The Plight of Hyped-Blockchain Canto Demonstrates Dreary DeFi Outlook

Canto's slide is an example of fickle crypto investors' lack of appetite in DeFi.

AccessTimeIconMay 30, 2023 at 2:51 p.m. UTC

Layer 1 blockchain Canto has experienced a 35% slump in total value locked (TVL) over the past month as liquidity continues to dry up across the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector.

After going live last August, Canto experienced a now-familiar hype cycle in which it enjoyed a euphoria-filled first coupe of months that saw its TVL jump from less than $1 million to more than $110 million. It's since suffered multiple 60% corrections along with periods of consolidation.

Alongside, the blockchain's native token CANTO has tumbled, including a fall of more than 55% over the past six weeks to $0.16, according to Cryptowatch data.

Canto is a blockchain that was designed for DeFi services like lending, staking and liquidity provision. Since its inception, it has seen a total of $591 million bridged from Ethereum's mainnet, but that figure has stagnated over the past month as daily inflows struggle to top $3 million versus more than $20 million seen earlier this year, according to data from Dune Analytics.

Canto's difficulties aren't necessarily related to to its products and services – it has a capable DEX and several decentralized apps (dapps) that can be used to generate a yield. The issue instead may be the fickle nature of crypto investors – as hype recedes, so does the appetite of users.

The overall total value locked on DeFi protocols has shrunk from $53 billion to $48 billion since April 15, according to DefiLlama, with liquidity continuing to get sucked into a black hole of meme coin rug pulls and derivatives markets.

As seen during DeFi Summer a few years back, innovation will be key in order for DeFi to make a comeback.

The recent lack of innovation has resulted in a series of copycat lending protocols that only differ in branding and user interface. As the narrative of TradFi using DeFi to generate a yield continues to subside, DeFi developers need to think outside the box with unique offerings – something that will lure fragile crypto liquidity back from "get rich quick" schemes like meme coins.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Oliver Knight

Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.

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