Outlier Ventures Weekly Brief Issue #74

Theo from our tech team has looked into the top protocols and their development activities this week.

2020 has been a turbulent year in the physical and the digital world. Protocol wars are at a full swing amidst a pandemic and a fight for civil rights. A new entrant secured a spot in the top 5 and three top 20 protocols saw an over 50% decline in their developer activity.


In with the good news. Polkadot and Cosmos saw a respective 44% and 15% growth in developer activity. Despite the similarities of the two projects, the big difference can be attributed to Polkadot launching a main net in May 2020. The overall increase for the category is likely due to protocols abandoning proprietary chains in favour of battle-tested solutions in a post-COVID market where companies may experience a reduced R&D budget. 


Download the report here


On the other hand EOS, Bitcoin Cash and Tron saw a 50%+ slump in development activity. In EOS’s case it is likely a continued decline from 2019 main net launch and core devs moving away. The decline for Bitcoin Cash (-63%) is likely continued fallout following the Bitcoin SV hard fork.


Now let’s look at core protocol development. It is distinct from general developer activity in that it refers to the updates to the code of the platform itself. Typically it is maintained by a single company with external volunteer support. Core development has been quite volatile. While some like Theta and Cardano saw above 500% in weekly code updates, others like MakerDAO, Aron and EOS saw 90%+ declines. Let’s not forget that MakerDAO and their community did put a lot of efforts on the launch of multi-collateral DAI toward the end of 2019.


Download the report here


When it comes to the dApp world, things haven’t changed a lot. Ethereum still owns the market with 79% market share in smart contracts and 82% in dApps while EOS has 9% and Steem has about 2%. The big potential upcoming contesters here are Polkadot and Cosmos with the high likelihood of the introduction of smart contract runtimes.


Where are the users? Well, not really straying away from Ethereum. About 32k daily active dApp users are on Ethereum-based dApps and less than half are on EOS dApps (14k). When we look at the platforms beyond the big two contesters we can quickly see Klaytn climbing the ranks with a third position based on daily active users.

Who’s likely to dethrone the top 5 in the next quarter? Tell us what you think here.


All data for the report is open source at Outlier Ventures's Github.

Last Thursday we hosted Diffusion Digital, the ultimate Web 3 experience without leaving your home 🚀

Featuring some of the most brilliant builders and creators of Web 3 like CZ from Binance, Illia from NEAR, Sergey from Chainlink, Emma Cui from Longhash Ventures, Eyal Hertzog from Bancor, Min Teo from Consensys, Ben Livshits from Brave & Agoric's Mark Miller among loads of others.If you missed it live you can still explore the journey from Web 2 to Web 3 with some of the biggest companies in the ecosystem.

Check out the recordings and our brilliant Base Camp cohort (the latest teams in our Web 3 accelerator) here.
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