US Losing Lead in Web3 Development to Russia and India

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In Brief
  • The United States is losing overall market share in terms of Web3 developers, according to Electric Capital.

  • Since 2017, the absolute number of Web3 developers increased 200% in the US, while during that same period this figure increased 300% for the rest of the world.

  • The number of Web3 developers who reported their locations increased the most in India and Russia, rising to 5.3% and 4.3% of market share respectively.

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The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency.

The United States is losing overall market share in terms of Web3 developers, according to data from crypto venture capital firm Electric Capital.

Since 2017, the absolute number of Web3 developers increased 200% in the U.S., while during that same period this figure increased 300% for the rest of the world, according to Electric Capital’s 2021 Developer Report

Using open-source data, analysts estimated that there were nearly 18,500 Web3 developers as of Dec 2021, up 75% from roughly 10,500 in Jan that year.

As the report drew exclusively from open sources, it acknowledged that it likely undercounted the total number.

Report methodology

The report used two methods to infer the location of developers, code submission timestamps during U.S. working hours, defined as 9 am EST to 10 pm EST, and social profiles linked with developer profiles on platforms like GitHub.

A plot of the historical share of code submissions that occurred during U.S. working hours showed that the U.S. share declined from 65% in 2012 to 55% in 2022 YTD.

For reference, the report noted that the historical U.S. market share in well-established open-source projects using the same time zone methodology remained relatively consistent over this same period.

Methodology limitations

However, the report also acknowledged that this method likely overcounted U.S. developers, as the timezones overlapped with Canada and Latin America. Additionally, many U.S.-based Web3 engineers also work outside standard working hours.

To cross-check, analysts consulted developers’ social profiles and found their self-reported locations to be consistent with code commit times for those locations.

Among the developers for whom the report had locations, the share of developers in the U.S. decreased from 47% in 2015, 39% in 2017, and 29% in 2021.

Web3 conclusions

The number of Web3 developers who reported their locations increased the most in India and Russia, rising to 5.3% and 4.3% of the market share respectively.

While the U.S. has lost nearly 20% market share since 2015, that of “Other,” the collective of developers who neglected to report their country of origin, rose to 17.5%

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage.

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