In terms of the number of developers, the blockchain platforms known in the crypto community as “Ethereum Killers” are growing at a faster rate than Ethereum (ETH) at similar points in their history. However, Ethereum remains by far the largest ecosystem, retaining 30% of full-time developers who have joined cryptocurrencies since 2017.
According to a recent report from the encryption research firm Electric CapitalBetween December 2020 and December 2021, the number of Solana’s monthly active developers (SOL) grew the most, increasing by a factor of 4.9x. Subsequently, NEAR experienced 4x growth, Polygon (MATIC) more than 2x and Cardano (ADA) almost doubled its monthly active developers.
Likewise, smaller ecosystems (those with fewer than 300 developers) also posted huge growth figures over the past year.
“Terra, ICP, Fantom and Harmony quadrupled their developers in 2021. Avalanche and Algorand both increased their developers triple,” according to the report.
The report noted that there are more than 18,000 monthly active developers committing code in open source cryptography and Web 3.0 projects, while more than 34,000 new developers committed code last year. Of that count, more than 4,000 monthly active open source developers work on Ethereum, and around 680 work on Bitcoin (BTC).
According to the report, the largest developer ecosystems in crypto and Web 3.0 are Ethereum, Polkadot (DOT), Cosmos (ATOM), Solana, Bitcoin, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), NEAR, Avalanche, Tezos (XTZ), Polygon, and Cardano: each with more than 250 monthly active developers at least.
That said, the report found that,
“Ethereum continues to have the largest ecosystem of tools, applications and protocols, and is 2.8 times larger than the second largest ecosystem. One in five new developers entering Web3 works on Ethereum.”
As the second largest ecosystem, Polkadot is estimated to have around 1,500 developers in total. Other large ecosystems, Cosmos and Solana, are projected to have around 1,000 each.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin averaged more than 600 monthly active developers in December 2021, and it has more than 100 new developers entering its ecosystem each month.
Despite the record growth of Web 3.0 developers, it is worth noting that the ecosystem still has a small portion of software engineers globally.
“Less than 1,000 full-time developers are responsible for more than [USD] 100 billion in total value locked into smart contracts, “the report said.
To obtain the results of its report, Electric Capital used around 500,000 code repositories and 160 million code commits, which are revisions or updates on crypto projects.
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