In brief

  • A report by Outlier Ventures shows that developers have taken to new battles.
  • Decentralized finance and multi-chain protocols are hot topics for developers.
  • But Ethereum's still king.

Blockchain developers are devoting less time to once-popular "Ethereum killer" blockchain protocols in favor of a select few projects, according to a report by crypto venture capital firm Outlier Ventures. 

Per the report, released on Monday, newer “multi-chain protocols like Polkadot, Cosmos and Avalanche are seeing a consistent rise in core development and developer contribution.” Meanwhile, "Ethereum killers Tron, EOS, Komodo, and Qtum are seeing a decrease in core development metrics."


The number of commits to Qtum decreased by almost 100% and Komodo about 60%, according to Github data. Komodo is a blockchain platform that uses “atomic swaps” to convert crypto rom different blockchains. Qtum is a proof-of-stake platform that takes inspiration from the Bitcoin blockchain. 

Commits to Avalanche, a blockchain interoperability platform that integrates the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which launched its token in September, increased by about 120%. Each commit refers to times developers uploaded code. 

And while the average number of developers working on Komodo each month fell by about 60%, the average number of developers working on Avalanche each month rose by 300%. 

Ethereum still on top

The reshuffle doesn’t affect the ranking of Ethereum, another of Outlier’s investments. Ethereum is still the “most actively developed blockchain protocol,” with 42,457 commits to its code from, on average, 220 monthly active core developers. 

And there have been 4,119 Ethereum releases today. As noted by Outlier, “all other protocols have less than a thousand releases.”


DeFi development in full swing

And developers are interested in working on DeFi, once-rag-tag industry of decentralized finance that comprises peer-to-peer lending protocols, exchanges and synthetic assets. Commits to decentralized lending protocol Aave were up by 763%; Bancor by 264%, and Set Protocol by 161%.

“This open source mentality is reflected in the fact we see many forks of projects (and forks of forks of forks…) as well as ‘mashups’ combining code from multiple DeFi protocols to create a new protocol,” said Outlier. 

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