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Hype cycles can work wonders for token prices and social media statistics, but they also put greater pressure on developers to launch a functioning product that confirms rising market cap.

When intangible tokens took center stage for the past six weeks, the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector took a break from the limelight as developers refined their protocols and sought interoperable Ethereum network alternatives.

Data from CoinGecko shows that the total value locked (TVL) across all DeFi platforms has grown steadily since the market downturn in late February, with TVL for the entire DeFi sector now at a record high of $ 74 billion.

A closer look at the protocol list reveals that some of the biggest gains over the past seven days were related to protocols running on the Binance Smart Chain (BSC). BSC has emerged as one of the go-to competitors for the Ethereum (ETH) network thanks to low costs, cross-chain capabilities and connections to the entire Binance ecosystem.

PancakeSwap (CAKE) and Venus (XVS) have both seen their TVLs rise more than 30% in the past week, while THORChain (RUNE) and Alpha Finance (ALPHA) are up 61% and 47% respectively.

Top 10 total value locked DeFi rank. Source: Defi Llama

Notable benefits of Ethereum-based projects include a 26% gain in TVL for AAVE and Balancer (BAL), while the newly launched Vesper (VSP) protocol has rapidly garnered $ 1.64 billion over the past six weeks, generating a increase of 35% in the past reflects seven days.

DeFi Tokens are rising higher

In addition to the rising TVL, there was a rise in the symbolic price of many of the top protocols as savvy traders piled up during the February lows as crypto and mainstream news broke daily coverage of the latest record-breaking NFT sales.

Data from CoinGecko shows total market cap of all DeFi tokens has also surpassed previous February highs and is now at a record $ 98.4 billion as institutional money continues to pour into Bitcoin BTC) and the wider cryptocurrency sector.

Total market capitalization of the top 100 DeFi tokens. Source: CoinGecko

THORChain again tops the list for the biggest gains of the past seven days with price hike 88% to a new high of $ 8.89, while JUST (JST) and Acropolis (AKRO) are both up 57% and are currently trading at USD 0.129 and USD 0.076 respectively.

Bitcoin (BTC) is now looking back at the USD 60,000 level and Ether is trading near USD 2,000, prompting calls from many in the industry for an impending price hike, as seen in the following Real Vision Group CEO Tweet Raoul Pal:

With the NFT craze on the wane, traders will look to the next sector to go through a hype cycle and DeFi looks ready to see another move as token prices, trades and the TVL rise again .

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trade move carries risks, you should do your own research when making a decision.