Mapping out Ethereum’s Developer Ecosystem

Ethereum is by far the leading smart contract platform for developers. While the number of developers in the ecosystem is a topic of debate — estimates range from 250,000 to 350,000 — download data from popular development tools show that Ethereum continues to see increasing interest from developers.

Influential members of the Ethereum community, in turn, have adopted BUIDL as their battle cry for developers to build products ranging from decentralized prediction markets, governance platforms, and security tokens, on Ethereum.

With the growing interest in building on Ethereum, The Block has mapped out its developer ecosystem. We categorized the ecosystem into six sub-categories: (1) Protocols & Platforms (2) Testing & Frameworks (3) Infrastructure (4) Scaling (5) Privacy, and (6) Storage.


Projects in this category provide base layers or foundations for dApps, companies, and other projects to build on. These projects can range widely from governance protocols (Aragon and Democracy Earth) to liquidity networks (0x and Bancor) to prediction market platforms (Gnosis and Augur). Generally, dApps or companies building on these protocols and platforms will leverage their native tokens for their operations.


Projects in this category provide developer frameworks and test kits to build and test their dApps and products. Frameworks provide generic functionalities for developers to change and manipulate to their preferences. Testing tools enable developers to test their products in an environment that would not impact the main Ethereum network.


Infrastructure project offers pre-built tools for developers to quickly build and deploy dApps. These projects help developers lessen the workload and cost of building, deploying, and maintaining the tools necessary to run and distribute dApps.


Scaling projects are building solutions to help Ethereum scale. These projects focus on a variety of scaling solutions including sidechains (POA Network), layer two (Skale Labs, Loom Network), and sharding (Prysmatic Labs).


Privacy projects aim at developing privacy solutions for blockchain networks. Some projects in this category focus exclusively on adding privacy features for Ethereum (Aztec) while others are blockchain agnostic but Ethereum-focused.


Storage projects help developers store dApp data while maintaining the decentralized features of dApps. Because storing massive amounts of data on Ethereum is costly, developers leverage these decentralized storage projects to off-load the cost and host their data.

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Mapping out Ethereum’s Developer Ecosystem written by Steven Zheng @ January 4, 2019 Steven Zheng

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