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But seasoned builders remained committed

The total number of monthly active crypto developers fell 25% year-over-year in 2023, but those who have been in the space long-term showed more resilience than before, according to a new developer report by Electric Capital.

Developers with more than two years of experience in crypto are at an all-time high after reaching 51% annualized growth over the past five years, according to the report. And developers who have been in crypto for at least one year grew 15% year-over-year and comprise 63% of all monthly active developers.

“Very quantitatively [long-term developers] matter because about 75% of code commits are written by developers who have been in crypto for over a year,” Maria Shen, general partner at Electric Capital, told TechCrunch+. “But there’s a clear qualitative reason as well. You want people in the industry to stick around. When you see devs stick around decorrelated from prices, there’s something fundamentally here that keeps them in the space.”

The number of developers working in crypto has matched what Shen has experienced since entering the space in 2018. “You have periods of frothiness, insanity, and a lot of people come in and leave, but through it all there’s a core group of people who stay through the mania.”

Meanwhile, so-called newcomers — developers who were in the crypto ecosystem for less than 12 months — dropped 53% year-over-year in 2023. “Newcomers are very correlated with prices,” Shen said. “Prices go up, more developers come, prices go down and more developers leave.”

But the reason why crypto has been able to grow, expand and push forward is because of a “devoted segment of developers that stick around, that are completely separate from the volatility in crypto,” Shen said.


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