“Full-time” developers, defined as those who contribute to 76% of Github commits, climbed by 15.2% to over 7000. In comparison, “one-time” builders decreased by 6.2% to over 3,500 over the same period between December 2021 and December 2022, according to a Jan. 16 report from Electric Capital.
The total number of monthly active Web3 developers increased 5.4% to more than 23,300 over the last 12 months despite an almost 70% decline in crypto prices, supporting the idea that bear markets are advantageous for builders.
Despite the crypto market capitalization starting its protracted decline from its all-time high (ATH) of $2.9 trillion in November 2021, monthly developer activity started declining in June 2022, when the statistic hit a record high of about 26,500.
The decline in developer activity in the Terra ecosystem following its catastrophic collapse in May 2022 was partially blamed for this decline. The study also discovered that only 28 (9%) of the original Terra developers remained for Terra 2.0, while 143 (42%) gave up and moved to other ecosystems after Terra’s demise. For example, 42 out of 143 former Terra developers moved to Cosmos, the highest percentage of any other ecosystem.
The number of weekly active Web3 developers fell by 26% over the following three months, from June to September. However, the sector did welcome 61,127 new Web3 developers in 2022, the highest ever noted and a 25.8% rise from 2021.
More new Web3 developers (109,723) released their first line of open-source crypto code last year than they did between 2014 and 2020 (101,054).
With 1,873 full-time developers, Ethereum continues to outpace the next three highest ecosystems combined (Polkadot (752), Cosmos (511), and Solana(383)) in terms of developer count.
However, the number of developers on non-Ethereum chains is catching up. The Starknet ecosystem is among the mid-sized ecosystems to have made a strong run in 2022, with a 214% increase in developer count. The Cosmos and Solana networks increased by 34% and 36%, respectively.
The Electric Capital analysis also noted that because some projects are close-sourced, there are far more Web3 developers than were taken into consideration in the report.
Recent research on Web3 development indicates a rise in the current activity level among Web3 developers. The data showed that smart contract settlements were consistently at an all-time high. In addition, more people were using Web3 script libraries, indicating that developers were still active despite the market’s decline.
According to the report, 2022 could be the busiest year yet for Web3 developers given that over 36% of smart contracts have been deployed and verified on the blockchain, totaling 118,000 against the entire number of smart contract deployments for all time, which stands at 323,700.