More than 26,000 new projects related to blockchain were created on code repository GitHub last year, according to data collected by Deloitte.
For its new report – titled “Evolution of Blockchain Technology: Insights from the GitHub Platform” and published today – the professional services firm drew information from the development platform, which plays home to the code for over 86,000 blockchain initiatives, including major projects like bitcoin.
As a whole, the study charts the course of development of the technology through various implementations (beginning with bitcoin) dating back to 2009.
Deloitte’s report indicates that 2016 saw the most new blockchain projects (by both organizations and individual users) to date. By comparison, fewer than 15,000 were created in 2015. The data for 2017 includes only the first six months of the year, yet nearly 25,000 GitHub projects were created over that period.
The report also included data on the top blockchain code repositories on GitHub. Of those, bitcoin has (perhaps unsurprisingly) seen the most activity, with 627 total contributors and nearly 12,000 followers. Go-ethereum (or Geth), the software client maintained by the non-profit Ethereum Foundation, has drawn 149 contributors to date with 5,603 followers.
Another major data point in the report is that the majority of blockchain projects seen to date are largely inactive on GitHub.
“The stark reality of open-source projects is that most are abandoned or do not achieve meaningful scale. Unfortunately, blockchain is not immune to this reality. Our analysis found that only 8 percent of projects are active, which we define as being updated at least once in the last six months.”
The authors add that organizations are a “positive differentiator” in the data, saying “while 7 percent of projects developed by users are active, 15 percent of projects developed by organizations are active.”
The report further offers geographical insights into the pace of blockchain development thus far, noting that San Francisco plays home to the most blockchain-related GitHub repository owners, with 1,279 users and 101 organizations. London scored the second-highest with 919 projects in total, followed by New York with 774.
“It is also worth noting the high level of activity in China, specifically, Shanghai and Beijing. In both of these cities, most of the projects pertain to cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges, with an emphasis on scalability,” the report goes on to say.
I was recently at Deloitte at their Berlin Kurfürstendamm office: