Ethereum dominates among developers, but competitors grow faster
Ethereum competitors like Polkadot, Solana and Binance Smart Chain are growing fastest in terms of development activity according to crypto research firm Electric Capital which released its findings on the blockchain development ecosystem in a new report on Jan.6.
The report revealed that more than 4,000 monthly active open source developers work on Ethereum, far more than the 680 who work on the Bitcoin network. Across all chains, the monthly total of active developers measured was over 18,400 and the record was broken for the number of code commits by new developers in 2021 with over 34,000.
The measurements were collected by analyzing approximately 500,000 code repositories and 160 million code commits, which are changes or updates to the code. The report found that Ethereum, Polkadot, Cosmos, Solana and Bitcoin are the five largest development ecosystems.
According to the report, Polkadot has around 1,500 developers in total, while for Cosmos and Solana it is around a thousand for each. Other active ecosystems in terms of monthly developers were Cosmos, NEAR which launched an $ 800 million developer fund in October, Tezos, Polygon, and Cardano, each with over 250 active monthly developers.
While Ethereum is still dominant, over 20% of new Web3 developers have joined its ecosystem, rival networks have seen more growth. The report compared the average monthly active developers between December 2020 and December 2021, noting that Solana grew 4.9 times, NEAR had a 4 times growth rate, and Polygon’s monthly developers more than doubled. Cosmos had a 70% increase in average monthly active developers and 80% BSCs over the course of 2021.
While the development growth figures are impressive for more early stage projects, Ethereum is still king. The ecosystem continues to maintain the largest network of tools, dapps and protocols and is 2.8 times larger than its closest rival, Polkadot.
Solana, Avalanche, BSC, NEAR and Terra have emerged as DeFi hubs over the past year or so, attracting more developers as adoption increases. DeFi’s full-time monthly active contributors grew 64%, and more than 500 new developers contributed code to a DeFi project every month last year after January.