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On this question the OP has given a bounty worth 550 rep but at the moment I have 844 rep and I can't give any more than 500 rep on a bounty.

Can you please tell us if this is a bug or not?

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It's like in gambling: losing all your money (rep) is usually a bad idea so the system try to help you avoid such thing. :) – Shadow Wizard Jan 31 '11 at 9:56
Just to let you know @Shadow the user was Joel one of the SO founders – Benny Jan 31 '11 at 10:11
You might suggest feature request to change the "hard limit" of 500 to be certain percentage of the member reputation (e.g. up to 50%) but I'm pretty sure such feature was already suggested at some point. Even though Joel is one of the founders, bounty is bounty and rule is rule, look at his comment.. ;) – Shadow Wizard Jan 31 '11 at 10:42
@Shadow While I don't know off-hand of an exact proposal of that feature request, I can see it declined easily. Allowing high reputation users to provide more enticing bounties tilts the scales in their favour even more than the current status wherein they can post a lot more bounties overall. There's not a lot of appreciation for making things slanted more for high reputation users to be in that much control. – Grace Note Jan 31 '11 at 16:58
@Grace very good point, guess you're right.. – Shadow Wizard Jan 31 '11 at 21:41
up vote 20 down vote accepted

This is not a bug, 500 rep is the upper limit that you can offer for bounties (see FAQ):

Slice off anywhere from +50 to +500 of your own hard-earned reputation and attach it to any question as a bounty

When that bounty was started, the system added a 50 rep to the offered bounty (500+50).

According to the Blog (Improvements to Bounty System), this bonus was removed in June 2010:

The system no longer tosses in +50 bonus reputation to a bounty. We feel this newer, much more open bounty system no longer needs that incentive.

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How come I can't give more than 500 rep

The old reputation system included an incentive 50 rep, while the new system does not.

The reason you can't give more than 500 rep is to prevent bounties from becoming a trivial method to gain significant moderation abilities. They are there to incentivize giving great answers, but are not meant to vault one up too far along the reputation ladder.

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