America’s top public companies have been busy onchain, with Fortune 100 companies deploying a record number of onchain initiatives in the first quarter of 2024, according to new research from Coinbase. 

The State of Crypto report notes that the volume of onchain initiatives from the 100 biggest companies grew 39% year-over-year, and that mentions of bitcoin and stablecoins in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings hit new highs in the first quarter of this year. 

Around 56% of Fortune 500 executives surveyed said their companies were working on onchain projects, with cross-border payments, settlements, treasury management and tokenization being the key areas of interest 

However, while the interest from traditional finance looks more promising than ever, data also shows that the US has lost out to international counterparts in terms of homegrown talent for developing these blockchain-based systems.

“The US continues to lose developer share, down 14 points in the past five years; only 26% of crypto developers are US-based today,” noted Coinbase.

That figure is particularly concerning when accounting for the fact that Fortune 500 executives said concerns about trusted talent was a bigger blocker to adoption than the current regulatory environment for crypto.

According to Electric Capital’s 2023 Crypto Developer report, 72% of blockchain developers are outside of North America. Meanwhile, countries in South Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Africa, and Southern Europe grew their developer share by over 20% since 2018. 

While some industry watchers have attributed the US’s decline in developer share to a lack of clear-cut regulations around crypto in the country, there may be another, more obvious reason for the shift — it’s cheaper to hire a Web3 developer from outside the US.

A blockchain compensation survey from Pantera Capital in October found that the median salary for crypto engineers in North America stands at $166,010, while the average for Europe, Middle East, and Africa stands at $102,226. The average salary for developers in Latin America sits at $90,559 and in the Asia Pacific region is far lower at $75,000.