• The report “Developers of Bitcoin” found that there are only 40 to 60 active developers of the cryptocurrency.
• Bitcoin’s success is due to its passionate but small group of developers scattered around the globe.
• Compared to traditional payment firms such as Visa and Mastercard, Bitcoin is run by a “ultra lean” group of volunteers and part-timers.
The world of finance is dominated by giants like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal, all of which employ tens of thousands of employees. But Bitcoin, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency, is an anomaly. It is powered by a tight ship of just a few dozen active developers, whose efforts have propelled it to the top.
A recent report, titled “Developers of Bitcoin”, published by New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG), sheds light on how Bitcoin has steadily grown from an obscure technological breakthrough to worldwide domination. The report also examines the software developers who made it all happen, and how they have maintained the cryptocurrency over the last 14 years.
The report highlights the fact that Bitcoin has been running with no major hiccups for almost 14 years, under the care of a passionate but small group of individuals scattered across the globe. It also explores the development cycle of Bitcoin—from its inception as an idea circulated on a mailing group to its current status as a pervasive technology—and the people who continue to update the protocol.
The report reveals that the people behind Bitcoin’s success are made up of 84% of its GitHub commits from different countries. It also notes that the lead developer/maintainer role has been replaced with a more egalitarian model that elects a group of maintainers instead. This year, Gloria Zhao became the first female Bitcoin maintainer in the community’s history.
The report also states that Bitcoin’s core protocol averages 40 to 60 monthly active developers, with 1,140 developers having contributed to the project since its inception. Meanwhile, the number of developers working on related applications is estimated to range from 600 to 1,000, with a total of over 13,000 contributors.
When compared to competing networks, Bitcoin always seems to come out smaller, but much more efficient. For example, Ethereum has over 4,000 monthly active developers in its broader ecosystem, yet its current market capitalization is less than half of Bitcoin’s.
The report’s co-author, Greg Cipolaro, believes that the people who are contributing to Bitcoin are driven by a purpose, rather than money. He said that those who are working for ideological reasons tend to stay longer and make more contributions than those who are just in it for the money.
At the end of the day, Bitcoin’s success is due to the hard work of its small but dedicated team of developers. Their commitment to innovation and progress is what has made Bitcoin the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency.