9 out of 10 multichain devs work on an EVM chain: Electric Capital

Ethereum Virtual Machine-based (EVM) blockchain networks are the most popular networks for builders, with nearly 9 out of 10 multichain developers working on at least one EVM-compatible chain, according to a developer report from Electric Capital. 

In an expansive Jan. 17 report that looked at crypto development activity over the last year, Electric Capital shed fresh light on total developer activity for the fourth quarter of 2023.

The report found that “unsurprisingly,” EVM-compatible chains shared the vast majority of their developers with other EVM networks. In total 87% of multichain developers worked on EVM-compatible chains, with Starket, Polygon (MATIC), Optimism (OP), and Arbitrum (ARB) witnessing the most crossover.

EVM-compatible networks are the most popular for multichain developers. Source: Electric Capital. 

EVM-compatible blockchains are a group of networks that can run the Ethereum Virtual Machine and execute smart contracts on Ethereum. These networks include the likes of Starknet, Tron (TRON), Binance’s BNB Chain (BNB), Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon.

BNB Chain and Polygon witnessed the most “cross-pollination” from Ethereum’s multichain developers, with 37% of ETH mutlichain developers deploying code on BNB while 35% deployed code on Polygon. 

While the total number of monthly active developers across the entire crypto ecosystem slid 24% from 29,611 to 22,411 in the final quarter, the total number of “experienced” developers — meaning those that have worked in crypto for more than a year — grew by 16% throughout 2023.

The total number of experienced developers grew by 16% in 2023. Source: Electric Capital

Notably, Ethereum leads the pack in attracting new developers, with more than 16,700 “newcomers” shipping code on the chain in 2023. This is nearly triple the 6,200 new developers on Polygon and almost four times that of Solana’s (SOL) 4,705.

Bitcoin (BTC) witnessed a 19% year-over-year decline in development activity, now commanding just over 1,000 monthly active developers.

While total developer numbers decreased for Bitcoin as a whole, layer-2 networks and scaling solutions on the network now capture more than 40% of all open-source Bitcoin developers, a more than 400% increase from January 2016.

Bitcoin layer-2s and scaling solutions account for 40% of the total development activity on Bitcoin. Source: Electric Capital

Related: Solana now boasts more than 2,500 monthly active developers

The report also found that crypto developers have been building out their skills to work across a variety of different chains, with multichain development activity growing by 1,000% since 2015.

As of the end of December 2023, 30% of all monthly active developers work on at least two blockchains, with that number growing by around 125% since 2018.

Multichain development has increased ten-fold since 2015. Source: Electric Capital

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