Decentralized finance total value locked (TVL) almost doubled in the first three months of this year compared to the previous quarter, partially driven by Ethereum liquid restaking initiatives, according to recent research. 

DeFi total value locked surged from a Q4 2024 low of $36 billion to peak at almost $97 billion in the first quarter of 2024, according to DefiLlama. Since the beginning of the year, it has increased by 81% to a two-year high of $98 billion last week.

Messari reported slightly higher TVL figures on April 18, noting that DeFi collateral increased by 65.6% quarter-on-quarter to reach $101 billion. However, it attributed this growth to the prices of the underlying assets increasing and liquid restaking.

“This uptick was primarily driven by asset price appreciation and liquid restaking, led by Ethereum’s TVL growth of nearly 71%.”

DeFi total value locked between Q4 2023 and Q1 2024. Source: DefiLlama

The findings were echoed in an April 18 report by Web3 infrastructure and developer platform QuickNode, and institutional crypto data platform Artemis.

“Staking, liquid staking, restaking, and liquid restaking have all been catalysts of DeFi’s recent explosive growth,” it stated before adding that this “explains why staking now represents a large portion of DeFi’s TVL.”

Liquid staking TVL skyrocketed to an all-time high of $63 billion on March 13, primarily driven by Ether (ETH) liquid staking protocol Lido which currently has a 62% market share of the liquid staking ecosystem, according to DefiLlama.

Additionally, liquid restaking protocols such as EigenLayer exploded in popularity and usage during the period. EigenLayer TVL surged a whopping 990% during the first three months of 2024 to end the quarter with $12 billion.

EigenLayer allows ETH to be staked more than once for additional yields.

Liquid staking TVL, Q4, 2023-Q1 2024. Source: DeFiLlama

Related: DeFi TVL reaches $100B as Bitcoin pumps sentiment

QuickNode also reported that a substantial 291% quarter-on-quarter rise in user activity “has roused hopes of a second ‘DeFi Summer’ as there are signals for growth and a transformative shift despite the SEC’s best efforts.”

Nevertheless, since the recent crypto market retreat, DeFi TVL has declined 11% to $86.6 billion at the time of writing.

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