Bitcoin dominated the cryptocurrency market two years ago, accounting for 70% of its market value. However, as the sector has grown to approach $2 trillion in assets, it has splintered. Today, bitcoin’s market share is below 40%, and new crypto networks are springing up on a daily basis. Following the software developers who construct and manage crypto networks is one way to cut through the noise and understand where the industry is headed.
The amount of developers working on a crypto network, according to Avichal Garg, a managing partner at crypto-focused investment company Electric Capital, “is a leading indicator of where value will be created and accrued over the next 10 years.”
Working on bitcoin platforms now has 18,000 active developers (including both full-time and part-time workers), up from around 10,000 a year ago. The increase is proof of the industry’s success and durability. When individuals vote with their feet and their time, it’s a strong indication that they’re working on something long-term.
Nearly 500,000 pieces of code and 160 million code modifications were studied in Electric Capital’s research. It calculated growth by comparing December 2020 to December 2021.
The list of the largest crypto ecosystems is as follows:
- Binance Smart Chain
All of the fastest-growing platforms are competitors to Ethereum, the second-largest crypto network, which was founded in 2015 and has 1,300 full-time workers working on it. Ethereum is a decentralised computer on which applications can be developed, with over 5,000 “nodes,” or computers, that help validate transactions. One disadvantage of Ethereum’s widespread distribution is that it can only execute roughly 15 transactions per second (in comparison the NASDAQ Stock Market averages roughly 20,000 transactions per second), and a single transaction cost can easily reach $100.
All of these rapidly expanding crypto networks employ a different approach to decentralisation and “consensus,” the computational process of approving a transaction, than Ethereum. They settle transactions more quickly and have cheaper costs, but they aren’t as decentralised as Ethereum.
Korea-based Terra was formed four years ago by Do Kwon, a 30-year-old entrepreneur. Its UST “stable token,” a cryptocurrency pegged to the value of the US dollar, has risen swiftly to $10 billion in market capitalization, placing it among the top five stable coins in the world. based in San Francisco Solana has stunned many crypto insiders by attracting hundreds of developers in the last year. Solana-based applications have become highly popular, ranging from crypto trading platforms to loan companies to music apps. Solana’s SOL token increased in value from $1.85 in January 2021 to $170 by the end of the year, reaching a market capitalization of $53 billion.
Alexander Skidanov and Illia Polosukhin founded Near, a protocol based in the Bay Area, in 2017. Solana and Near were created in Rust, a popular programming language that is more widely utilised than Ethereum’s Solidity. EOS, which had roughly 125 total active developers in December 2020 but only 80 a year later, was one platform that lost a substantial number of developers.
Electric Capital’s research reveals which networks have the most total developers, in addition to the fastest-growing networks. Ethereum has held the top rank for a long time, and Ethereum was chosen by one out of every four new crypto developers that joined the field in the last year.