March 27, 2024
Crypto Developer Exodus: Examining the Decline in Open-Source Contributors
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Crypto Developer Exodus: Examining the Decline in Open-Source Contributors

According to Web3 VC companies Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Electric Capital, the number of active, open-source developers in the cryptocurrency space has fallen to its lowest level since 2020.

According to statistics from the former’s State of Crypto Index, the number of active crypto developers has almost halved from its high in the previous year, falling from 36,500 in January 2022 to just 19,630 in September 2023.

Developer numbers previously fell below this level in December 2020, just before the bull market in cryptocurrencies began. At that time, there were about 18,100 developers, and the market for digital assets soon followed.

https://twitter.com/twobitidiot/status/1709613434029982030

The data is accurate, Paul Cafiero, a communications associate at a16z Crypto, stated. CTO Eddy Lazzarin asserted on Twitter, however, that the depicted statistic might not be entirely accurate.

Lazzarin wrote on Twitter, “We leverage Electric Capital’s well-known ecosystems project to discover crypto-related Github repos to follow active crypto devs. The program efficiently keeps track of the amount of active developers working with each of the website’s crypto-focused repositories.

“We’re curious how much crypto dev is now happening outside of the open source infra repos reflected here,” he stated.

Writing source code that is openly distributable and easily seen by anybody is referred to as “open-source” development. For the sake of decentralization and trust, cryptocurrency innovators frequently give open-sourcing their technologies precedence above protecting them as their intellectual property.

The crypto market may have also influenced the amount of developers, but the company believes that more developers are migrating into the application layer of the industry. It claims that activity is increasing there, but it is much more difficult to measure on a dev-by-dev basis.

The CTO listed many a16z-funded initiatives that are “working primarily in the app layer in private repos,” including Blackbird, Story Protocol, Proof of Play, and IYK.

In reality, additional information may indicate that overall cryptographic progress is still advancing. A16z keeps track of downloads of crypto developer libraries, which reached a record high last month.

“It more reflects the amount of activity as opposed to the number of people working,” a spokesperson for a16z stated. In comparison to a straightforward developer count, the spokesperson said that this might be a better indicator of how much work is truly taking place.

“One of those developers could just be doing one commit, and another one could be working full time on it, and they’re counted the same,” he concluded.

Image: Wallpapers.com

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