The crypto boom in 2021 saw many projects set record highs, consequently attracting more developers to help sustain and improve operations. As a result of this bull run, several protocols have surpassed the growth rate of Ethereum (ETH/USD), the largest developer ecosystem in the crypto industry. Electric Capital, an early-stage crypto investment firm, disclosed this news through a report on January 5.
According to the report, Polkadot, Solana, Near Protocol, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Avalanche, and Terra are growing faster than Ethereum did at similar points in its history. Electric Capital came to this conclusion after using two metrics. These are the length of days since the first code change (commit) and the number of developers since the launch.
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Per Electric Capital, the aforementioned layer-1 protocols have onboarded more developers than Ethereum at a similar stage in its growth.
Over the past year, Solana, Avalanche, BSC, and Terra have established themselves as decentralized finance (DeFi) hubs. As a result, the prices of their native tokens have soared to match this growth.
Near Protocol also started integrating some DeFi elements, a development that saw its native token, NEAR, surge to an all-time high (ATH) of $17.60 (£13.03) earlier this week.
Using an unbiased approach
While some might argue Electric Capital is pumping other protocols while downplaying Ethereum’s overall value, it is worth noting that its report admits that not all commits are created equal regarding the amount of time spent.
Additionally, the company limited its study to open-source code repositories. This limitation likely resulted in the undercounting of the total number of developers.
The report also dissects developer data in several ways, including looking into which protocol and community developers worked full-time, part-time, and one-time.
By putting these factors into consideration, Solana, Polkadot, BSC, and Near Protocol still beat Ethereum at comparable stages. For instance, the above projects have more full-time developers than Ethereum at a similar stage in its journey. However, Avalanche and Terra do not.
Electric Capital also looked into the retention levels of developers across protocols. In the report, Electric pointed out that Ethereum has the biggest share of new web3 developers, hiring between 20% and 25% of the monthly total. The report found that 30% of the full-time developers in Ethereum were still working on the network in 2021.
On top of this, Electric Capital pointed out that Ethereum and Bitcoin lived through different market conditions compared to the new entrants, which gained popularity during rallies.
Per the publication, bull runs help attract more developers. Additionally, blockchains like Avalanche and BSC used core components from Ethereum, which helped them tap developers acquainted with the latter.
Despite new protocols growing faster than Ethereum, the network still has the largest ecosystem of developers. Bitcoin (BTC/USD) comes fifth after Polkadot, Cosmos, and Solana.
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