China Follows US As Top Blockchain Talent Location – Study
Top Blockchain talents contributing by country to the global software collaboration platform, GitHub, reside in the US followed by China, a new study by Deloitte says.
The study, which appears to be the first empirical attempt to understand the evolution of Blockchain using metadata available on GitHub, taps San Francisco as the city with the highest number of Blockchain-related projects (1,279). The US city is followed by Britain’s London (858) and New York (725). Then comes China’s two cities – Beijing (587) and Shanghai (390).
In all, five US cities are in the top ten with a combined number of 2,783 projects while the two Chinese cities have 977. London, Toronto and Paris complete the list with 858, 321 and 283 projects respectively according to the repository based on Deloitte’s analysis of GH Torent data and GitHub API dats as at October 2017.
GitHub is the largest known software collaboration platform in the world. It has more than 68 million projects and 24 million participants. It also seems to host the most important projects for the Blockchain community. The platform was chosen for the study because it can help identify those behind Blockchain’s development, the type of programming powering it, talent location, how networks and communities of projects and developers are organized, and risk factors for investments.
According to its findings, Blockchain projects in San Francisco tend to be diverse. They include solutions for exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets and payment tools for cryptocurrencies. They also include interfaces for different blockchains e.g. Ripple, Hyperledger, and Ethereum. In New York, participants tend to specialize in projects “that are geared toward traditional financial services.”
Going over to Europe, the study notes that while the ecosystem in London is also varied, it features more projects connected to the Ethereum community. This implies that there are more projects around accompanying technologies such as digital identities, smart contracts and open APIs.
With regards to China, the report states: “It is also worth noting the high level of activity in China, specifically, Shanghai and Beijing. In both of these cities, most of the projects pertain to cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges, with an emphasis on scalability.”
China cares about Blockchain
With Deloitte’s findings and ongoing market trend, the number of projects coming out of China – as well as talents resident there – are likely to increase with time. More initiatives are being carried out and new blockchain projects are springing out of China.
From Wanxiang Group, the automotive parts makers which sponsored a blockchain hackathon in search for the world’s brightest developers for its new smart city project in Hangzhou, to Chinese e-commerce giant JD which now tracks its food supply using blockchain in Beijing supermarkets and online stores, the country is on the front to embrace the technology much more faster than several other countries.
As Alibaba’s Ant Financial expands its services with the the blockchain technology so also is the People’s Bank of China seeking to use it to digitize the yuan. Garrick Hileman of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance believes Chinese companies “are not only moving faster, but the scale of their blockchain ambitions dwarf what we’re seeing elsewhere.”
Other related issues
The study touches on the need for blockchain developers to pay close attention to communities to develop strong affiliations. Described as a group of developers with shared interests that develops and improves existing content, 772 different Blockchain communities were identified on GitHub by the authors.
They say the patterns of collaboration between these projects and their communities can give rise to new applications. After the core code supporting Bitcoin was published in 2009, the study points that the number of blockchain-related projects on GitHub has grown to average more than 8,600 new projects a year. In 2016 alone, there were almost 27,000 new projects, it adds.
It is worth noting that despite this upsurge, the study states that about 90 percent of projects developed on GitHub become idle and the average life span of a project is about one year. This is because most open-source projects “are abandoned or do not achieve meaningful scale.” On their latest findings, the researchers note: “Our analysis found that only 8 percent of projects are active, which we define as being updated at least once in the last six months.”