The blockchain industry is constantly evolving, driven by the dedicated efforts of Web3 developers. These developers are the backbone of the technology, continually striving to push the boundaries of what blockchain can achieve. However, despite an increase in monthly active developers, there has been a 27% decrease in developer counts between now and October last year, with low newcomer retention rates. Several factors contribute to this trend, including blockchain programming language proficiency, lack of funding, and a lack of intuitive tools that abstract the blockchain experience to something more reminiscent of Web2. Additionally, there is a need for education around sustainable development.
In order to ensure the longevity of the participation and the blockchain industry, it is vital to focus on sustainable development. Web3 builders must be educated on how to build sustainably, not only to deliver decentralized technologies that improve trustworthiness and resilience of data but also to ensure that their efforts drive greater goals. This can be achieved by building new ecosystems that incentivize and enable collective action on entirely new scales, delivering tangible impacts for sustainability.
One approach to addressing these challenges is through hackathons, where prospective developers can learn about existing layer 1 protocols and how to build on them. These events can serve as touchpoints for sustainable development education, encouraging the development of sustainability applications through the provision of green infrastructure, building tracks, and judging criteria. Furthermore, layer 1s that use alternative, greener consensus mechanisms should allocate sufficient funds and resources to host these events.
While Proof-of-Stake (PoS) systems have been commended for their energy efficiency, there is also a need to pay attention to other, even greener consensus mechanisms like Gossip protocol, Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT), and Proof-of-Authority (PoA). PoA systems, in particular, are based on a smaller number of pre-approved block validators, making them scalable and energy-efficient. It is essential for blockchain leaders to educate Web3-curious developers about these alternative ecosystems and their sustainability benefits.
The ultimate goal of all these efforts is to build impactful, sustainable real-world applications that effectively meld with modern lifestyles. By laying effective foundations today, the industry can enable the self-perpetuating Web3 ecosystems of tomorrow. This collaborative effort will unlock an information revolution, allowing individuals and enterprises to sit at the same table in transparent, collaborative ecosystems. Businesses that leverage blockchain ecosystems to transparently share product and sustainability information will naturally benefit from greater public trust and market share for their products. In essence, by focusing on sustainable development, the blockchain industry can continue to drive the future of Web3 in an attainable and sustainable manner.