10 Ways for Non-Developers to Participate in the tea Incentivized Testnet

Not a software developer? You may be wondering how—and, of course, why—to get involved with tea. The tea Protocol is launching to increase the sustainability and integrity of the software supply chain by enabling open-source software (OSS) developers and maintainers to capture the value that they create. 

What exactly is the tea Protocol brewing? Here’s why software users, security researchers, and other OSS supporters may want to take a sip:

  • Anyone can stake tokens to support impactful OSS projects and potentially earn rewards
  • Vulnerability reporting on any registered OSS project is incentivized by the tea Protocol 
  • Signing up for and getting involved with tea is easy
  • tea’s development roadmap is designed to evolve based on user feedback
  • tea fully embraces decentralized governance via the teaDAO

tea’s Incentivized Testnet is launching as a precursor to its main network, or Mainnet—and anyone can participate in both phases. Many non-technical activities completed during the Incentivized Testnet phase can earn users points, which may be assigned value in the future.

You might have questions about how to participate as a general user of tea. Keep reading to learn 10 easy ways to get involved with the tea Incentivized Testnet.

1. Create a tea account

This is where your tea journey begins! Anyone can create a new account with tea. Users can sign up in two different ways: 

  • Social authorization: If you have a Google, Microsoft, Discord, or Twitter account, you can easily begin the account creation process with tea. During the initial set-up process, users have the option of either creating a new digital wallet or connecting an existing digital wallet. 
  • WalletConnect: Crypto-savvy users can choose to initiate the account creation process by using WalletConnect, a communications protocol that establishes a secure connection between an existing digital wallet and the tea web app.

Your next step is to create a tea username, by either selecting a new username for tea or connecting your GitHub account and using your GitHub username. Your username is then registered with the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), which is like giving your account its own URL on the blockchain. With your username created and registered, tea completes the account creation process, after which you are automatically directed to the dashboard in tea’s web app. Welcome to tea!

The tea Protocol supports decentralized account ownership—meaning that your account information is not owned or controlled by tea

During tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase, completing the sign-up process results in testnet TEA tokens being immediately deposited into your tea account. Wahoo! (Note that testnet TEA tokens have no redeemable value but can be used to experiment with various features supported by the Incentivized Testnet.)

2. Verify your email address

Another straightforward way to start participating with the tea Protocol is to provide and verify your email address. Adding your email address is one of the best ways to engage with the tea community by receiving regular emails from us. (Don’t worry, you can always unsubscribe!) Also get notifications about your tea account activity—straight to your inbox. 

Users can sign into the tea web app to enter their preferred email address. You’ll need to follow standard verification procedures to confirm that the provided email address is valid.

3. Tell us about yourself

The developers of the tea Protocol want to learn about you! The protocol is being established to benefit all participants in the software ecosystem—that’s why the dev team is interested in who you are and how the tea Protocol can support you. tea’s development roadmap is intentionally flexible to incorporate your user feedback.

Users may visit the relevant section of the tea web platform to complete a brief survey. We want to know if you have a technical background, understand your goals for using the tea Protocol, and collect any other feedback that you want to share so we can better communicate with you.

Telling us about yourself is an easy way to earn points during the Incentivized Testnet phase of tea’s protocol development.

4. Stake tokens to a project

Are you interested in supporting impactful projects in the open-source software ecosystem? A significant way that non-technical users can participate in the tea Protocol is to stake tokens to a registered software project. Any participant in the tea Incentivized Testnet can stake tokens they have received to any registered project, to both support that project and potentially earn rewards. The tea Protocol supports staking to enhance the security and sustainability of the entire software supply chain.

Users participating during tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase can stake only testnet TEA tokens. Users who stake testnet TEA to an eligible project are entitled to receive a portion of the staking rewards allocated to the project on a daily basis. Users receive staking rewards based on how many tokens they stake to a project and the total amount of tokens staked across all projects registered with tea.

Staking tokens to a software project may generate rewards for a defined period of time—but staking also confers risk. The project is required to perform well—meaning that it continues to be used by other projects, its maintainers respond to vulnerability reports, and the project is generally well maintained. Software projects with vulnerability reports that are not addressed may be subject to slashing, resulting in a portion of the testnet TEA staked to the project being redistributed or burned. If slashing occurs, all users with tokens staked to that project are impacted, not just the project itself. 

The tea Protocol uses smart contracts—blockchain-based programs that can execute when specific conditions are met—to enable efficient and transparent staking. The tea web app provides an interface to facilitate the staking process for all users.

5. Participate in vulnerability reporting

The contributions of security researchers are vital to the security of the software supply chain—that’s why the tea Protocol incentivizes active engagement by security researchers. Anyone can contribute to the tea Protocol by reporting vulnerabilities, which may be against the tea Protocol or protocol-registered software projects. 

Users who submit confirmed vulnerability reports may earn points and testnet TEA tokens during the Incentivized Testnet phase—regardless of whether the bug is ultimately addressed. Users wishing to report OSS vulnerabilities are required to stake tokens to their vulnerability report as a condition of submitting the report. Users who submit false or “spam” reports will have their stake slashed, to prevent bad actors from inundating projects with invalid reports. The tea Protocol incentivizes prompt responses to vulnerability reporting by penalizing project maintainers who do not acknowledge or resolve reported issues in a timely manner.

