Ethereum Has Over 10x Full-Time Developers Than Cardano: Will ADA Ever Catch Up?

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Ethereum is the most popular smart contract platform if the number of full-time developers is anything to go by. Based on the Developer Report, sourcing their data from GitHub, Ethereum had 1,889 full-time developers, more than 10X those working on Cardano (153), a competing platform, and more than triple those working on Polkadot (621), as of October 1.

Developers Prefer Ethereum: Competitors Struggling

Notably, more developers are contributing code for the Bitcoin blockchain (340) than those working on Solana (268) and the BNB Chain (163). These platforms should technically have more code requirements because they support the launch of decentralized applications (dapps).

Developer Report defines a “full-time developer” as someone who submits code at least ten times monthly. Looking at trends and based on commits submitted at each of the top blockchain’s source code at GitHub, there are at least 1,889 developers who have been actively offering code, and enhancing Ethereum. Based on this data, Ethereum appears to be cementing itself as a choice platform for developers and competing protocols, including Solana (SOL) and Cardano (ADA), could struggle to match. 

Ethereum versus competitors developer count| Source: Developer Report
Ethereum versus competitors developer count| Source: Developer Report

Ethereum, Solana, Cardano, Bitcoin, and other popular networks are public ledgers. As such, their code is continuously improved by the community. Since they are public, the number of developers submitting code and actively revamping how the platform operates is critical. 

Usually, developer count will not only measure how healthy the protocol is but also the level of activity. Whenever there are multiple developers submitting codes, it indicates that the blockchain is garnering interest, which can contribute towards the release of a robust and secure network that can anchor innovation. This can also decentralize the platform from a developer perspective because no individual is relied on to improve the source code.

Cardano Is Building, Why Is ADA Trailing?

Ethereum is drawing more activity despite its competitor reaching a critical point in their development. For example, Cardano is at the Basho phase, where Charles Hoskinson, the founder, and Input-Output Global (IOG), the development wing of the blockchain, are building to enhance performance and scale.

Some of the key features the team plans to launch eventually include Hydra, the layer-2 scaling solution being tested, and sidechains like Milkomeda and Atala PRISM, which are being tested.

Despite these developments, Ethereum continues to dominate decentralized finance (DeFi) activity, looking at total value locked (TVL) according to DeFiLlama. As of October 31, Ethereum manages over $22 billion worth of assets, while Cardano controls roughly $198 million. 

Ethereum DeFi TVL|Source: DeFiLlama
Ethereum DeFi TVL|Source: DeFiLlama

On to the charts, ADA is also struggling against ETH. ADA is down approximately 40% versus ETH from 2023 highs. Nonetheless, prices have been stable over the past three months, looking at price action in the daily chart.

ADAETH price chart on October 31| Source: ADAETH on Binance, TradingView
ADAETH price chart on October 31| Source: ADAETH on Binance, TradingView

Feature image from Canva, chart from TradingView

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