Cardano DeFi TVL Surged By Over 250% in 2023
Cardano has witnessed a remarkable increase in its TVL in DeFi since the start of the year. From an initial value of $48.95 million, the TVL has soared to $184 million at press time.
19 APR 2023, 3 min read
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At press time, Cardano’s Total Value Locked (TVL) continues to soar while crossing the $184 million mark and matching its yearly highs.

Over the past few years, Cardano has gained significant attention in the crypto and decentralized finance (DeFi) sectors. Launched in 2015, the platform's primary goal is to provide a secure and scalable infrastructure for building decentralized applications (DApps) and executing smart contracts.

TVL is a crucial metric to evaluate the health and potential of a DeFi network. It represents the total assets locked in a particular protocol, platform, or ecosystem, giving insight into user adoption, trust, and interest. A consistently increasing TVL indicates the growth and success of the underlying DeFi platform.

Cardano's Recent Surge in TVL

Cardano has witnessed a remarkable increase in its TVL in DeFi since the start of the year. From an initial value of $48.95 million, the TVL has soared to $184 million at press time. This growth signifies a substantial expansion of the DeFi ecosystem on Cardano and increasing user engagement with the platform.

According to Messari's State of Cardano report for Q1 2023, the introduction and adoption of Indigo's IUSD and Djed's DJED stablecoins played a significant role in Cardano's TVL surge, with the total stablecoin value increasing by 261% QoQ.

This is particularly important because as stablecoins become available on multiple blockchains through cross-chain bridges, users can easily transfer their stablecoins between different DeFi platforms. This increased accessibility can contribute to higher TVL in various DeFi protocols.

Also, stablecoins are often used as collateral to secure loans in lending and borrowing protocols. The demand for these stablecoins as collateral can lead to a higher TVL. The growing adoption of these stablecoins demonstrates their potential to drive further growth in Cardano's DeFi ecosystem.

Another notable aspect of Cardano's DeFi growth is the number of ADA tokens locked in TVL. Starting at 198.65 million at the beginning of the year, this figure has reached an all-time high of 394.1 million. The rising number of locked ADA tokens highlights the growing confidence of users and investors in Cardano's DeFi offerings.

Interoperability and New Use Cases Affecting DeFi

The Cardano ecosystem has been actively working on increasing interoperability and introducing new use cases. Projects like Milkomeda C1, IOG's EVM proof-of-concept sidechain, Wanchain, and Midnight are contributing to the expansion of DeFi protocols on Cardano, subsequently boosting the overall TVL.

By providing a bridge between Cardano and Ethereum-based applications, the EVM sidechain can unlock several benefits and opportunities for DeFi projects and users via interoperability, better liquidity, more users, and so on.

Miniswap, a prominent DeFi platform on Cardano, currently dominates the network's TVL share, holding 33.47% of the total value. Furthermore, Cardano ranks 18th on the DeFi Llama list of all chains’ TVL, showcasing its growing presence in the DeFi landscape. Nonetheless, it still ranked below its competitors, such as Avalanche and Solana.

Price Action and Market Capitalization

The ongoing developments and increasing TVL have also positively impacted Cardano's price action, with ADA registering a nearly 81.4% return on investment (ROI) since the beginning of 2023. Consequently, ADA's market cap has risen by 54% QoQ from $8.6 billion to $13.2 billion, moving Cardano from the 9th to the 7th largest network by market cap.

In March, the first Hydra Head, Cardano's Layer-2 state channel scaling solution, was deployed on the mainnet, albeit in a limited capacity. As the first solution in the Hydra series, this development marks a significant milestone for Cardano's scaling efforts. The successful implementation of the Hydra Head on the mainnet suggests that Cardano is well-positioned to further enhance its network capabilities and support an increasing number of DeFi applications.

Moreover, Cardano has diligently focused on developing additional use cases and fortifying its DeFi ecosystem throughout the bear market. By seizing this opportunity, Cardano has established a solid groundwork for enduring growth and enhanced network robustness. As the platform advances and incorporates further updates, Cardano's DeFi TVL is anticipated to expand, mirroring the network's increasing competencies and prospects for future success.


Our analysis showed that Cardano's DeFi TVL in 2023 has exhibited considerable growth. This can be attributed to various factors, including the introduction of stablecoins, a rise in locked ADA tokens, and persistent efforts to improve interoperability and develop new use cases.

The platform’s rise in community engagement, social media presence, community discussions, and developer activity also corroborate the recent increase in price & TVL levels. The confluence of these factors and the successful implementation of the new upgrades underscores Cardano's potential for sustained growth and reinforces its standing as a notable contender in the DeFi arena.

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