Tea Raises $8.9M to Introduce a New Protocol Helping Open-Source Developers Get Paid

An exciting way to help open-source developers get paid for their efforts.

Tea Raises $8.9M to Introduce a New Protocol Helping Open-Source Developers Get Paid

Tea is an open-source unified package manager used by many developers worldwide.

If you didn't know, Tea is a project by the creator of Homebrew.

In a recent announcement, they announced that they have raised $8.9 Million in seed funding and are planning to introduce a new web3 protocol that will help open-source developers get paid for their work.

I came across this via an article posted on TechCrunch, where they had a chat with the founders of Tea.

Let's take a look at what's in store for Tea.

A New Protocol Proposed by Tea

What is it?

Long story short: This protocol will help package maintainers receive non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as a reward for their contributions to a Tea-equipped open-source project.

The extended version is, that this is a web3 protocol that will help package maintainers get paid in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT).

When a maintainer completes a package submission, they will receive a non-transferable token (NFT) that can be used as evidence of their work and contribution.

Existing maintainers will also be able to transfer the maintenance ownership of a package by transferring the package's NFT to other developers.

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These NFTs are at the core of how Tea is planning to reward its users.

Implementing this will also involve entities called 'Package Supporters and Sponsors'.

These include organizations, package users, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs who use open-source software to build commercial products and are looking to support such an ecosystem.

They also mention that:

To provide the broadest coverage, we believe that rewards mustn’t rely on a simplistic notion of tracking installations or uninstallations, but rather on incentive mechanisms that encourage the submission of quality packages and the reporting of nefarious or high-risk packages.

When to Expect?: So far, with Tea, they have only released what they term as 'the base features that a CLI [command-line interface] tool of its kind should have'.

As of now, no concrete release date has been mentioned for this new protocol, and their best estimate for the release of this protocol is 'some time in 2023'.

They add:

Much like waiting until November to release our CLI, we’re not going to launch until we understand how it should be best built and have gone through trial and error internally.
We’re going to take our time and make sure the tool itself is very useful and valuable for developers.

How Does it Help?

According to Tea inc: This is supposed to help them create an open, public, and stable registry for all open-source software.

In turn, empowering projects to publish releases independently rather than relying on third parties who assemble their data unpredictably, resulting in a ton of separate and often duplicated systems.

Here's what they tell about their goals with the protocol:

Tea’s goal is to implement decentralized incentive mechanisms through unique use cases of the tea token for any member of the tea community to contribute to the perpetual sustainability and continuous growth of open-source.
Package supporters and sponsors are free to decide which packages or package maintainers they want to support based on their work, beliefs, or any criteria and metric that would influence their decision.

In my opinion: This is an exciting approach to rewarding open-source contributors who are frequently neglected, even after contributing a lot to various open-source projects.

However, considering that NFTs have garnered a lot of criticism in recent times. This may or may not turn out well.

If you'd like to know more, you can dive deep into its official white paper for this protocol.