Cardano Leads in Development Activity, Surpassing Polkadot and Optimism

By Ben Knight January 23, 2024 In Cardano, Ethereum
  • A Santiment report has revealed Cardano dominates developer activity, dispelling some “zombie chain” doubts over the past fortnight.
  • Cardano leads the way but is closely followed by Polkadot and Kusama, while Optimism and Ethereum rise up the rankings.
  • The price of Cardano’s native token, ADA, has fallen nearly 10% amid a rough week for the entire market

A new report from crypto analysts Santiment has shown the DeFi blockchain Cardano (ADA) has retained its title as the most actively-developed blockchain for the past month. The news comes amid speculation that Cardano is a largely inactive “zombie chain” that lacks enough user activity to drive its ecosystem forward. So is this positive Santiment data enough to assuage the fears around Cardano’s future? And what does “developer activity” actually mean?

Santiment Report Uses GitHub Activity to Determine Activity

To update monthly charts showing 30-day on-chain developer activity, Santiment uses a platform that trawls GitHub project repositories and sorts the data into individual networks. GitHub is typically the platform of choice for dApp creators to post their new projects as well as provide any new updates. 

According to Santiment, Cardano leads the pack with about 333 projects improved or incepted over the past 30 days. Polkadot and Kusama are hot on their heels, with each chain boasting approximately 330 active projects. 

Source: Santiment

Developer activity can be a huge sign of ecosystem health, as it suggests that coders and entrepreneurs are enamoured with a particular network’s framework (whether it be their community, low transaction fees or supported coding languages). Additionally, more projects can equal more opportunities for adoption, especially if developers are creating high-demand applications. Alternatively, developer activity can be a little misleading if there are hundreds of small, low-interest projects being worked on compared to just a couple of really big ones. We can’t just ignore the network’s lack of user activity even if developers are still using Cardano to build their applications – there could be a million dApps on the blockchain but if nobody uses them, what’s the point?


With that said, it’s certainly not bearish news for Cardano. And after the hits the network has taken over the last fortnight, the fact it still rakes in significant developer activity is a breath of fresh air from the doom and gloom that’s been prevalent. 

ADA has dropped nearly 10% in the past week of trading.

Cardano (ADA), 7-day chart, source: CoinMarketCap

Ben Knight

Ben Knight

Ben Knight is a writer and editor from Melbourne with a passion for all things music and finance. He enjoys turning complex topics – especially the technical details of cryptocurrency – into digestible bites that anybody can understand. He acquired his Master’s in Writing, Editing and Publishing from RMIT in 2019 and has run his own creative writing business ever since.

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