Aave (AAVE) price has increased by 76% since the beginning of February and today the DeFi-token hit a new all-time high of $520. Currently Aave is the second-ranked DeFi platform by total value locked (TVL) and the protocol continues to gain users and outperform its competitors. 

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView shows that AAVE rose from $284 on Feb. 1 to its current value of $510 as it’s 24-hour trading volume reached $2.4 billion.

AAVE/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

The latest rally kicked off on Jan. 28 when the platform announced the release of the Aave v2 migration tool which allows users to easily migrate all account information, including staked tokens and borrowed positions, to the updated protocol.

Since then, key metrics for the DeFi platform have steadily increased, including the total value locked on the protocol which set a new record-high of $4.957 billion on Feb. 3. This pushed AAVE into the second-ranked protocol by TVL and currently only Maker (MKR) has a higher TVL.

Total value locked on AAVE. Source: DeFi Pulse

AAVE price was further bolstered on Feb. 1 after the team tweeted:

“Today is the last day to vote on the AIP to add $BAL on Aave V2.”

On Feb. 2 the proposal was passed by the community and Balancer (BAL) was added as collateral. Shortly afterward AAVE price spiked from $284 to $300.

Big players and institutions make their presence known

Similar to Bitcoin, institutional-size investors have also played a role in AAVE’s parabolic-like rally to $520. 

According to Treyce Dahlem, a research analyst at TheTIE, the recent “90% surge in AAVE price within the past week” has been helped by “big players and institutions” who are “becoming increasingly more interested in DeFi.

Price of AAVE vs. Hourly sentiment score. Source: TheTIE

In private comments to Cointelegraph Dahlem said:

“Billionaire Mark Cuban recently spoke about the “unlimited upside” of DeFi and according to a snapshot of his on-chain portfolio, he is an AAVE whale holding more than $150,000 worth of the token. Grayscale recently filed more than a dozen altcoin trusts with Delaware's corporate registry, one of those altcoins being AAVE. Additionally, Bitwise added AAVE to their Bitwise 10 Large Cap Crypto Index. These announcements have caused investor sentiment to reach a new YTD high of 83.5 (very high).”

Decentralized finance continues to gain strength due to the immense array of services the sector offers. The ability to earn a yield through lending and staking tokens is a lure to many investors. Many traders are also enticed by the option to borrow against their crypto assets and participate in protocol development through governance proposals.

AAVE v2 has addressed all these areas and the platform continues to integrate with other protocols in the DeFi space and this is the primary driver of AAVE’s recent rally.