Highlights from Electric Capital's 2023 Developer Report

There were many positive signals despite the total number of developers decreasing.

Last week, Electric Capital released their 2023 Crypto Developer Report.

This is one of my favorite crypto reports of the year. There’s 181 slides chock full of great data and insights.

I dug through the report and pulled out what I thought were the most interesting tidbits.

Overall Developer Numbers

First off, why are developers so important to the crypto ecosystem?

Simple - because they build the infrastructure and apps that deliver value to end users. Unlike price levels and market caps, developer activity truly represents the progress of the crypto industry.

While total monthly devs dropped 24% from 2022...


…those who have been in the space for over 1 year grew.


Why is this important? Because these devs are the ones who ship the most code (they commit 75% of all code).

Established Devs (2+ years of experience) have grown 52% per year for the past 5 years - a different ATH!


The industry lost Newcomers - those with less than 1 year experience (a drop of 52%).

Why? Because they followed the price appreciation of crypto assets in 2022.

The big question is - how do we keep Newcomers around during bear markets so they can become Emerging or Established?


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Crypto is Multi-Chain

We all hear that crypto is going multi-chain, and the data backs it up.

Multi-chain devs 10x’d since 2015...


...and they are building across several ecosystems primarily clustered around EVM chains.


Ecosystem Data

Let’s dig into some data around specific chain ecosystems.

In 2023, monthly active devs in Ethereum dropped by 25%, mostly coming from the departure of Newcomers.


Bitcoin saw a similar drop, with 19% of devs leaving.


But there’s a big catalyst for Bitcoin. Transaction volumes on Bitcoin increased due to Ordinals (with our PortCo OrdinalsBot significantly contributing to this!)…


...leading to many Bitcoin devs working on scaling the base layer.


Other newer, smaller ecosystems saw huge dev growth.


Use Cases for Crypto

As expected, DeFi and NFTs are the most popular use cases (using gas spent in ETH as a proxy).


50% of DeFi devs work on DEXs or stablecoins (proving that stablecoins are crypto's killer use case).


While NFT transactions dropped from 2022 highs, activity is picking up again…


But this activity isn’t all happening on Ethereum anymore. Bitcoin and Solana NFTs have surged ahead!


Developer Location

One interesting bit about the location of developers - 74% of devs live outside of the US, likely due to the unclear regulatory environment. Thanks Gary!



Once again, the Electric Capital team did an amazing job, and I highly recommend you read the entire report.

Despite some drops in dev numbers, our industry is as strong as it has ever been.