In this article, I’ll quickly present the most important stats and graphs from a16z’s newest “The State of Crypto in 2023” report. Please refer to the original source material for all charts and graphs.
💡 Disclaimer: Some Finxter Creators hold securities mentioned in this article.
Finxter is all about using code to leverage the power of infinite computing, so developer activity is the primary metric to determine the state of crypto. 👩💻 How many developers work for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, and decentralized applications?
The following chart from the report (see above) shows the number of active developers building crypto projects on GitHub: 👇
As you can see, developers have never really left during the bear market. They kept building! 💪
Now compare this to the price chart between 2016 and 2023:
The crypto industry is not all about price — price is only one metric but not the most essential “leading metric”. Developers investing their time, careers, and lives into the crypto industry is a far more important metric to determine the state of the crypto industry.
That’s my view anyway.
Here’s the number of developers who engage with crypto-related open-source coding projects on GitHub:
A similar bullish outlook. Given that prices are down at the time of writing, the robust developer activity paints a bullish picture!
A similar “leading” metric is the number of developers deploying code on a public blockchain. You may find that this is a proxy for developer activity. The picture is similar:
We have seen a decline from the peak in 2022. However, the numbers hold steady, and smart contract deployers keep rolling out new dApps — a bullish sign! 🚀
Let’s confirm this with another chart showing the number of crypto applications launched:
Note that this is not a cumulative metric — or it would be monotonously increasing. More and more “Verified Smart Contracts” are launched every month. We are even at an all-time-high in this metric!
Developers need tools to deploy decentralized applications. On Finxter, we have shared many tutorials on deploying dApps using various tools such as web3.js and ether.js. Click the links to learn more!
Here’s the number of downloads for developer tools such as Web3.js and Ether.js:
It keeps growing — we even reached an all-time-high last month. Again this confirms that developers have never really left. The new dapps built with those tools by those active developers may attract the next gigantic wave of new users in various industries such as NFT, gaming, and DeFi.
The Crypto Job Market
The interest for crypto-related jobs is clearly rising over the last couple of years. This chart is based on Google Trends:
💡 Figure Description: “Aggregate interest over time score of worldwide searches for “blockchain jobs”, “crypto jobs”, “cryptocurrency jobs”, and “web3 jobs”. Scores are denormalized (and thus unbounded) using a method called Google Trends Anchor Bank.”
But the demand for skilled crypto developers outstrips the supply as can be seen in the percentage growth of salaries, that is 517% per year as reported by Hired.com:
Although this is based on 2021 data. Here’s some more recent data from dappuniversity:
This demand growth chart for different engineering roles is based on interviewbit.com:
Also, you may be interested in this 2023 summary of the crypto developer job market:
“Blockchain developers are in high demand. According to a LinkedIn study, blockchain developers are one of the fastest growing and most-sought after technical skills in 2023. Blockchain developers are making 50-100% more than traditional developers.” (source)
Tutorialspoint reports an average salary of $120,000 for junior developers. (source).
On our own blog post, we did some research — here’s our result of the average income of Blockchain developers:
💡 Recommended: Blockchain Engineer – Income and Opportunity
What is the usage of various blockchains in terms of number of users? Let’s examine the number of active addresses that can be seen as a proxy for number of unique users across various blockchains:
Up to the right! 🚀 Even in the depth of the bear market, the number of active addresses keeps growing.
The number of transactions also supports this optimistic picture:
But is this all wash trading? Well, a metric that cannot be easily manipulated is the actual transaction fee paid. This is the actual blockspace revenue and it must be paid with cold hard moneary units!
Interesting! This metric clearly shows that we’re still deep in the bear market. Yes, the level of transaction fees in 2023 is much higher than last bear market between 2019 and 2020. However, the overall picture of this hard-to-manipulate metric is not as rosy as the other metrics.
This should give us some food for thought!
However, some developments in the crypto fee space are really encouraging such as the fees paid by layer 2 solutions such as Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism:
If this exponential trend persists, we’ll see a significant increase of Ethereum fees in the near future. Layer two solutions already make up 7% of all ETH fees paid — and they grow rapidly by >300% per year!
One of the primary “lights” in the Ethereum space is the development of scalable layer two solutions due to zero knowledge technology:
If you want to learn more about ZK-EVMs, feel free to check out our Finxter article. 👇
Seven Key Takeaways of “The State of Crypto in 2023” 🚀
Here are my key takeaways of the report:
- Blockchain engagement surges, reaching 15 million active addresses due to diverse applications like on-chain games.
- DeFi and NFTs gain traction with new applications; decentralized exchanges experience growth in trading volume.
- Crypto developer count remains steady with nearly 30K contributors last month, a 60% increase in three years.
- Blockchains scale through innovative protocols and projects, with L2 solutions making up 7% of Ethereum fees.
- Rapid advancements in “zero knowledge” systems offer potential for scalability and privacy-protecting applications.
- The U.S. loses web3 dominance, as its share of crypto developers decreases by 26% from 2018 to 2022.
- Long-term trends show steady growth in market cap, developer activity, and funding, driven by price-innovation cycles.
If you want to boost your Blockchain development skills, create yourself a highly valuable and well-paid skill for the next decades, and certify your crypto skill with a personalized PDF course certificates, check out our crypto courses on the Finxter Academy — all free for Finxter Premium Members! 👇
- [Academy] Don’t Be Left in the Cold Wallet: Learn Building Ethereum ERC-20 Tokens!
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Jean is a tech enthusiast with a love for AI and machine learning innovations, particularly LLMs. Beyond contributing insightful articles to our blog, Jean has worked as a Python, Rust, and Go coder for one of the leading tech firms in the world.