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Blockchain developer ranks fall 22% amid scandals — but Sui and Aptos are bucking the trend

  • Number of blockchain developers fell by 22% during the past 12 months.
  • However, those who stay contribute more than 80% of all code commits.

Blockchain developers flee the projects they’re working on, their number having dwindled by 22% over the past year.

However, Sui and Aptos are bucking the trend, according to a new report by web3-focused venture fund Electric Capital, which tracked the number of active blockchain builders between June 2022 and June 2023.

“If we look at cohort retention analysis starting from 2015, we see that developers who join during bear markets leave faster,” the report stated

Blockchain developers who joined projects within the past 12 months head for the door faster than over the last two years, with 7,730 of them having exited their projects in that time, the report showed.

Similar trends have been observed during previous bear markets.

‘Developers who join during bear markets leave faster.’

This low retention has contributed to a marked decline in the number of blockchain developers, according to the report.

There were about 21,000 active open source developers as of June — up more than 25% compared to the levels recorded during the November 2021 market peak, the report stated.

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By contrast, the number of emerging developers, who have been in the industry between one and two years, have jumped by 44%, representing 1,650 builders, in the last 12 months.

The established developers segment, represented by builders who have been in the market for over two years, grew by 2%, or 150 developers, over the past year.

These two groups have continued to ship updates to their projects, delivering 80% of all code commits — updates made to a project’s code that are usually stored in a version control platform like GitHub.

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As such, active blockchain development is on the rise despite the significant exodus of newer developers, the report stated.

Ton blockchain and Astar Network have exhibited the greatest developer pull among the projects tracked by Electric Capital.

Both projects have seen their monthly active developer activity increase 38-fold and 18-fold respectively in the last two years.

Newer alternative layer 1 blockchain projects like Sui and Aptos have also shown positive developer activity, bucking the trend seen in their established counterparts.

Sui’s developer growth in the past year is up 159% while Aptos has seen a 90% in monthly developers compared to this time last year.

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