Now that setting bounties on other peoples questions is planned, I think it would make sense to separate the indication that a bounty has been awarded from the checkmark. (create a separate icon). Then the issue about auto-acceptance of answers could finally disappear, as the bounty and bounty icon could be automatically awarded instead of acceptance.
Additional possibilities that are non-core. It is not actually necessary to implement these possibilities, rather they are just listed as examples of what else would be possible once bounties were split off:
- Multiple bounties would become possible, with the proviso that one person cannot receive over 500 points from answering a single questions.
- 15 points of the bounty could be kept separate for the question owner to award