Security researchers wishing to build and validate their reputations may particularly benefit from reporting software vulnerabilities. In addition to the rewards, anyone who creates an accepted vulnerability report can earn a badge in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT). The badge is displayed on your profile in the tea web app.

Users during the tea Incentivized Testnet phase can also experiment with submitting vulnerability reports that are rejected. Experimenting with the tea Protocol in this way can enable you to earn Incentivized Testnet points.

Increasing the frequency and robustness of code reviews in the OSS community is a major way that the tea Protocol is bolstering the sustainability of the software supply chain—by enabling all open-source software projects to earn the rewards and reputation that they deserve.

6. Earn rewards

tea Protocol users have many opportunities to earn rewards during the Incentivized Testnet phase of tea’s development. Here’s a cheat sheet to keep track of the different types of rewards:

  • Points: The tea Protocol is using virtual, non-transferable points to motivate widespread participation in tea's Incentivized Testnet. Points are not blockchain-based rewards, although they may become redeemable by eligible persons for claimable rewards at a later time. Eligible participants in the tea Incentivized Testnet can earn points by completing various tasks within the protocol. 
  • Testnet TEA tokens: The tea Protocol is distributing testnet TEA tokens throughout the Incentivized Testnet phase. Testnet TEA tokens have no redeemable value; their purpose during tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase is to enable users to participate in the tea Testnet and potentially earn points. Users during the Incentivized Testnet phase can earn additional testnet TEA tokens by staking tokens to a project or submitting an accepted vulnerability report. These earned testnet TEA tokens also have no redeemable value.

During tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase, protocol users may be motivated to earn points. Let’s explore some of the ways that non-developers can earn points during tea’s Incentivized Testnet: 

  • Create a tea account
  • Log in to your tea account
  • Experiment with staking
  • Participate in a challenge or quest
  • Test the usability of the tea Protocol
  • Stake tokens to a registered software project 
  • Report errors associated with the tea Protocol 
  • Report an error associated with a registered software project 

7. Claim rewards 

Testnet TEA tokens

Non-developers during tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase can claim staking rewards in the form of testnet TEA tokens. Note that testnet TEA tokens have no redeemable value but can be used to experiment with various features supported by the Incentivized Testnet.

Testnet points

Points, which are automatically assigned and accumulated by participating in various Incentivized Testnet activities, may become convertible into claimable rewards at a future date.

Claiming testnet TEA tokens enables you to stake those tokens to other projects, or transfer the tokens to another tea user or external digital wallet. Note that these types of transactions require paying a transaction fee denominated in testnet TEA tokens.

8. Donate to projects you love

Which OSS projects do you value the most? The tea Protocol makes it easy for software users to donate directly to open-source software projects. Any tea user can choose to donate tokens to any registered software project. 

Donated tokens may be native to the tea Protocol or among the protocol’s supported stablecoins. During tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase, users can donate testnet TEA tokens to any registered project. Users may also donate a test stablecoin, which has no redeemable value and tea is supporting during its Incentivized Testnet phase for testing purposes only.

Users who donate tokens can earn an NFT badge, which is displayed on your profile in the tea web app.

9. Participate in governance of the tea Protocol

Decentralized governance is foundational to the tea Protocol. The protocol supports a decentralized autonomous organization known as the teaDAO to facilitate the decentralized governance of the tea Protocol.

Engagement in protocol governance by builders, users, and all community members is essential to the sustainability of the tea Protocol. Anyone with staked testnet TEA can participate in protocol governance during tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase. 

Eligible TEA holders can vote on and propose changes to the tea Protocol. Here’s how that process works:

  • User proposes a change on the teaDAO Forum (in the tea web app) using a standardized proposal template 
  • Participants in the teaDAO Forum discuss the proposed change and provide feedback to the user proposing the change
  • User can choose to modify the proposal by incorporating the community’s feedback
  • User indicates that the proposal is “ready” for a tea community moderator
  • Community moderator organizes a vote on the proposal  
  • Staked token holders vote on the proposal using their staked testnet TEA, or stTEA
  • Proposals accepted by a majority vote are implemented by the tea Protocol

During tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase, many activities associated with decentralized protocol governance can generate points for participants. Let’s examine the relevant actions that are being incentivized:

  • Create a proposal to the teaDAO that receives votes—whether to accept or reject—from other testnet participants
  • Create a proposal that has the greatest voter participation during tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase
  • Vote on a proposal to accept or reject a potential change

10. Help to grow the communi’tea

Any participant in the tea community can help to create a vibrant and diverse ecosystem by referring new users to tea. Users may access a referral link, which is easily shared, via the tea web app. Referring others to create new tea accounts can enable you to earn points during tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase.

tea community members can also choose to raise awareness about tea by sharing the tea whitepaper. Sharing the whitepaper by following the instructions in the tea web app can generate points for users during tea’s Incentivized Testnet phase.

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