Developer Activity Shows Healthy Growth of the Crypto Space

The trope that developers continue to build during bear markets holds true in 2023.

AccessTimeIconFeb 22, 2023 at 2:59 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 28, 2023 at 2:27 p.m. UTC

Crypto developers are doing what they do best: buidling.

The number of weekly active developers has ranged from 6,000 to 7,000 since the start of 2023, according to a dashboard from crypto data firm The number of daily active developers as of Wednesday is near 1,700, according to blockchain analytics firm Token Terminal’s most recent data.

This article is part of CoinDesk’s “BUIDL Week."

Token Terminal shows developers have pushed roughly 4,500 commits every week this year to public GitHub repositories in the crypto ecosystem. Artemis, on the other hand, shows the number of weekly developer commits to be above 50,000, in the same time period.

Commits is a term for “the smallest unit of work for developers … typically a good proxy for developer productivity,” Artemis says on its web site.

Total weekly developer commits for blockchain ecosystems (Artemis)
Total weekly developer commits for blockchain ecosystems (Artemis)

Despite the decline in weekly commits from 2022 to 2023, weekly active developers across the crypto ecosystem have grown steadily over the past three years as there are more active developers in this year’s bear market compared to the bear market in 2020.

Jimmy Zhang, who works in the Business Operations & Strategy department at Artemis, wrote in an email to CoinDesk, “The daily active developers/commits data continues to give us confidence that people are continuing to build in the crypto ecosystem.”

The discrepancy between the Artemis and Token Terminal figures on the number of active developers and code commits may come from how Artemis pulls developer data from core ecosystems and sub-ecosystems, which includes developer building applications on top of individual blockchains. Each year, the number of developers and commits drops during the holidays, suggesting developers take time off for vacation.

According to Artemis, in the week starting on June 6, 2022, when CoinDesk’s Consensus took place in Austin, Texas, about 9,700 developers were active. In the week of Sept. 11, 2022, when Ethereum transitioned to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, roughly 9,200 developers were active, defined as a developer pushing at least one commit during the week.

In the week of Nov. 6, the crypto exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy protection and yet crypto developers pushed 71,200 commits.

Some developers are trying to build the “Infinite Garden,” an abundant ecosystem where people nurture growth for the Ethereum protocol, while others are focused on prioritizing cypherpunk ideals in their work. Regardless of what event is currently happening – whether it is a festival that showcases all that crypto has to offer, a major upgrade to a protocol or a company filing for bankruptcy – developers are waking up and developing the crypto ecosystem.

The number of active developers and commits not only highlight the vitality embedded in the crypto space, but also demonstrate how people are trying to have a significant impact in both the physical and digital realms.

“All in all, we believe that the crypto ecosystem is continuing to grow in a healthy manner,” Zhang, from Artemis, added.


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Sage D. Young

Sage D. Young was a tech protocol reporter at CoinDesk. He owns a few NFTs, gold and silver, as well as BTC, ETH, LINK, AAVE, ARB, PEOPLE, DOGE, OS, and HTR.