks, with professional design and security (nobody wants this scenario http://gavintech.blogspot.com/2012/03/bitcoin-faucet-hacked.html
Our monthly (4 weeks) rate for a 3 person team (1 designer/frontend, 1 frontend/backend, 1 backend) is 9400 USD total (we're in South Eastern Europe). This means that our 2 week estimate amounts to 4700 USD in development costs for this faucet. Most of our portfolio is whitelabel deals so if you're interested to see it PM me. We have won security bug bounties for Google, Nokia, Microsoft, ebay, etc, so we are very security focused. We don't do waterfall or fixed price/scope development, only agile development. We understand that requirements change over time (just as in this case sms verification was added), therefore we do only contract work.
However, we understand that 3I needs to be transparent about bounties so we're proposing a 1 week sprint escrow contract through bitrated (https://www.bitrated.com/
) (multisig arbitration). The product owner, meaning somebody from I3 in charge of the project creates a list of features he wants to see in the product. Our team then creates high level user stories out of them. The product owner rates the user stories on a list of 1-10 on importance (the broader community could do this rating too via the forum). We multiply each user story rating with the development time it takes * cost per day. This way I3 and the broader community have a clear picture of the cost breakdown and ROI per feature. Our team then creates a weekly sprint backlog out of those user stories which are chosen to be the highest ROI. The development cost is locked in USD in bitcoin and put into a multisig transaction through https://www.bitrated.com/
at the beginning of the sprint. The transaction only goes through when all user stories are met according to specs. Any potential dispute can be settled through a 3rd party.
This way when feature creep happens (which is normal) the team developing the product won't be be helpless and the product owner can add to the backlog the additional feature to future weekly sprints.
We believe this is the best way to ensure high quality products at a low cost, and transparent to the community. This is also the only way we could think of for 3I how to scale the bounty system and get more professional teams on board.
Bounties without assurance might look tempting for the client, but they keep the good teams away. You might get good individuals from time to time, but teams need real assurance.
All that said, we're PTS stakeholders so keep the good work up!