Bear markets can wreak havoc on investors, but an unusual side effect of this bear market is that it has increased developers’ desire to build in Web3. At least that’s the conclusion of a recent developer survey by Hiro, which offers developer tools for developing on Bitcoin. This is the second time this year Hiro surveyed his Stacks developer community.
Two hundred and sixty developers responded to the Q3 survey, which found that 55% of developers reported that the bear market had increased their desire to build in Web3. 30% said it had no impact on their desire to work in Web3, while 15% said it lessened their interest.
As for those already working in Web3, the survey found that 31% are employed full-time, part-time or freelance in the space.
The increase in interest follows a January 2022 survey by venture capital firm Electric Capital, which has also seen new developers flooding into the Web3 space (albeit before the bear market hit). This survey reported that 34,000 new developers contributed to an open source crypto project in 2021 – the highest number of new entrants since 2018.
The January study identified 18,000 active developers in Web3, as determined by the number of developers who submit code to open source crypto and Web3 projects at least once a month. In the report, The New Stack noted that “the total number of Web3 developers is likely higher, as the report does not count work on proprietary projects”.
Ecosystems: which is the most beautiful of all?
Stacks is an open source network of decentralized applications and smart contracts based on Bitcoin and is used to develop smart contracts. The Hiro survey found that almost half – 126 – were involved in the Stacks ecosystem.
“The desire to innovate on Bitcoin and the strength of the Stacks community were clearly the primary motivations for developing on Stacks,” Hiro concluded in a statement about the survey.
The Q1 survey did not ask about Stacks or Bitcoin. This recent study found that a majority – 57% – had been active in Stacks for less than a year.
After the batteries, Ethereum remained the most popular blockchain for Hiro’s developer community – although the report pointed out that most developers were trying out multiple ecosystems. One change from Hiro’s first quarter report, which garnered 248 responses, was 12% growth in the Ethereum platform, 85% growth in Cosmos and 64% growth for Lightning. Involvement of developers with Polygon, avalanche, Spottedand Binance Smart Chain decreased considerably, while Solana remained constant over the two quarters. Eighty-one developers said they used Bitcoin.
Ethereum also ranked highly in the Electric Capital study: more than 4,000 (22%) of monthly active open source developers said they had worked on Ethereum, with the second highest being the more than 680 people who developed on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. Polkadot, Cosmos, and Solana also ranked among the top five blockchain projects for Web3 development.
There can only be two
The blockchain trilemma is the idea that there can be two out of three characteristics in a blockchain: decentralized, secure or scalable. Sixty percent of developers responded that decentralization is a priority. Security scored 29%, while only 11% identified scalability as the priority.
Improved developer experience
Stacks developers said they found each step of the development process nearly 10% easier in this survey than in Q1. Hiro said the biggest gain noted by developers was in the ease of deploying contracts on the network, which saw a 14% increase in its “ease of use” score from the first quarter. More developers also ranked integrating contracts into apps higher on the ease of use scale, with a 12% increase in the “ease of use” ranking.
The company attributed the change to improvements in Clarinet, a stubborn workflow for Clarity; the Stacks API; and other tools used by developers.