The code for Bitcoin was published in April 2009. The number of projects on GitHub related to blockchain has grown significantly, averaging more than 8,600 new projects a year. In 2016 alone, there were almost 27,000 new cryptocurrency and blockchain projects.
In 2010, organizations developed less than 1 percent of all projects. By 2017, their blockchain projects accounted for 11 percent (organizations currently account for 7 percent of total—not just blockchain—software development on GitHub).
Projects that organizations have developed have resulted in new platforms (such as Ethereum, Ripple, Corda, and Quorum) which some developers now use to build applications. Organization-owned projects also tend to be updated more frequently than those developed by users, and are reportedly five times more likely to be copied, implying that the blockchain community has deemed them most relevant.
Organization-led projects are the backbone code for thousands of other projects.
Tools for enabling crowdsales and initial coin offerings (ICOs) are often connected to projects in large blockchain subcommunities: projects developing content for smart contracts, escrow accounts, and the core code behind Ethereum in the Go language. Not surprisingly, this seems to align with the predilection of many ICOs being offered on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
C++ is still the favored language. And for the most central repositories on GitHub, C++ accounts for almost one-half of all the content.
Go, the programming language developed by Google in 2009, appears to be gaining traction. It is now the second largest language used for blockchain-related projects. Go seems to have rapidly evolved from a fringe language to one of the centerpieces of the GitHub blockchain ecosystem. Just two years ago, in 2015, less than 2 percent of all of the content of projects in the blockchain space were developed in Go. Programmers attribute the meteoric rise of Go to its simplicity and ability to scale.
Ethereum and Hyperledger projects, which both involve integrating other technologies into blockchain to expand its use beyond cryptocurrencies, favor Go.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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