Value Creation with the tea Protocol—Ushering In a New Era of Web3

What’s the value or impact of web3? The launch of Bitcoin in 2008 marks the start of blockchain-powered innovation—although plenty of questionable crypto projects have also achieved unwarranted accolades along the way.

Just like web2 and web1, web3 is maturing and growing into a collection of technologies that are truly valuable for many different users. The tea Protocol is an example of a web3 innovation that’s enabling the open-source community to finally capture the immense value that it creates.

Keep reading to learn more about tea and its utility for open-source developers—plus dig deep into the history of value creation in web3.

What is tea?

The tea Protocol is a decentralized technology framework secured by reputation and incentives that enables open-source developers to be rewarded for their software contributions. The tea Protocol operates as an incentive layer by integrating with all the major software package managers including Homebrew, PyPI, npm, and pkgx.

Open-source developers can choose to register software projects with the tea Protocol, and may be eligible to receive rewards proportional to the value and impact of their software contributions. Even software that’s located deep in the tech stack may qualify to receive rewards. tea’s algorithm—known as Proof of Contribution—continually ranks the impact of all software projects in the tea network based on their contributions to the entire open-source ecosystem. 

Open-source developers are naturally incentivized to use the tea Protocol because it creates an opportunity to be rewarded for important work. Software users who stake TEA to a software project contribute to the security of the software supply chain and may also be eligible to earn rewards.

The tea Protocol is built on Base, a layer-2 blockchain that was launched by the leading crypto exchange Coinbase.

Value creation using the tea Protocol

tea can both unlock existing value and create new value in the open-source economy. Let’s examine some key characteristics of the tea Protocol that can create meaningful value for both open-source developers and software users: 

  • tea empowers developers. The tea Protocol empowers open-source developers by enabling them to be fairly rewarded for their contributions. Solving the value capture problem in the open-source community may attract new talent to important open-source projects.
  • The tea Protocol can reward software users. A decentralized protocol that efficiently evaluates and distributes value for open-source software projects can attract software users wishing to capture some of that value. The ability to stake tokens to projects registered with the protocol to contribute to the security of the software supply chain is an important value distribution mechanism. 
  • The tea Protocol aligns interests. tea is driving growth by aligning the interests of open-source developers, maintainers, and users. Developers are incentivized to create high-quality software, maintainers are motivated to ensure project integrity, and users can earn rewards for supporting impactful software.
  • The tea Protocol fosters long-term value creation. The tea Protocol can enable the open-source ecosystem to function more sustainably, potentially driving long-term value creation. The tea Protocol addresses long-standing concerns about the sustainability of open-source projects by ensuring that projects are fairly rewarded based on their contributions to the technology ecosystem.
  • The tea Protocol can have global impact. The tea Protocol may create value by enlarging the open-source community on a worldwide basis. Solving the value capture problem for open-source developers can potentially transform open-source software development into a viable career choice for tech-savvy people everywhere. 

A brief history of value creation in web3

What’s the history of web3 creating value for technology users? Blockchain technology actually isn’t new—it's been around since the 1980s—but decentralized technology didn’t flourish at scale until Bitcoin was conceptualized in 2008.

Let’s learn more about the history of value creation in web3 by exploring the earliest blockchain innovations, the massive cryptocurrency and NFT hype that followed, and the emergence of valuable decentralized protocols.

Revolutionary beginnings

The creation of Bitcoin in 2008 marks the start of using blockchain technology to innovate. Much of the early innovation in web3 centers around Bitcoin and Ethereum, with many early web3 developers focused on leveraging blockchain tech to create decentralized payment systems.

Let’s dig into some of the most important milestones in the early history of web3:


A pseudonymous entity called Satoshi Nakamoto releases a whitepaper entitled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" on October 31. The whitepaper introduces Bitcoin and explains the concept of using blockchain technology for a decentralized payment system.  


Satoshi Nakamoto mines the genesis block of Bitcoin on January 3. The first bitcoins begin circulating and the first open-source Bitcoin client becomes available to the public.


A programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz pays 10,000 Bitcoin on May 22 to buy two pizzas. This transaction marks the first-known time that Bitcoin—or any digital currency—is used to pay for physical goods. 


A Bitcoin ATM is established in Vancouver, Canada, on October 29. This milestone marks the start of the exchange between digital currencies and traditional fiat money. 


Vitalik Buterin publishes a whitepaper entitled “Ethereum: A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform” on January 26. This whitepaper introduces the concept of a programmable blockchain that can support “smart contracts”—code-based contracts that can execute automatically—and a wide variety of decentralized apps. 


The Ethereum blockchain officially launches on July 30. This milestone is commonly referred to as Ethereum's "Frontier" release and is a significant milestone in the history of web3. The programmability of the Ethereum blockchain enables developers to begin using smart contracts and creating decentralized apps.

Speculation, greed & hype

The early success of Bitcoin and the programmability of the Ethereum blockchain prove to be the perfect catalysts to spur boom times for many blockchain projects. Let’s continue the timeline to examine some projects that most embodied cryptocurrency speculation, greed, and hype.


The year 2017 is marked by many initial coin offerings (ICOs), some dubious at best. Overhyped NFTs and decentralized finance projects are gaining traction, and enthusiasm for risky meme coins is widespread. Keep reading to learn about some of these key events:

  • June 12: Bancor—a DeFi project designed to provide liquidity to emerging cryptocurrencies—raises $153 million in just three hours via an ICO. 
  • June 23: Larva Labs launches CryptoPunks, one of the first Ethereum-based NFT projects to be criticized as massively overhyped.
  • July 4: The Useless Ethereum Token raises more than $40,000 in an ICO despite proclaiming to be “completely useless.”
  • August 17: A metaverse project promising to create a vibrant, decentralized digital society—called Decentraland—raises $26 million from a one-day ICO.
  • December 28: The SALT platform launches to facilitate cryptocurrency lending. The much-hyped project struggles to scale and is plagued by regulatory scrutiny.


Three years after the 2017 ICO boom, another wave of crypto frenzy creates the conditions for new overhyped blockchain projects to arise. Let’s examine some of what happens in 2020:

  • July 31: The actor William Shatner releases his own NFT collection—called ShatnerCards—to sell memorabilia from his career as digital collectibles.
  • August 1: Shiba Inu—a meme coin—becomes available to the public. The meme coin is launched to capitalize on the ongoing popularity of Dogecoin, the original meme currency.
  • August 13: Paris Hilton auctions a digital painting of her cat as an NFT, raising $17,000 for charity.


This timeline of digital assets mania is not complete without mentioning what occurs on March 11, 2021. An auction sponsored by Christie's generates $69.3 million for a digital artwork that’s tokenized into an NFT. The digital art, by the creator Beeple, is called "The First 5000 Days."

Value creation using web3 

At the same time that excited investors are funding record-breaking ICOs and overpriced NFTs, promising web3 projects are emerging to create substantial value for their users. Let’s jump back to 2017 to examine some of the most important web3 projects that are gaining traction.


Protocol Labs raises approximately $257 million via an ICO for Filecoin, a cryptocurrency designed to support decentralized data storage. Filecoin is launched on September 7 as the incentive layer for a web3 data storage network called the InterPlanetary File System.


Chainlink is launched on the Ethereum mainnet on May 30. This decentralized oracle service enables blockchain protocols to access real-world data from a variety of credible sources.

Energy Web Token launches just a few weeks later on June 19. The cryptocurrency supports decentralized energy grid management plus a decentralized market for renewable energy credits.


A decentralized protocol that enables developers to index and query data from blockchains launches on December 17. Known as The Graph, this web3 protocol is designed to empower developers to build decentralized applications.


The LIT token by Litentry launches on the Binance crypto exchange on February 3. The web3 token is supporting infrastructure and services for decentralized identity management.


The tea Protocol is being developed to enable software creators to capture the value of their open-source contributions. Stay tuned—value creation in web3 continues, especially as tea’s developers prepare to launch the tea Incentivized Testnet in early 2024.

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