The Key to Attracting Top Performing Blockchain Developers
Only these seven platforms have DApps that hold value.
Blockchain organizations’ number one goal is to attract developers who will build decentralized applications (DApps). And while many blockchains are succeeding in luring in developers through better technology, documentation and rewards, many of the dapps that are being created are not being used.
We know this because most have a market cap of zero. Analyzed in this report are the only seven blockchains that have over 10 dapps with value in them. We look at what they did that set them apart, and what you should do to drive the same growth.
#1 ETHEREUM, WITH 1,966 ACTIVE DAPPS
Way ahead in first place is Ethereum, which is not surprising considering it was the first to introduce a system that could facilitate the creation of dapps. Its maturity in the space made it well positioned to become the center for Decentralized Finance (DeFi) applications to proliferate. Today it is the second largest blockchain platform after Bitcoin, with a market cap of above $64 billion.
Ethereum’s Developer Behavior
Ethereum’s developer behavior in FCAS is a 964 out of 1000. The developer behavior metric provides a good proxy for assessing protocol updates. It compares software development activity to assess improvements; analyzes 30 variables with data from software repositories such as GitHub, BitBucket, and GitLap; and measures code changes, code improvements and community involvement, all of which Ethereum scores high in.
Key to Ethereum’s Success
1. By Builders, For Builders
Being first always helps. But what Ethereum’s founders got especially right is they made sure their developer community had a role as builders of the ecosystem and not just maintainers of it. Being developers themselves, they took to social media from their personal accounts and shared everything they were working on.
The community is also directly involved in creating the platform’s roadmap, which is then shared by Ethereum’s founders on social media. This attracts the high quality developers who want to use their skills for something bigger than just fixing code, which is evidenced by Ethereum’s high developer and utility scores on FCAS.
2. Promoting Status over Money
Developers care just as much, if not more, about gaining recognition than about getting compensated.
With its One Million Devs initiative, Ethereum is embracing just that. The initiative is attracting developers by offering them decentralised profiles. These profiles can be used to connect with other developers to help build a community, take on challenges, and showcase their skills. This makes it easier for developers to find the projects they can contribute to and the groups they want to be a part of. Enabling developers to easily collaborate is the key to them creating dApps that drive real value.
The way Ethereum set up its developer resources is exemplary. Not only do they include extensive documentation, but they also have tutorials, sandboxes for developers to play with code, and the ability to set up their own development environment. Well organized and easy to access documentation means developers waste less time on preparation and can spend more time on building.
Actions to take
- Make your core developers active on social media. Have them share what they’re working on with your community, preferably from a personal account first.
- Publicly recognize the work done by individual developers. Create profiles for them on Discourse for instance, with badges that recognize their progress and contributions.
- Create a Discord channel if you don’t already have one. Yes you need both Discourse and Discord. The former is for work recognition, badges, Q&A, and documentation. The latter is for easy communication and collaboration.
#2 BINANCE CHAIN, WITH 91 ACTIVE DAPPS
Binance is the largest centralized exchange. In 2019, they launched their own blockchain to facilitate decentralized exchanges as well. The platform’s native asset, Binance Coin (BNB) is ranked 10th with a market cap of above $4 billion.
Binance’s Developer Behavior
Binance is the most targeted in its approach to attracting developers who will actually bring in value. It is not trying to promote its community, in fact it is famous for being centralized. But it is spending big on rewarding real use. This is clearly shown in BNB’s low Community Involvement on the FCAS Tracker.
Key to Binance’s Success
1. Focusing on Usable dApps
Binance committed $5 million worth of BNB to its BUIDL reward program. The key to this program’s success is in how it is being distributed: rewards are a percentage of gas fees paid from transactions that use your dApp. So unused dApps are not rewarded.
2. Growing in DeFi
DeFi is where Ethereum found its biggest use case thanks to projects like Maker, Compound, 0x, AirSwap, Kyber, Augur, Bancor, DAI, Polymath, and many more. In an effort to follow in those footsteps, Binance committed $100 million to a DeFi accelerator Fund that seeks to bridge DeFi and centralized finance solutions.
3. Creating a Token Launch Platform
The Binance Launchpad is an opportunity for other blockchain projects to not only launch their new token on Binance, but to also receive support and advice from the Binance team throughout the process of creating a new startup. This has attracted top projects like KAVA to build on top of Binance Chain.
Binance has been called a Blitzscaling company for their relentless innovation in the space. This strategy of copying, creating, and supporting development in their ecosystem shows in the number of dApps they have live today.
- Be more specific in the behavior you want to reward. Target specific outcomes and/or specific use cases you want developers to focus on.