Blockchain projects may be getting a lot of hype, but new research from Deloitte reveals that the majority of those projects are abandoned within months of launching.
Through an analysis of GitHub — the largest software collaboration platform in the world, boasting 68 million projects and 24 million participants — Deloitte found that in 2016 alone, there were close to 27,000 new projects created, many of which have not moved forward. The firm discovered that only 8 percent of blockchain projects are active or updated at least once in the past six months. Of the projects, 15 percent of those created by organizations were active, while only 7 percent of individual projects were active.
“The stark reality of open-source projects is that most are abandoned or do not achieve meaningful scale. Unfortunately, blockchain is not immune to this reality,” Deloitte wrote in its report. The researchers noted that around 90 percent of the blockchain projects developed on GitHub become idle and have an average life span of just one year. The highest mortality rate happens within the first six months.
According to the firm, projects that are developed by users tend to have shorter life spans than foundational libraries that enable the creation of multiple blockchain applications. The researchers said they’ve discovered that users were more prone to “tinker, developing and prototyping ideas that often do not gain traction.”
What’s more, most blockchain projects with high mortality rates are those in which one “committer” generated the vast majority of content. Deloitte said the median project has only one committer. “Often this sole, or lead, developer shifts attention to other projects or simply becomes disengaged. On the other hand, most projects that survive tend to have multiple committers with less concentration of activity attributed to one particular committer,” the researchers wrote. Deloitte also said projects that have a higher number of copies of the project are more likely to survive than those with few or no copies.