Analyzing Developers in Cryptocurrency Projects

If you see a cryptocurrency project which is not open source, run away.

At CoinCodeCap, we track cryptocurrencies based on their Github activity using different development metrics.

In this article, we compared different crypto projects based on active developers contributing to the project.

What does Active Developer mean?

An active developer is a developer/contributor who is contributing to the project at a given time.

For exampleHundreds of developers have contributed to Bitcoin the last ten years, but they are all not active developers now. An active developer on the Bitcoin project in April 2020, is a developer who contributed to the project in April 2020.

We analyzed every commit of these projects to see how many active developers are contributing at a given time. So let’s dig in.

Note: Here, a developer is a contributor to the Github project, and his/her contribution can be related to documentation and other technical product-related requirements, which are eventually become the part of that product. In addition, we only analyzed the commits of the Master branch, and you can download the complete active developers’ data ( From 01/18 to 04/20).

Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV

Let’s look into Bitcoin and its two popular forks. There are more developers working Bitcoin(BTC) and Bitcoin cash(BCH) in comparison to Bitcoin SV(BSV).

We have previously pointed out low developer activity in the Bitcoin SV project.

Note: For Bitcoin(BTC), we track this and this project.

developers in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV
Developers in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV

Top Privacy Coins

In top privacy coins, Dash has the lowest number of developers working on the project, while the Incognito project(PRV) saw the highest increase of the developers on its project in the last ten months.

Monero(XMR) and Verge(XVG) experienced a decline in active developers in the last two years, had 16.92 and 9.3 active developers/month on average in the previous 12 months respectively. 

On the other hand, active developers on ZEC, Grin, and Beam were consistent in the last 12 months.

Top Privacy Coins Developers
Top Privacy Coins Active Developers

What about Smart Contract Platforms?

Ethereum outperforms every other project in the smart contract platform category, with 111.68 active developers/month on average in the last 24 months. 

On the other side, EOS doesn’t have the same degree of active contribution. In 2018, EOS had 49.08 active developers/month on average, which declined to 37.33 in 2019. In the last 6-month EOS had only had 17.85 active developers/month contributing to it. 

Waves(WAVES) is at the 2nd number in the smart contract platform category, with 54 developers actively contributing every month on average since Jan 2018.

Algorand(ALGO) saw slow growth in the beginning, but development progress ramped up in 2019 and currently has around 20 active developers contributing to it every month on average.

Solana(SOL) and Neo(NEO) have been consistent with ~18 active developers/month on average.

Like other major projects, Cardano(ADA) saw a year or year decline in active developers. In 2018, ADA had 70.8 active developers/month on average, which declined to 45.9 in 2019 and 33.25 in 2020 (Till April).

Tron(TRX) has 39.1 active developers/month on average since 2018.

Active developers in Smart Contract Platforms
Active developers in Smart Contract Platforms

What about the Top ICOs of 2017

Filecoin(FIL) actually one of the projects which experienced a growth in numbers of active developers year on year. It had only 12.91 active developers in 2018, which increased to 41.08 in 2019 and currently at 44.25 in 2020. Filecoin raised $27 million in 2017.

Status(SNT) had 63.75 active developers/month in 2018, which declined to 35.16 in 2019 and currently at 27.25 in 2020. Status raised $100 million in 2017.

Bancor(BNT) raised $153 million in its token sale in 2017. It has 4.3 active developers since 2018. 

On the other hand, Aragon(ANT) saw a consistent(28.57 devs/month) active developer contribution since 2018. 

Top ICO projects
Top ICO projects

Build Your Own Blockchain Platforms

Cosmos (ATOM) is the clear winner in this category, with 48.53 active developers/month from the last 12 months. 

ARK’s performance declined a little bit from 28.66 active developers/month in 2018 to 18.07 devs/month in the last 12 months. To understand ARK better, you can also read our development audit report of the ARK project.

Komodo(KMD) has been consistent since 2018, with 30.42 active contributors per month on average.

Aion(AION) saw a decline in 2020 with 5.25 active developers in the last four months on average. 

Build you own Blockchain platforms
Build you own Blockchain platforms

Top DeFi Projects

DeFi projects are attracting a lot of developers nowadays. Let’s see some of the top DeFi projects.

MakerDao(MKR, DAI) project saw tremendous growth in active developers and currently has the highest number of active developers in the DeFi space.

However, on the other hand, Request Network(REQ) has the lowest number of active developers when compared to any other DeFi project.

Loopring(LRC) had 9.15 active devs on average in the last 12 months. 

Kyber(KNC) and Augur(REP) had consistent contributions of ~21 active devs/month on average since 2018.

The important thing to note is that all these DeFi projects are building on top of Ethereum.

Top DeFi projects
Top DeFi projects

Store of Value Cryptocurrencies

Besides Bitcoin, Decred(DCR) had consistent active developer contributions. On average, 34.5 developers contribute to the project every month. 

Litecoin(LTC), which saw a contribution of more than 32 developers/month in 2018, has been in decline since. In 2019, it had 3 developers on average, contributing to the project every month. Another thing to notice is that Litecoin’s last release was on 31 May 2019.

Store of value Cryptocurrencies
Store of value Cryptocurrencies

Top 10 Projects (based on Market Cap)

We already talked about some of the top market cap projects. Let’s see the projects which we didn’t mention above. 

Chainlink(LINK) is another project which saw developer growth in the last two years. From 10 active devs/month in 2018, it is now 19.75 developers/month in the first four months of 2020.

Ripple(XRP) and Stellar(XLM) had been a consistent contribution from 19.78 and 41.75 active developers/month, respectively.

Top 10 crypto projects based on market cap
Top 10 crypto projects based on market cap

Decentralized Storage Coins

We track two major decentralized Storage projects, Filecoin(FIL) and STORJ, and Both projects saw active developers’ growth in the last two years.

Decentralized Storage Coins
Decentralized Storage Coins

Libra with Other Smart Contract Platform

Though you might have heard of the regulatory hurdles for launching the Libra, Facebook is pursuing it persistently. This is visible in Libra’s development activity.

Libra has ~47 active developers/month, contributing to the project from the last ten months. Facebook’s Libra project should be taken very seriously because Facebook knows how to build technology and business. In addition, it already has a platform used by billions of people every day.

Near protocol also ramped up its development efforts in the last 12 months.

Libra coin and other smart contract project
Libra coin and other smart contract project

Conclusion

As we provided data for all cryptocurrencies, we actively track, you can check for yourself how many active developers your favorite cryptocurrency has.

We also encourage you to read our dead coins analysis report. And you can dead cryptocurrencies on CoinCodeCap.

As we say always advocate, “Talk is cheap, show me the code,” we believe investors need to understand the development efforts of Cryptocurrency projects.

If you like, what we do please follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter. We also have APIs which you can use get latest Github data of different cryptocurrency products.

If you have any question, please mail us at [email protected]

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