Electric Capital’s 2023 Crypto Developer Report presents an insightful analysis of the current state of blockchain development. Released on 17 January 2024, the report is based on an extensive study of open-source repositories.

Developer Trends: A Mixed Picture

Electric Capital’s report, which examined a staggering 485 million code commits across 818k open-source repositories, reveals a nuanced picture of the blockchain developer ecosystem. The overall number of developers in the crypto space has decreased by 24%, a significant drop that underscores the volatility and challenges within the industry. However, Electric Capital emphasizes that the most valuable segment of developers – those with more than two years of tenure and who contribute most of the code – is steadily growing.

Growth Among Seasoned Developers

A standout observation from Electric Capital’s report is the growth among experienced developers. Those who have been in the crypto field for over two years are at an all-time high, expanding at a remarkable 52% annualized rate over the past five years. Developers with more than a year of experience in crypto grew by 16% year-over-year, now making up 63% of all monthly active developers.

Decline of Newcomers

Contrasting with the growth of seasoned developers, newcomers – those with less than 12 months in the crypto sector – have declined significantly, with a 52% drop year-over-year. Electric Capital attributes the overall loss in developer numbers primarily to the high churn rate of new developers who joined in 2022.

The Rise of Multi-chain Development

The report by Electric Capital also highlights the increasing trend towards multi-chain development. About 30% of developers now support more than one blockchain, a tenfold increase from just 3% in 2015. Notably, developers who work on three or more chains grew to 17% of all developers in 2023, reaching an all-time high.

Project-Specific Developer Trends

Electric Capital observes that growth in developers is not uniform across all projects. Some blockchain projects experienced gains in developer numbers, while others saw declines. This divergence suggests that developers are selectively contributing to projects they believe offer real utility and potential.

Global Distribution of Crypto Developers

The crypto developer community is increasingly global, with 72% of developers based outside North America. The report by Electric Capital points out a significant decline in the US’s share of crypto developers, which has fallen by 14% since 2018 to just 26%. Regions such as South Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Africa, and Southern Europe have collectively increased their developer share by 20% since 2018

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