Theo Turner, a blockchain and AI developer at Outlier Ventures, a VC and private equity firm that advises, invests, and supports the development of technologies for an “open data economy,” recently published an analysis covering major blockchain projects.
The complete research methodology, data sources used, and the code used for the study are accessible online via Outlier Ventures’ Github repositories.
The key findings from this study have been summarized below.
Most blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) protocols “saw a moderate decline in developer activity (no more than 20%).” According to Outlier Ventures, the lower levels of development activity could have been due to COVID-19.
However, blockchain interoperability protocol Cosmos (ATOM) saw a 15% increase in overall developer activity and DLT-focused Polkadot also saw a 44% increase. But these numbers will likely go down in the coming months because both projects had recently been working on major releases.
Blockchain project Theta recorded an impressive 931% in activity while Charles Hoskinson’s Cardano (ADA) saw a 580% increase, which is likely because the platform’s developers are getting closer to their mainnet launch.
As expected, Outliers Ventures found that Ethereum (ETH) dominated the smart contracts space, as nearly 80% of them were issued on the second-largest blockchain network (after Bitcoin).
The research team revealed that over 80% of decentralized applications have been launched on Ethereum, and it also has the most daily active users (which remain very low due to lack of practical use cases).
EOS saw an 86% decline in developer activity in the past year. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) saw a 63% drop in development, and Tron experienced a 51% decline.
It’s worth noting that simply because a project has recorded lower levels of development activity does not necessarily mean that it is “dead” or not moving forward.
EOS recently awarded large amounts of development grants to many high-potential blockchain startups. While Block.one, the company behind EOS, one of the largest blockchain platforms, has been sued multiple times for selling unregistered securities, the firm is actually developing products and services.
For instance, it is preparing to launch Voice, a blockchain-powered social media network, next month.
As the Outlier Ventures team noted, some projects may have been giving more preference to business development right now, instead of writing code. Clearly, there’s a lot more involved when it comes to deploying and marketing software products than just building them.
You may access more details about the report here.