Developers Keep Crypto Warm Amid Its Freezing Winter

Developers Keep Crypto Warm Amid Its Freezing Winter

While the ongoing crypto winter has extended for far longer than most of us would’ve liked, developers in the space seem unbothered. An annual developer report by Electric Capital shows that developers in the crypto world have never been higher- 23,000 monthly developers doing their part in growing open-source projects.

Electric Capital’s report takes into account one-time, part-time, and full-time developers contributing to open-source code repositories.

Despite a 70% decline in prices, monthly active developers grew 5% year-over-year (YoY). Compared to the last crypto winter, which started in Jan 2018, monthly active developers grew by a mind-boggling 297% across multiple blockchain networks.

Biggest Gainers

The largest growth in monthly active developers was seen in blockchains that weren’t Bitcoin or Ethereum. While both blockchains saw significant growth compared to 2018- 3x on Bitcoin and 5x on Ethereum, over 72% of monthly active developers were active on blockchains outside the two largest ones by market cap.

Solana, NEAR, and Polygon saw activity go up by 40% YoY, while the largest gainers were new networks like Sui and Aptos, both of which saw 50% YoY growth.

Such significant growth in these ecosystems can be attributed to full-time developers burning the midnight oil to develop the infrastructure for these projects.

Reasons for the Disparity

One reason for the difference in growth rates between blockchains could be the coding language used. Coding smart contracts requires knowledge of specialized coding languages like Rust or Solidity, and this factor might be dissuading experienced software developers from leaving the Web2 space.

However, Solana claims that the coding language it employs, Rust, is not hard for engineers to pick up, especially those fluent in C and C++.

Alchemy’s 2022 Q4 Report

Web3 developer, Alchemy, states in its report that token trading dropped in the past year, but development on Ethereum only went up. Year over year NFT (non-fungible token) trading volume was down by 94%, and major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum saw their prices taking a dip as well. But amid all this, the number of smart contracts deployed on Ethereum witnessed a 453% hike.

Alchemy released a statement saying, “Web3’s hallmark highs and lows were on full display in Q4.” The implosion of FTX, on the one hand, dented the trust of consumers. Developers, on the other hand, were diving headfirst into the space, deploying smart contracts at rates rivaling 2021’s peak.

Our takeaway

Bear markets are the perfect time to build infrastructure, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing right now. The healthy amount of full-time developers amid the crypto winter is a promising sign of crypto’s comeback. The introduction of regulations in multiple jurisdictions across the world will only help crypto’s case. When the time comes for a rally, crypto will be ready to run at full speed.


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