October 4, 2022

Telstra Ventures – the investment arm of Australian telecommunications giant Telstra – has released a health report for three leading blockchains, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana, looking at the extent of developer participation in each ecosystem. With the most monthly active contributors, Ventures noted, Ethereum is the “strongest and largest community” of the three.

The report also found that unfunded opportunities are still widely available in the ecosystems mentioned above, with venture capitalists and corporate investors betting on only half of the top 10 projects each.

Ethereum in Reign

The number of active contributors is a key metric that reflects the strength of blockchain networks. As they grow in popularity and use cases, they also tend to attract more regular contributors. Telstra Ventures analyzed the compound annual growth rate of unique active contributors across three major blockchains, stating that the Ethereum community has grown by 24.9% in the last four years since January 1, 2018.

Despite a sharp drop in prices since last November, its number of monthly contributors has only dropped by 9% since July of this year, indicating that the ongoing crypto winter has not dampened overall developer confidence in the network.

Additionally, the upcoming merger that is set to complete the transition from PoW to PoS has stabilized overall interest, as the number of monthly active developers has remained above 2,500 every month since the first half of 2021.

Compared to Ethereum, Solana has experienced explosive growth over the same period, with an annual growth rate of an astonishing 173%. However, it fails to maintain the stability that Ethereum maintains. Since its native SOL token climbed to a peak price of $204 last November, the number of active contributors has fallen by 21%, reaching just over 250 in July.

Unlike the two Layer 1 networks, the Bitcoin ecosystem has seen an 8% increase in monthly active contributors since BTC peaked in November. Overall, it has achieved steady growth in attracting new developers over the past eight years, the report said.

Opportunities still available

Although the bear market is driving enthusiasm away from crypto VCs – evident in Coinbase Ventures’ Q2 trading activity down 34% – Telstra Ventures believes many opportunities in the top ecosystems still remain open to institutional investors.

After reviewing more than 30,000 Bitcoin, Ethereum and Solana open source projects in the Web3 ecosystem, the firm noted that 70% of the fastest growing projects are backed by VCs or corporations.

Also, only 4 to 5 of the top 10 most active projects in each ecosystem are backed by venture and corporate investors, suggesting that about half of the high-potential projects remain untouched by institutional investors.

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