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Crypto Winter Bites as EOS Faces Lagging Blockchain Development

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:54 PM
P. H. Madore
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:54 PM

Development on $3.3 billion cryptocurrency EOS has slowed to an absolute crawl, and it’s not the only smart contract platform where GitHub commits have plunged in recent months.

Major Crypto Blockchains See Reduced Commits

According to data from Longhash , development on EOS, Ethereum, and Tron has drastically slowed over the past three months.

If we consider the holiday month of December, where it is well-known that development virtually everywhere slows down, there are still two full months (November and January) of good developer time to account for. Of more than 4,000 commits in the past 12 months, only 114 took place in the past three months on EOS.

Ethereum and Tron also saw declines, though not as extreme.

None of the three blockchains were among the most active in terms of development – at least according to CryptoMiso .

cryptocurrency github commits
The top 10 blockchains include some lesser-known outfits like Aelf. | Source: CryptoMiso 

Insolar  is by far the most active development team, with some Ethereum-linked projects represented as well. Raiden and 0x, both scaling solutions for Ethereum, have a high degree of development by comparison to the vast sea of blockchain platforms. Interestingly, Aelf continues its rapid development. A progress report  from earlier this month gives positive signs for the community.

If you expand the table to the past nine months, instead of the past 3, EOS ranks #9. This chart illustrates the decline in developer activity:

eos development
Development has sharply declined over the past nine months. | Source: CryptoMiso 

EOS Developer Count Steady Despite Plunging Commits

More than 100 EOS contributors had over 2,700 commits approved in the past nine months. The past three months? 114 by more than 100 contributors. At the very least, the number of developers working on EOS hasn’t declined.

The news follows concerns that EOS blocks are oversized. Apparently, the chain is so large now that many node operators no longer want to run “full history nodes,” which can be crucial for some aspects of EOS development. EOS is a different animal altogether when it comes to blockchains, having an “arbitration court” that can reverse fraudulent transactions.

When looking at the outside of GitHub development, the number of commits on a punch card might seem the most important figure. In fact, a single commit can change one line or every file in the codebase.

It’s possible that the EOS development team has changed its policy about pushing commits, choosing to “squash” changes together and release updates on a more consistent schedule. The sustained number of developers would indicate that development is actually ongoing, but perhaps the methodology of publishing changes has been altered.

It’s also possible that the decline in developer activity is attributable to the crypto winter. Last year, before the start of the crypto winter, several early company members left Block.one , the primary developer of EOS.