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Will Solana (SOL) vs Ethereum (ETH) Network War be Decided by Developers?

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • Solana's latest developer report shows a rise in active developers to 2,500-3,000 monthly, with over 50% retention in 2023.
  • An increase in developer activity aligns with the rise in TVL on the Solana network, with $1.38 billion locked in projects.
  • Ethereum rollup fragmentation could have caused developers to prefer Solana, but Ethereum still owns the largest ecosystem.
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Solana’s 2023 developer report revealed the network has 2,500-3,000 monthly active developers. The network also retained over 50% of its developers last year, which is a notable victory in the Solana vs Ethereum war.

Solana developer retention rose from 31% to 50% in 2023. Over half of the developers attracted to Solana’s Hacker Houses had three years of experience or more. 

Solana Network Projects Stoke War vs Ethereum

The team said improved developer onboarding and increased opportunities may have contributed to the increase in developer activity. Solana defines a developer as an entity that has made one commit to a public repository within three consecutive months after joining the community. The ecosystem claims to have the second-highest number of active developers after Ethereum.

Read more: What Is Solana (SOL)?

The increase in developer activity seems to dovetail with the rise in value on the network. Around $1.38 billion is currently locked in Solana’s decentralized finance ecosystem. Most of the value resides in Marinade Finance, a liquid staking protocol.

Solana network, Solana vs Ethereum
Total Value Locked on Solana | Source: DeFiLlama

Another potential contributing factor is the rise of fragmentation in the Ethereum rollup ecosystem. These blockchains improve Ethereum’s speed by batch-processing transactions off-chain. They rely on the Ethereum blockchain for transaction finality.

However, these rollups have fostered their own developer ecosystems. As a result, blockchain developers may be frustrated at dealing with multiple rollup environments and choose to move to monolithic chains like Solana. But decentralized finance expert Miles Deutscher warns it may be premature to write Ethereum off.

“It’s the ‘Ethereum is dead’ stage of the cycle again. This narrative seems to intermittently rear its head (usually when ETH is experiencing slow price action). Funnily, just 6 months ago people were saying the same thing about SOL and the Alt-L1 thesis. Don’t forget that Ethereum still has the largest developer ecosystem..superior decentralization and security to most other blockchains…Fade it at your own peril.”

Read more: Solana vs. Ethereum: An Ultimate Comparison

Solana Network NFT Projects Trail Ethereum

SOL has had a bumper year, surging by 500% from $16.30 in January last year to over $100 at press time. However, it has been prone to macro narratives, such as the rulings by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on whether to approve spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The asset fell from $115 on Jan. 2, 2024, to $92 after news surfaced that the SEC may reject all spot ETF applications.

New data from exchange-traded product provider Coinshares reveals that outflows from SOL investment products totaled $5 million in the first week of January. NFT sales on the network in the last 30 days trail Ethereum, according to CryptoSlam. Solana raked in $308 million, while Ethereum garnered $323 million.

Do you have something to say about the Solana developer report or anything else? Please write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTokFacebook, or X (Twitter).

Top crypto projects in the US | May 2024

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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