Data from DeFiLlama showed the Total Value Locked (TVL) in the Cardano DeFi ecosystem currently amounts to $161.81 million.

At the start of 2023, the figure came in at $50.097 million – representing year-to-date (YTD) growth of 229%.

Cardano TVL
Source: Cardano TVL on

TVL measures the value of digital assets locked in a particular DeFi protocol/ecosystem. It can gauge the health and perceived trust of an ecosystem. A rising TVL suggests a willingness to scale the protocol/ecosystem.

Although recent weeks have seen a lull in the broader crypto market, the Cardano DeFi ecosystem uptrend remains intact, driven by notable protocol milestones.

TVL analysis

The Cardano DeFi ecosystem went live on Jan. 2, 2022, when the MuesliSwap mainnet launched – opening with an $845,000 TVL.

Additional DeFi protocols soon followed, including SundaeSwap, bringing TVL to a mid-March 2022 peak of $326 million. Since then, the TVL has fallen sharply, leading into a bottom rounding pattern – hitting a local bottom of $48.948 million on Jan. 1, 2023.

From that point, the value locked in Cardano has been on the up – hitting a YTD high of $171 million by April 15. Although a marginal dip followed, recently, the macro uptrend appears to be reasserting itself.

March 2022’s drop in TVL is consistent with the broader DeFi market. For example, the chart below shows TVL for all protocols dropping sharply after topping out at $162.975 billion on April 4, 2022.

In contrast to Cardano’s YTD TVL gain of 229%, all protocols show a flat print, equating to a 24% increase since Jan. 1.

All DeFi TVL
Source: All protocols TVL on

Cardano DeFi protocol milestones

Interest in Cardano DeFi is increasing thanks to significant milestones achieved by native protocols establishing themselves within the cryptocurrency space.

MinSwap is the largest Cardano DeFi protocol by TVL, holding 36.1% dominance. On May 23, the team announced a “record-breaking” and “historic” day, having hit 30.3 million ADA daily transaction volume, Cardano DEX volume moving to ninth largest, of which, MinSwap accounted for 87%, and becoming the 17th largest DEX across all chains.

Similarly, per a tweet from Alexander Legolas, lending protocol Aada let slip in its Telegram that the V2 testnet is nearing release. Legolas said this would bring flash loans to Cardano for the first time.

The Aada token is up 66.7% over the last week; MinSwap gained 8.9% over the same period.

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