Looking at the number of developers, blockchain platforms known in the crypto community as “Ethereum Killers” are growing at a faster rate than Ethereum (ETH) did at similar points in its history. However, Ethereum is still by far the largest ecosystem, retaining 30% of full-time developers who have joined crypto since 2017.
According to a recent report by the crypto research firm Electric Capital, between December 2020 and December 2021, the number of Solana (SOL)’s monthly active developers grew the most, rising by a factor of 4.9x. Subsequently, NEAR saw a 4x growth, Polygon (MATIC) more than 2x, and Cardano (ADA) nearly doubled its monthly active developers.
Similarly, smaller ecosystems (those with less than 300 developers) also saw huge growth figures over the past year.
“Terra, ICP, Fantom, and Harmony all 4x’ed their developers in 2021. Both Avalanche and Algorand grew their developers by 3x,” the report said.
The report noted that there are over 18,000 monthly active developers that commit code in open source crypto and Web 3.0 projects, while over 34,000 new developers committed code last year. Of that tally, more than 4,000 monthly active open-source developers work on Ethereum, and around 680 work on Bitcoin (BTC).
As per 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 over 250 monthly active developers at least.
That said, the report found that,
“Ethereum continues to have the largest ecosystem of tools, apps, and protocols, and is 2.8x larger than the second largest ecosystem. One out of every five new developers coming into 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 a thousand each.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin averaged more than 600 monthly active developers in December 2021, and it has more than 100 new developers coming into its ecosystem each month.
Despite the record-breaking growth of developers in Web 3.0, it is worth noting that the ecosystem still holds a small portion of software engineers globally.
“Less than 1,000 full-time developers are responsible for over [USD] 100 billion in total value locked in smart contracts,” the report said.
To gain the results for their report, Electric Capital used around 500,000 code repositories and 160m code commits, which are revisions or updates across crypto projects.