The crypto industry has weathered its fair share of storms, but none quite like developers leaving amidst the crypto winter. A recent report by Electric Capital reveals a significant decline in the number of developers working on open-source crypto projects. The report, published on Wednesday showed that as of October 1, 2023, there were 19,300 developers contributing to crypto projects, marking a 27% decrease over the past 12 months.
Experts have pointed out that the decline in developer numbers is especially significant when compared to the situation during the bear market of October 1, 2020, when the number of developers had increased by 66%.
Early Crypto Developers Outlast Newcomers
As per the report, the most substantial portion of this decline was driven by newcomers who had been involved in the crypto industry for less than a year. Their numbers decreased by a staggering 58%, or 8,300 individuals. In contrast, the number of experienced developers has seen a slight increase over a more extended period.
Notably, in September alone, only 1,721 new developers entered the field, a number that is significantly lower than in previous years. This reduction in newcomers correlates with market cycles, as it was observed that during bearish phases, experienced developers tend to dominate the industry, whereas during bullish periods, newcomers make up a more substantial portion of the workforce.
Electric Capital’s report also highlighted that developers who remain in the crypto industry tend to contribute more code, work for more days, and stay in the industry longer compared to those who leave. This suggests that retaining experienced talent is vital for the growth and development of the industry.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Some larger crypto projects, defined as those with at least 70 monthly active developers, demonstrated a trend of expanding their workforce. Examples include Aztec Protocol, Celestia, Ripple, TON, zkSync, and StarkNet, all of which have seen growth in their developer teams.
Factors Behind the Exodus
Meanwhile, experts have pointed the decline in crypto developers to various reasons. Recently, Solana co-founder Anatoly Yakovenko linked this outflow of developer to regulatory pressures particularly in the United States. Additionally, the overall market sentiment, shifts in demand for specific skills, and changes in the application layer of crypto development have also contributed to this trend.
The presented content may include the personal opinion of the author and is subject to market condition. Do your market research before investing in cryptocurrencies. The author or the publication does not hold any responsibility for your personal financial loss.