China intensifies focus on blockchain despite cryptocurrency stance

The draft rules that have been developed by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to strengthen the requirements for the development of blockchain technology by the year 2025 are evidence of China’s increased attention on blockchain technology. In spite of China’s negative attitude toward virtual currencies, the country’s government is actively encouraging the development of its financial technology sector, notably in digital sectors such as blockchain.

The People’s Republic of China has established the year 2025 as the target date for the completion of a number of technological advancements, including the advancement of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. This deadline was included in the “National Economic and Social Development and Vision 2035 of the People’s Republic of China.” The draft rules were made available on the ministry’s website, along with a request for feedback on the topic from “people from all areas of life.”

The purpose of these rules is to make China’s blockchain and distributed ledger technology standards system’s degree of design more transparent. The deadline for comments from the general public on the draft has been extended to April 28.

This is not the first time that China has shown interest in blockchain technology. The plans for a national blockchain research center were announced by the government in February. The center’s purpose is to bring together blockchain-related businesses, developers, and academic institutions in order to investigate fundamental blockchain technologies and grow the blockchain industry.

According to a national white paper, China’s blockchain industry is currently comprised of over 1,400 different companies. Nevertheless, despite the fact that they claim to make up 84% of all blockchain applications filed globally, only 19% of all applications that were filed were approved.

Even though it maintains a wariness toward cryptocurrencies, China is continuing to place a significant amount of emphasis on blockchain technology. This demonstrates China’s dedication to the development of its financial technology industry. Along with other digital industries, such as communications equipment, core electronic components, and key software, the country has its sights set on the blockchain as a potential growth area for the business sector. China has high hopes that it will be able to boost the overall quality and power of its blockchain industry if it follows through with its plans to clarify its blockchain technology standards system by the year 2025.


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Ethereum dominates among developers but competitors growing faster

The Ethereum ecosystem still has far more developers than rival networks, but they are catching up with a faster rate of growth.

Ethereum competitors such as Polkadot, Solana, and Binance Smart Chain are growing faster in terms of development activity according to crypto research firm Electric Capital which released its findings on the blockchain development ecosystem in a new report on Jan. 6.

It revealed that more than 4,000 monthly active open-source developers work on Ethereum — considerably more than the 680 who work on the Bitcoin network. Across all chains, the total monthly active developers measured was more than 18,400 and the record was broken for the number of code commits by new developers in 2021 with more than 34,000.

The measurements were gleaned by analyzing around 500,000 code repositories and 160 million code commits, which are changes or updates to the code. The report noted that Ethereum, Polkadot, Cosmos, Solana, and Bitcoin are the five largest developer ecosystems overall.

According to the report, Polkadot has around 1,500 developers in total, while Cosmos and Solana are around a thousand each.

Other active ecosystems in terms of monthly developers were Cosmos, NEAR which launched an $800 million developer fund in October, Tezos, Polygon, and Cardano each with more than 250 active monthly developers.

While Ethereum is still dominant — more than 20% of new Web3 developers joined its ecosystem — rival networks have seen greater growth.

“Polkadot, Solana, NEAR, BSC, Avalanche, and Terra are growing faster than Ethereum did at similar points in its history.”

Ecosystem dev growth since first commit – Electric Capital

The report compared the average monthly active developers between Dec. 2020 and Dec. 2021, noting that Solana grew by 4.9 times, NEAR had a 4X growth rate, and Polygon’s monthly developers more than doubled. Cosmos had a 70% increase in average monthly active developers and BSC 80% over the course of 2021.

While the development growth figures are impressive for more early-stage projects, Ethereum is still the king. The ecosystem continues to retain the largest network of tools, dapps, and protocols and is 2.8 times larger than its closest rival, Polkadot.

Related: ‘We are 50% of the way there,’ says Vitalik on Ethereum’s development

Solana, Avalanche, BSC, NEAR, and Terra have emerged as DeFi hubs over the past year or so, attracting more developers as adoption increases. DeFi full-time monthly active contributors grew by 64%, and more than 500 new developers contributed code to a DeFi project every month last year aside from January, it reported.


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Cardano became the most developed crypto on Github in 2021 — Santiment

According to data compiled by CryptoRank and Santiment, Cardano (ADA) was the most developed crypto on Github in 2021, with over 140,000 events. 

Rounding out the top three were Kusama (KSM) and Polkadot (DOT) at second and third places, respectively, with roughly the same number of events over the year. Cardano beat Ethereum’s development activity by a wide margin, with the latter coming in fourth place. Santiment defines a Github event as either creating an issue, creating a pull request, commenting on an issue or pull request, and forking/starring/watching a code repository, among others. 

In a live Youtube session last week, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson revealed that there are approximately 127 projects under development on the Cardano blockchain. In addition, Hoskinson expects the number of ADA users to grow ten-fold from the existing 2 million, thanks to the growing popularity of non-fungible tokens.

Cardano’s technological advancement is also gaining traction post-Alonzo. One of the blockchain’s notable works in progress is the layer-two Hydra upgrade, which channels transactions off-chain to staking pools without partitioning the ledger itself. Theoretically, it could enable advanced linear scaling of the network with hundreds of “hydra nodes” each processing hundreds of transactions.

Related: VCs don’t understand that Cardano has a community: Charles Hoskinson

Another notable mention is a novel fintech funding mechanism, known as the initial stake pool offering (ISPO), that’s unique to the Cardano blockchain. In this setup, blockchain enthusiasts delegate their cryptos in a protocol and receive tokens of the new project they fund as rewards. In contrast, the ADA staking rewards go to the developers. Funds do not leave the delegator’s wallet, making the process rather secure. One such project, Genius Yield, saw its ISPO pools surpass $118 million within 24 hours.