Consecutive all-time-high smart contract deployments and surging usage of Web3 script libraries mean that Web3 devs are still busy working despite the prolonged market downturn.
Web3 developers don’t appear to be fazed by the crypto bear market, with one Web3 platform suggesting they’re “more active than ever” — particularly on the Ethereum (ETH ↑ $1,330) network.
In a new Q3 2022 report on Oct. 13 by Web3 development platform Alchemy, the company said that 2022 could be the “biggest year yet” for development on Ethereum.
Around 36% of all smart contracts ever deployed and verified on the blockchain have been in 2022, a count of nearly 118,000 compared to the over 323,700 ever deployed, according to the report.
This is despite the price of ETH falling by nearly 66% since the start of the year and the total value locked in decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols falling around 70% year-to-date according to DappRadar.
Nonfungible token (NFT) trading volumes have also taken a beating, decreasing by 98% since late January.
Alchemy states the deployment of smart contracts increased by 40% from the first quarter of the year with consecutive all-time highs hit every month over the third quarter peaking at 17,376 in September alone.
Monthly verified smart contracts in Q3 2022. Image: Alchemy
The data also shows smart contract deployments increased by 143% compared to the third quarter of 2021, reaching over 48,500 for the third quarter of 2022.
Alchemy noted that in the two weeks following Ethereum's Merge — when the blockchain moved from a proof-of-work to proof-of-stake consensus — smart contract deployment increased by 14% suggesting some developers may have been waiting for the event to launch their projects.
The company also analyzed the usage of two Web3 script libraries Ethers.js and Web3.js, which allow developers to read blockchain data and build Web3 products.
The team found the number of developers installing either library had increased by three times that of Q3 2021 to over 1.5 million downloads on average per week.
Although some have claimed this current crypto bear market is a good time to build products in Web3 that hasn’t always been the case in previous cycles.
As evidenced in Alchemy’s data the 2017 to 2020 bear market saw a 45% decline in smart contract deployments in the middle of the cycle, from 2018 to 2019, although so far that metric has increased by 50% this year from 2021.