4 DeFi Chains To Watch in 2023: Canto, Cardano, Aptos, Fantom

The recent crypto market turnaround sparks a lot of excitement. More people are eager to trade crypto and explore decentralized finance opportunities. The following 4 chains are all worth watching in 2023 from a DeFi perspective, although caution remains advised.


Crypto Twitter enthusiasts may have noticed how everyone appears to talk about Canto these days. The native asset has seen a tremendous price pump, and its DeFi ecosystem is booming. It has reached an all-time high for TVL at over $173 million. That is a low amount compared to networks like Ethereum, BNB Chain, or Tron. However, it is interesting growth nonetheless and something worth monitoring.

Users must note that Canto has five native DeFi protocols at this time. The Canto Dex represents nearly 66% of the entire TVL, at $113.7 million. Canto Lending is the other prominent project with over $58 million. The remaining projects have under $1 million each. As such, there is tremendous room for growth, assuming developers deem the network viable for such projects.


Many people see Cardano as an undervalued alternative cryptocurrency. It has a multi-billion dollar market cap yet still lacks in the decentralized finance department. More specifically, its TVL is under $124 million, shockingly for such a major network. Cardano supports smart contracts and staking, so it should be a more popular avenue for DeFi protocols. Curiously, that isn’t the case today, although things may change. 

Even though Cardano has 17 decentralized finance protocols – far more than Canto – it still needs to make up a $50 million TVL gap. Minswap, a DEX, is the leading project for liquidity at $33.28 million, ahead of Meld (Lending, $16.54 million) and WingRiders (DEX, $15.69 million). One redeeming factor is that 13/17 protocols have over $1 million in TVL, confirming growth across the board. 


The launch of Aptos had many traders and speculators excited from day one. Its APT currency has soared to a new all-time high in recent weeks. However, the chain’s potential for decentralized finance still needs to be explored. The network isn’t doing much with under $75 million in TVL. That said, its Total Value Locked is on a slow and steady rise, making $100 million a viable goal. Ever since PancakeSwap extended to Aptos, things have moved up aggressively.

The two top DeFi protocols on this network are decentralized exchanges: PancakeSwap and AUX Exchange. They represent $36.31 million and $11.87 million in TVL, respectively. Interestingly, Aptos has a liquid staking solution in Tortuga, which holds over $10.6 million in liquidity. That latter protocol noted a monthly TVL gain of 254%, contributing to the overall Total Value Locked. 


The Fantom network used to be one of the DeFi powerhouses in 2021 and part of 2022. It held a fairly dominant position and hit over $15 billion in TVL at one point. Unfortunately, the network saw Andre Cronje shut down nearly all projects, causing the Total Value Locked to collapse. Despite seemingly no TVL changes since mid-June 2022, the network has rebounded strongly in the past month. Various protocols, including Tarot and Equalizer Exchange, noted a TVL gain of over 250%.

In addition, the established protocols, like Geist Finance, SpookySwap, and Beefy, all saw a healthy influx of capital. As such, Fantom reclaimed the $1 billion in Total Value Locked level again. Sustaining this renewed growth won’t be easy, though, as there is still much market uncertainty. 

None of the information on this website is investment or financial advice and does not necessarily reflect the views of CryptoMode or the author. CryptoMode is not responsible for any financial losses sustained by acting on information provided on this website by its authors or clients. Always conduct your research before making financial commitments, especially with third-party reviews, presales, and other opportunities.

JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx has been writing about cryptocurrency since 2012. His interest in crypto, blockchain, fintech, and finance allows him to cover a broad range of different topics.

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JP Buntinx

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