Sentiment in the cryptocurrency market is back on the rise on Nov. 29 as the recent dip down into the “extreme fear” zone on the Crypto Fear and Greed Index improved slightly after Bitcoin (BTC) recovered above the $57,000 support, lifting the index higher into the “fear” zone.
Fear & Greed Index. Source: Alternative.me
Despite the overall “fear” and “extreme fear” sentiments that have been dominating the market since the index began to decrease on Nov. 16, several sub-sectors of the cryptocurrency market, including metaverse-related projects and gaming protocols, have seen breakouts to new all-time highs.
The rapid gains seen in these projects has led to some concern that the metaverse and gaming sectors could see a significant pullback in the short term if traders take profits and await more sustainable price levels, leading many to speculate as to which sector of the market will be the next to see bullish momentum and price gains.
A deeper dive into the available data shows that the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector of the market has been steadily gaining momentum over the past several months as the total value locked in DeFi climbed to a new all-time high of $276.92 billion on Nov. 9 and currently sits at $265.74 billion.
Total value locked in DeFi. Source: Defi Llama
The surge in TVL comes as new protocols continue to launch on Ethereum (ETH) compatible networks such as Fantom and layer-two solutions like Arbitrum that offer users the ability to conduct transactions in a lower fee environment.
Related: Ethereum layer two TVL reaches all-time high
DEX activity picks up
Another sign that activity in DeFi is on the rise has been the uptick in the trading volume on decentralized exchanges (DEXs) such as Uniswap and SushiSwap, which have been seeing a slow increase in activity since the market bottomed in mid-July.
Total volume traded on decentralized exchanges. Source: Token Terminal
As seen in the chart above, the volume traded on the top DEXs is now consistently back at levels similar to what was seen during the bull market in the first half of 2021.
One of the most notable changes has been the addition of activity from dYdX, a decentralized layer-two perpetuals and futures exchange that surprised early adopters back in September when it airdropped its new governance token to users who had previously engaged with the protocol.
Since its launch, dYdX has become the go-to option for decentralized options trading in the crypto market and at one time saw its trading activity surpass the spot trading activity on the top U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
One final piece of evidence showing that activity in DeFi is on the rise along with the underlying sentiment in where the market is headed is found in the borrowed volume on the top lending platforms, which is now near an all-time high of $35 billion.
Borrowed volume on lending platforms. Source: Token Terminal
This indicates that crypto hodlers are locking up their tokens as collateral to receive loans that can be put to further use in crypto and DeFi related activity, and suggests that many are expecting a continuation of the bull market as the ecosystem prepares to close out 2021 and get 2022 off to a hot start.
The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.63 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 42.1%.
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