The idea that bear markets are good for builders seems to be true with the total number of monthly active Web3 developers increasing by 5.4% to over 23,300 in the last 12 months despite a nearly 70% decline in crypto prices.
According to a January 16 report from Electric Capital, “full-time” developers – classified as those contributing 76% of Github commits – also rose 15.2% to over 7,000, while “one-time” builders fell by 6, 2% to more than 3500 during the same period between December 2021 and December 2022
Although the crypto market capitalization is beginning its long slide from its all-time high (ATH) of $2.9 trillion in November 2021, monthly developer activity only began to decline in June 2022 after the metric hit its all-time high of nearly 26,500.
This decline is partly attributed to the decline in developer activity in the Terra ecosystem following its catastrophic collapse in May. 2022.
The following three months, from June to September, saw a 26% decrease in the number of weekly active Web3 developers.
2022, however, saw 61,127 new Web3 developers enter the industry – the most on record and a 25.8% increase from 2021.
In fact, more new Web3 developers deployed their first line of open source cryptographic code in the past year (109,723) than between 2014 and 2020 (101,054).
Ethereum continues to dominate developer activity, having increased its number of full-time developers by 9% to 1,873 – which is more than the top three ecosystems combined – Polkadot (752), Cosmos (511) and Solana (383).
Developers rely on non-Ethereum chains to catch up. The Cosmos and Solana networks grew by 34% and 36% respectively, while Starknet is among the mid-sized ecosystems to have had a solid run in 2022 with a 214% increase in the number of developers.
The report also revealed that after the collapse of Terra, only 28 (9%) of the original Terra developers remained for Terra 2.0 while 143 developers (42%) called it and migrated to other ecosystems.
Many former Terra developers migrated to Cosmos, 42 out of 143, the most of any other ecosystem.
Electric Capital explained that there are many more Web3 developers than accounted for in the report, as some projects are closely sourced.