The world-renowned consulting firm, Deloitte, recently conducted research regarding blockchain projects. The research was titled Evolution of Blockchain Technology: Insights from the GitHub Platform. The primary source of data for the research was GitHub, which is the largest software collaboration platform in the world. The platform holds more than 68 million projects with over 24 million participating developers from all over the world.
It is worth mentionin that Bitcoin’s code was first published back in April 2009 on GitHub. Therefore, it is clear that the original blockchain project was born in an open source platform. Ever since its inception, projects related to blockchain have gained tremendous traction and average around 8,600 every year. In 2016 alone, more than 27,000 new projects related to blockchain technology were uploaded onto GitHub.
Deloitte insights state that there are 86,034 projects on the network but only 8% of these projects are actively maintained. Here, the standard for maintenance is defined as projects that are updated at least once every six months. It was also determined that the average lifespan of a blockchain project is approximately 1.22 years.
Understanding the reason behind the high mortality rate of blockchain projects will help financial firms and individual developers in understanding what is being done wrong in the blockchain industry and how they can achieve success in their projects.
One critical factor behind the success of the project was whether it was being developed by organizations or by independent developers. The former was found to be more ordered and committed to developing a project. Whereas, the latter was much less motivated and could not be trusted with developing something as critical and sensitive as blockchain financial projects. For similar reasons, open-source projects are mostly abandoned, or fail to achieve any meaningful results.
The Deloitte report determined 11 variables that play a part in the failure of the projects. The report clarified that out of these 11 variables, three should be particularly focused on and understood. These three critical variables are:
- Projects that are developed by independent users tend to be stand-alone blockchain technology applications instead of being foundational libraries, which would enable further development. The report found that users were prone to develop ideas that do not gain the traction that they had hoped.
- The report determined an interesting correlation between the mortality of projects and the number of committers on the project. The report found that projects with multiple committers tend to have a higher chance of survivability.
- Lastly, the research determined that projects with the highest number of copies (forks) as compared to the projects that are not copied and used by developers for developing further projects.
The report contains a great deal of other useful information and it is recommended that one read the full report to get a better understanding of the blockchain market and how it is evolving day to day.