The Ethereum ecosystem still has far more developers than rival networks, but they are catching up with a faster rate of growth.
Ethereum competitors, such as Polkadot, Solana and Binance Smart Chain (BSC), are growing faster in terms of development activity according to crypto research firm Electric Capital, which released its findings on the blockchain development ecosystem in a new report on Thursday.
It revealed that more than 4,000 monthly active open-source developers work on Ethereum — considerably more than the 680 who work on the Bitcoin network. Across all chains, the total monthly active developers measured was more than 18,400, and the record was broken for the number of code commits by new developers in 2021 with more than 34,000.
The measurements were gleaned by analyzing around 500,000 code repositories and 160 million code commits, which are changes or updates to the code. The report noted that Ethereum, Polkadot, Cosmos, Solana and Bitcoin are the five largest developer ecosystems overall.
According to the report, Polkadot has around 1,500 developers in total, while Cosmos and Solana are around 1,000 each.
Other active ecosystems in terms of monthly developers were Cosmos, Near, which launched an $800-million developer fund in October, Tezos, Polygon and Cardano, each with more than 250 active monthly developers.
While Ethereum is still dominant — more than 20% of new Web3 developers joined its ecosystem — rival networks have seen greater growth.
“Polkadot, Solana, NEAR, BSC, Avalanche, and Terra are growing faster than Ethereum did at similar points in its history.”
The report compared the average monthly active developers between December 2020 and December 2021, noting that Solana grew by 4.9 times, Near had a 4x growth rate, and Polygon’s monthly developers more than doubled. Cosmos had a 70% increase in average monthly active developers, and BSC’s increase was 80% over the course of 2021.
While the development growth figures are impressive for more early-stage projects, Ethereum is still the king. The ecosystem continues to retain the largest network of tools, decentralized applications and protocols and is 2.8 times larger than its closest rival, Polkadot.
Solana, Avalanche, BSC, Near and Terra have emerged as decentralized finance (DeFi) hubs over the past year or so, attracting more developers as adoption increases. DeFi full-time monthly active contributors grew by 64%, and more than 500 new developers contributed code to a DeFi project every month last year aside from January, it reported.