The latest developer report by Electric Capital reveals a surprising statistic – the total number of monthly active crypto developers decreased by 25% in 2023 compared to the previous year. However, amidst this decline, a resilient group of long-term developers emerged.
According to the report, developers with two or more years of experience in the crypto space have reached an all-time high, with an impressive annualized growth rate of 51% in the past five years. Additionally, those who have been in the industry for at least one year saw a 15% increase year-over-year, making up 63% of all monthly active developers. This highlights the crucial role of committed developers in driving progress and innovation in the crypto world.
“Very quantitatively [long-term developers] matter because about 75% of code commits are written by developers who have been in crypto for over a year,” said Maria Shen, general partner at Electric Capital, in an interview with TechCrunch+.
“But there’s a clear qualitative reason as well. You want people in the industry to stick around. When you see devs stick around decorrelated from prices, there’s something fundamentally here that keeps them in the space.”
Shen’s experience in the industry since 2018 reflects the patterns seen in the report. “You have periods of frothiness, insanity, and a lot of people come in and leave, but through it all there’s a core group of people who stay through the mania,” she explains.
On the other hand, the number of “newcomers” – developers who have been in the crypto ecosystem for less than 12 months – dropped by 53% in 2023. Shen notes that this group is highly correlated with prices, as more developers tend to join when prices are rising and leave when they are falling.
Despite this volatility, the crypto industry owes much of its growth and progress to a devoted segment of long-term developers. They remain unaffected by market fluctuations, and are the driving force behind the stability and advancement of the industry.