DeFi TVL quietly climbs to record highs while the NFT boom subsides

Data shows that traders are easing back into DeFi as the top protocols register an uptick in transactions and total value locked.

Hype cycles can work wonders for token prices and social media statistics, but they also bring increased pressure on developers to launch a functioning product that validates its rising market cap. 

As nonfungible tokens took center stage over the past six weeks the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector took a break from the spotlight as developers refined their protocols and sought out interoperable, Ethereum network alternatives.

Data from CoinGecko shows that the total value locked (TVL) on all DeFi platforms has steadily grown since the market pullback at the end of February, with the TVL for the entire DeFi sector now standing at a record-high of $74 billion.

A closer look at the list of protocols shows that some of the biggest gains over the past seven days were on protocols operating on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). BSC has emerged as one of the go-to competitors for the Ethereum (ETH) network thanks to low fees, cross-chain capabilities, and connections to the entire Binance ecosystem.

PancakeSwap (CAKE) and Venus (XVS) have both seen their TVLs increase by more than 30% over the past week while THORChain (RUNE) and Alpha Finance (ALPHA) have increased 61% and 47%, respectively.

Top 10 total value locked  DeFi ranking. Source: Defi Llama

Notable gains from Ethereum based projects include a 26% gain in TVL for AAVE and Balancer (BAL), while the newly launched Vesper (VSP) protocol has rapidly amassed $1.64 billion over the past six weeks, reflecting a 35% increase in the the past seven days.

DeFi tokens rally higher

Alongside the rising TVL has been a rise in the token price of many of the top protocols as savvy traders accumulated during the February lows while crypto and mainstream news blasted daily coverage of the latest record-breaking NFT sales.

Data from CoinGecko shows that the total market capitalization of all DeFi tokens has also surpassed the previous highs established in February and now totals a record $98.4 billion as institutional money continues to pour into Bitcoin (BTC) and the wider cryptocurrency sector.

Total market cap of the top 100 DeFi tokens. Source: CoinGecko

THORChain again tops the list for the biggest gains over the past seven days with its price increasing 88% to a new record high of $8.89, while JUST (JST) and Akropolis (AKRO) have both increased 57% and currently trade at $0.129 and $0.076 respectively.

Bitcoin (BTC) is now eyeing the $60,000 level again and Ether trades near $2,000, prompting calls from many across the industry for an approaching price surge, as seen in the following Tweet from Real Vision Group CEO Raoul Pal: 

The market cap of the entire digital asset space feels like the break of $1.8trn is kind of a big deal. The chart pattern suggests acceleration lies ahead on that break. My guess is the whole space doubles in next 2 to 3 months. Let see! pic.twitter.com/125lTVAkNH

— Raoul Pal (@RaoulGMI) March 30, 2021

Now that the NFT craze is subsiding, traders will look for the next sector to undergo a hype cycle and DeFi looks primed to see another leg in up as token prices, transactions and the TVL is on the rise again.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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