Electric Capital recently released a

Blockchain Developer Analysis Report

showing year over year stats.

Developer Report Executive Summary

  • Despite market downturns in 2018, full-time developers increased 13% year-over-year in June 2019 and are consolidating around high network value projects.

  • Code commit volume is consistent but total monthly active developers are down 10%Y/Y.

  • 80% of developer loss came from one-time per month and part-time developers.

  • The biggest developer drop-off came from projects outside of the Top 100 by network value.

  • Smart Contracts, Infrastructure, and DeFi ecosystems continue to gain full-time developers.

  • Overall crypto ecosystems are approaching the size of well known open source projects such as Apache, but still has plenty of space to grow.


Electric Capital fingerprinted 27,000+ code repositories and 22 million code commits in the firm’s H1 2019 Developer Report. It’s full of great info and insights.
The report bucketed developers into three categories:

  • One-time: one commit per month

  • Part-time: 2–9 commits per month

  • Full-time: 10 or more commits per month

Number of Active Blockchain Developers

Active Ecosystems:

The report also defines active ecosystems as having at least 2 full-time developers committing code for at least 6 months.
Following this methodology, Electric Capital identified 583 active ecosystems out of a field of 1,140 total ecosystems.

Key Takeaways and Insights

1. There was a decrease in total blockchain developers, but an increase in full-time developers.
Monthly Active DevelopersFull-Time Developers

The number of full-time blockchain developers increases by 13% while the total devs overall fell by 10% compared to the previous year. Here’s where it gets interesting. The amount of committed code volume stayed consistent even through the 10% drop in devs. Full-time developers commit the most code and so the consistent volume combined with the overall increase in full-time developers is a great sign for the crypto ecosystem.

2. Bad projects are on the decline.
Top 100 Projects – Monthly Active Developers

The top 100 crypto projects by market cap contain 50% of all developers and only lost 4% of their developers since last year. Meanwhile, projects outside the top 100 lost 19% of developers! Just like all emerging technologies, the weak projects and companies will be weeded out while the great products prevail.

3. The Bitcoin ecosystem has continuously grown in terms of developers since 2014.
Blockchain Ecosystems – Monthly Active Developers 2018-2019Blockchain Ecosystems – Monthly Active Developers 2014-2019

Bitcoin’s developer count has tripled since 2014 and remained relatively the same even throughout the 2019 crypto winter. This speaks to Bitcoin's resilience and that many people are still actively working on making Bitcoin better.

4. Ethereum is still top dog for developers.
Ethereum Monthly Active DevelopersBlockchain Ecosystem Developers

The report identifies that 18% of all open-source crypto developers work in the Ethereum ecosystem. Even more, Ethereum has 4x more devs than the next ecosystem, which is Bitcoin.
Crypto is about network effects. The open-source ecosystem with the most value is likely to be the ecosystem with the most developers. These metrics will continue to vary each year, but they’re important to watch in order to determine what ecosystem is growing and accruing developer mindshare.

5. Grin has an impressive developer count for a young project.
Grin Developers

Grin is a relatively new project that has garnered 33 developers working on the cryptocurrencies protocol. This type of growth speaks to the community behind the cryptocurrency and infers that they are still actively working on new iterations and implementations for Grin.

6. Only six crypto ecosystems didn’t lose developers.
Percentage Change in Monthly Average Developers

Maker notably increased its total developers by 80.68% or 27.8 in raw numbers. While the large percentage growth is slightly due to the fact that they had a lower developer count, it’s still very impressive. Basic Attention Token also increased its total developer count, which speaks well for the company aiming to revolutionize the browser industry. Bitcoin Cash lost the most developers in percentage terms, but EOS lost the most developers (30.5) overall.

7. Overall Ethereum developer growth was flat, but full-time developer growth increased.
Ethereum Ecosystem Full-Time DevelopersNew Part-Time Developers

Ethereum remained relatively consistent in terms of total developers but increased its number of full-time devs by 34%. Ethereum, EOS, and Bitcoin also have an increase in part-time developers committing code. Additionally, one could make the argument that Ethereum also gains developers prominent ERC20 tokens gain more developers. It would also be feasible to assume that some Ethereum developers jump onto new Ethereum based projects just as many original Bitcoin developers transitioned to cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Grin, Bitcoin Cash and more.

8. “Active Ecosystems” were defined into 5 groups.
5 Active Blockchain Ecosystems

Smart contracts account for 40% of all developers with applications taking the second most. However, both of these groups have lost developers over the past year. Meanwhile, Defi and infrastructure developers have both increased significantly.

Number of DeFi Developers
9. The crypto ecosystem is growing rapidly and there’s still plenty of room for expansion.
Crypto and Blockchain Compared to Other Large Open Source EcosystemsNext 4 Years of Developer Growth
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