Ethereum (ETH) is still by far the largest ecosystem in the cryptocurrency market. Yet a number of rivals have been growing a lot faster lately. Electric Capital reports this in a large-scale research report published on January 5.
2021 was a special year for the adoption of crypto, for the prices but also for the growth of multiple ecosystems. Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum grew considerably, but some new rivals grew even faster.
The report looked at the number of monthly active developers over the past year. The focus was on open-source development because that information is public, so not all Web3 developers were counted. According to the research, more than 18,400 developers are currently working on Web3 products every month; an all-time high (ATH).
More than 3,000 new developers venture into Web3 each month, also an ATH, the report reports. The research shows that when prices rise, the number of developers also increases. 2021 was a good year for crypto, abouthalf of the Web3 developers is new.
The largest crypto ecosystems
The top 200 ecosystems grew by 66% in the past year and even by 86% outside the top 200. These projects are growing faster than both Bitcoin and Ethereum. Having said that, most ecosystems cannot sustain this in a bear market while bitcoin and ethereum could.
The number of Bitcoin developers grew by 9% over the past year, which corresponds to 100 new developers each month. In fact, Ethereum is growing by 42% which is equivalent to 700 new developers per month. 20 to 25% of new developers are working on Ethereum and staying through it.
Ethereum remains by far the largest ecosystem and is 2.8 times the size of the second largest: Polkadot (DOT). The top 5 largest ecosystems consists of: Ethereum, Polkadot, Cosmos (ATOM), Solana (SOL) and on Place 5 Bitcoin. Electric Capital says it makes sense that smart contract platforms see more development than Bitcoin.
Last year, Solana was the fastest growing ecosystem among the largest networks. The number of developers increased by about 400%. This is followed by near (NEAR) with 300%, Polygon (MATIC) with 100%, Cardano (ADA) with 90%, Binance smart chain (BSC) with 80% and Cosmos (ATOM) with 70%. This is for networks with more than 300 developers.
For networks with 50 to 300 developers, Terra (LUNA), Internet Computer (ICP), Fantom (FtM) and Harmony (one) grew the fastest, at around 300%. Then avalanche (AVAX) and algorand (ALGO) follow by about 200%. The reason these networks are now rising faster is because Bitcoin and Ethereum have already built the foundation for the market. Also, implanting an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) helps many new networks.
Finally, the research reports that decentralized finance (DeFi) market has grown by 76% with 500 new developers each month. 1,000 developers manage smart contracts with more than $100 billion in assets, says Electric Capital.