US Losing Ground on Blockchain Developer Share: Study

Regulatory clarity is needed for US to attract more blockchain-related developer jobs, according to Electric Capital


Lightspring/Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks


The share of US-based blockchain developers is shrinking, according to a recent study, though the country has a chance to regain a lead as an upcoming boom of such jobs is expected over the next decade. 

The US has lost 2% of its share of the blockchain developer market per year for the last five years — sinking to 29% market share, venture capital firm Electric Capital found.

Europe is also currently home to 29% of blockchain developers, the data shows, while Asia accounts for 13%.  

The number of active open source software engineers grew to 23,343 by the end of 2022, according to Electric Capital, despite crypto prices declining. The report estimates that ​​one million new blockchain-related open-source developer jobs could be created by 2030, giving the US a chance to catch up. 

The USA’s blockchain developer share has shrunk 2% per year since 2017, according to Electric Capital

Regulatory clarity could go a long way to attracting a chunk of that talent, though some industry participants have said they aren’t particularly optimistic. In the absence of a comprehensive crypto framework, the SEC and CFTC have launched enforcement actions against crypto companies and executives in recent months, including Binance.

“Providing clear and supportive regulations for the cryptocurrency and blockchain industries will encourage more innovation and foster growth within the country,” the report states. “This will make the US an attractive destination for both new and established developers.”

Coinbase, an industry player the SEC has targeted recently, said in a blog post Wednesday that “regulation by enforcement” in the US was indeed pushing tech innovation to other parts of the world. 

CEO Brian Armstrong said the company would be “happy to go to court” if necessary to offer some clarity to the industry. 

“The US is now losing market share to regions with more regulatory clarity and openness to crypto innovation like Europe and Asia, as well as emerging markets like LATAM, India, and Africa,” the crypto exchange’s blog post states.

Where will the next million Web3 developers go?

While the US, Europe and Asia have the most blockchain developers, India’s share of such professionals has grown more consistently — from 2% in 2017 to 6% in 2022.

“Still the United States has amazing builders, but then India is another ecosystem that is coming on line in the last couple of months and years in a really really big way,” said Ruben Amenyogbo, head of partnerships for Protocol Labs.

Ukraine has been a standout European country in terms of growth, as its share of blockchain developers rose 2% in the last three years. 

Macaulay Peterson contributed reporting. 

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2023

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Unlocked by Template.png


With the spot ETH ETF approval, the institutions are coming. stETH - given its dominance in marketshare, existing liquid market structures, and highly desirable properties - is poised for institutions.


Plus, the rise of RWAs could bring about a significant shift in how real-world investments are managed and accessed


The distributed cell plan provider started selling its own hotspots in October 2023


The Brazil-based asset manager’s filing comes during a year of milestone bitcoin and ether fund approvals


The purchase of five sites in Georgia set to help CleanSpark hit its mid-year operating hash rate target of 20 EH/s


Plus, it’s beginning to look like we may be in for a cruel summer



Engaging with XDC provides access to cutting-edge financial tools and places investors at the forefront of the trade finance revolution