DeFi TVL reaches $100B as Bitcoin pumps sentiment

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The demand for Bitcoin (BTC) is fueling sentiment around the crypto industry, driving the capital locked on-chain to over $100 billion on March 9.

According to data from DefiLlama, the global total value locked (TVL) in decentralized finance protocols reached $100.1 billion, with more than $10 billion in volume over the past 24 hours. However, these figures still fall short of the $189 billion record from November 2021.

Liquid staking protocol Lido is leading the charts with $38.7 billion locked on-chain, followed by the staking ecosystem EigenLayer, and the AAVE protocol with $11.5 billion in TVL.

DeFi total value locked on March 9, 2024. Source: DefiLlama.

This is the first time in nearly two years that DeFi TVL has exceeded the $100 billion mark. The uplifting flow appears to be due to a return of positive sentiment in the crypto markets since the launch of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in January.

The institutional demand for Bitcoin ETFs drove the cryptocurrency to new all-time highs this week, topping $70,000 on March 8. According to BitMEX Research, assets in Bitcoin ETFs have surged to $28 billion that same day. The analysis excludes assets from Grayscale’s fund, which was converted to an ETF in January from an over-the-counter (OTC) product.

On X (formerly Twitter), rumors circulate about OTC trading platforms running out of Bitcoin and turning to public exchanges to fulfill orders from clients. OTC desks typically cater to large-volume traders, such as institutional investors.

Several centralized crypto exchanges, including Binance, Coinbase, Kraken, and Bybit, have experienced outages after Bitcoin crossed $60,000, due to an increase in trading volume. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek said the exchange hired 480 more customer representatives to handle the surge in demand.

“Because there’s so much retail interest and the price action is moving so fast, all of the algorithmic trading firms are vastly increasing the rate of order placements and cancels they want to send to the matching engine to maintain their positions,” told Cointelegraph Ivo Crnkovic-Rubsamen, chief strategy officer and technical lead for trading at dydx exchange. 

Bitcoin drives capital into memecoins

Bitcoin’s gains have sparked a surge in memecoins over the previous days. According to data compiled by Bitget Research, memecoin KORRA has seen a 577% rise in the last seven days, followed by a 235% surge in Ribbit (RIBBIT) and PUG AI (PUGAI) soaring 232% in the same period.

Popular tokens such as Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Pepe (PEPE) have seen gains of 168% and 165%, respectively. Memecoins’ market capitalization stands at $61 billion at the time of writing, as per Bitget data.

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