Tea Inc., a new company developing an open source software platform on the blockchain, has released a whitepaper outlining its protocol for compensating open-source developers. Tea is creating a groundbreaking decentralised system for fairly compensating open-source developers based on their contributions to the entire ecosystem.
The Tea blockchain will include a reputation system and an immutable decentralised registry to distribute value to developers based on their contribution to the utility and health of the ecosystem. Because the registry knows the entire open source graph, value can enter the graph at apex points—apps and essential libraries—and be distributed recursively to the dependencies of those apex points and their dependencies.
“Tea’s mission is to empower open source communities and ensure their contributors are supported as they create the tools that build the Internet,” said co-founder Max Howell, the creator of open-source software package management system Homebrew. “Tea’s combination of tools, information, and rewards will justly incentivize developers, helping stimulate the growth of open-source software and foster innovation.”
The following are the key features of Tea’s open source development ecosystem:
- Unprecedented reward offering: The Tea blockchain will reward contributors and participants in the open source community with Tea tokens. For example, after successfully submitting a package, the package maintainer will be awarded a non-fungible token (NFT) to recognise their efforts and contributions. The holder of this NFT will receive a portion of the Tea token rewards associated with the use of the package, while the remainder of the value will be distributed to all those who contributed to the code. Tea also intends to create—and incentivize others to create—mechanisms for package users to support package maintainers via unique Tea token use cases.
- Tea is decentralised at every layer, from day-to-day development to package distribution, which improves reliability and provides native, built-in virtual environments for every tool in the stack. With every layer of apps and dapps signed and verified on-chain, Tea’s decentralisation provides tangible benefits to ecosystem security.
- Use of blockchain technology: For the first time, blockchain technology, specifically staking, provides a unique opportunity to address the challenge of rewarding open source developers. Each action taken by developers, such as submitting packages, verifying packages, or locking value to support them, adds to their reputation, resulting in a unique profile that each developer can use to both contribute to the community and participate in its governance.
- On-chain governance: Tea includes on-chain governance, which allows all token holders to propose and vote on changes to critical parameters that are weighted by token ownership and reputation. Inflation, transaction fees, staking rewards, steeping rewards, and optimal steeping ratio are examples of these parameters.
- Community-led accountability and validation: Tea tasters are experienced software developers who are willing to devote time to verifying a package’s claims. Tea tasters put their reputation and financial value on the line to demonstrate the outcome of their analysis. Tea community members can provide additional credence to a package and receive a reward in the form of Tea tokens by requiring third-party community reviewers to incur the risk of losing a portion of their tokens if they behave against the network’s interest.