Nevermind The Bear: Developer interest in Bitcoin continues to grow, new study shows

The market may be down, but developer interest in bitcoin is not. Since its all-time high nearly a year ago, it has grown more than 8%, according to a recent study. Telstra Venture’s data science team performed “health checks on 3 top blockchain ecosystems” and concluded that “open source developers signal the strength of the web3 community.” However, the story here is bitcoin. Which isn’t really part of the “web3 community”, but that’s a topic for another time.

The study’s introduction briefly mentions Terra’s collapse and the Celsius and Three Arrows Capital disaster stories. It does not mention Tesla panics and sells 75% of its bitcoin, which is another reason for the decline. “Since January, a 60% loss in crypto market capitalization has wiped $1.3 trillion, and VC investment fell 25.6% to around $9.3 billion, down from a record $12.5 billion invested during the first half of last year ,” Telstra said.

Nevertheless, developer interest in bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana remains high. According to the company’s general partner Yash Patel, “developers’ decisions about which protocols to use will be driven by use cases and will point to the winning protocols.”

Developer interest points to Bitcoin

Telstra buried the management and downplayed the phenomenon. “Bitcoin has seen steady growth in the number of active developers over the past 8 years,” the study said. The fact is that developer interest in the network has been increasing since its inception 13 years ago. “Bitcoin Continues Slow and Steady Growth Through Price Volatility,” goes the network’s beat.

  • “Bitcoin has seen a 17.1% compound annual growth rate in the number of contributors over the past 4 years since January 1, 2018.”

Consider that bitcoin doesn’t need that much development, because it’s trying to be money and not a world computer of any kind. Also consider that the network is much older than Ethereum and Solana. These two facts make this next bullet point even more impressive.

  • “Since the peak price of crypto-Bitcoin in October 2021, the number of active contributors has grown by 8.2%.”

During the same period, Ethereum’s developer interest “had a 9.0% decline” and Solana’s “active contributor count has fallen 21.0%.” It makes sense. And yet, these numbers aren’t bad at all considering we’re probably in a bear market.

Also consider the developer interest in the same period for “Solana Increases 173.0% Compound Annual Growth Rate” and “Ethereum Increases 24.9% Compound Annual Growth Rate.” That’s right, since we used to be in a bull market and Altcoins tend to do well in that environment.

It’s worth noting that Telstra’s study includes Stacks projects in the mix, and well, Stacks isn’t bitcoin at all. It’s also important to point out that bitcoin is in a category by itself, and it’s not part of the altcoin world. In any case, besides Stacks and general Web3 projects, the repositories of more development interest in bitcoin land include the Zeus Lightning wallet, the Bitcoin Development Kit, the phenomenal Sparrow Wallet, Galoy’s projects, including stack rateand the essential Mempool.

BTC price chart for 08/19/2022 on Coinbase | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com

The study’s methodology

It is important to point out how Telstra Ventures’ data science team arrived at these developer interest figures.

  • They “analyzed 1,000 active organizations contributing to more than 30,000 open source Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana projects in the Web3 ecosystem.”

So the study is extensive.

  • “To be considered in the study, projects have a minimum of 100 stars in related GitHub repositories and had active contributions between January and April 2022.”

So the study has limitations and only takes into account developer interest in established projects.

  • “Monthly active contributors were tabulated at the repo level based on the number of unique contributors to that repo during a month.”
  • “At the organization level, total unique contributors were tabulated based on the total number of unique contributors who committed to any organic repos (not forked from other repos) in that organization during a month.”
  • “For a Web3 ecosystem, the total number of unique contributors who contributed to organic repos (not subtracted from other repos) in that ecosystem during a month was tabulated.”

So the study is GitHub-heavy. Developer interest in non-GitHub projects is not considered.

  • “The GitHub activity growth rate is defined as the aggregate 1-month and 12-month percentage change in the total number of stars, forks, commits, and unique contributors for each repo.”

Perfect. Understood.

In conclusion, developer interest in the three blockchains studied is still high. However, after the collapse, it only continued to grow on bitcoin. It turns out, because bitcoin developers are interested in something bigger than fiat gains. Bitcoin aims to separate money and state, and market actions do not affect the mission. Cross Tock, next block.

Featured Image by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash  | Charts by TradingView

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