Ethereum is by far the most developed ecosystem according to a report by the San Francisco based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
“Ethereum has far and away the most builders, with nearly 4,000 monthly active developers,” they say.
This is derived from a report by Electric Capital which fingerprinted nearly 500K code repositories and 160 million code commits across Web3 to measure the crypto dev space.
They say about 2,000 developers are working on defi, with 2021 seeing the biggest growth in new developers.
Interestingly they also find that while price increases attract new developers, new devs continue to stay on even as price falls, making it less of a wax and wane and more of a ladder.
This in turn has given rise to the idea of ‘price-innovation’ cycles where an increase in price attracts devs who bring new ideas and launch projects, with those projects in turn increasing demand, and so a rising price repeats the cycle… presumably until saturation.
That wouldn’t quite explain bitcoin’s staying power however, unless we assume ethereum is bitcoin to the wider public and the rise of defi in 2020 was also the rise of the non-existent bitcoin defi.
In addition, the number of crypto developers are tiny by comparison to other industries. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, for example, stated back in 2018 that there are 20 million registered developers on iOS.
In crypto, there’s in total an estimated 140,000 developers that at some point have contributed, with 34,000 of them joining just last year.
18,000 devs commit code in open source crypto and web3 projects every month, while 4,000 working on crypto full time or part time.
Andreessen Horowitz further estimates there are 7 million to 50 million active ethereum users “based on various on-chain metrics,” compared to about 4 billion internet users.
That’s significantly less than an estimated 200 million crypto users, with it generally difficult to measure as daily transaction numbers are limited to about 1.4 million.
The dominance of ethereum is being challenged however, Andreessen Horowitz says, with newer blockchains looking to emulate its success.
But so far ethereum’s dominance is overwhelming, with bitcoin having just 680 monthly active devs.