Klaytn (KLAY) had a promising start in March 2021, reaching an impressive $11 billion market capitalization following its debut. However, investors have exaggerated their expectations as the token's current total value stands at $3 billion, down roughly 70%.
Although not as well known as the leading smart contract blockchains, Klaytn remains a top-35 token by capitalization rank. Moreover, the network holds $1.2 billion worth of deposits locked on smart contracts. Capital locked on smart contracts is known in the industry as total value locked, or TVL.
Real use cases and strong backing
Klaytn is a flexible modular network architecture created by Kakao, a publicly-traded South Korean internet giant. The Asian tech group's shares are valued at $36 billion, backed by diverse applications in traditional markets, including games, chat, taxi and rides, financial services and a venture arm.
Businesses can customize and operate their own service-oriented blockchains built atop Klaytn architecture. These autonomously operated subnetworks are called Service Chains and are fully customizable.
The network is fully functional, offering decentralized applications (DApps) ranging from DEX exchanges, nonfungible token (NFT) marketplaces, social networks and collateralized loans to games. For instance, KlaySwap, Klaytn's leading DApp, holds $746 million in TVL and 19,840 active addresses over the past week.
According to Klaytn's blog, the network is gearing up its infrastructure to provide services for the gaming and metaverse sectors. Initiatives include launching an open-source tools developer package that incorporates layer-2 solutions and adding direct support to Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) applications. Additional services include providing management and financial support for projects with high potential.
Klaytn's roadmap includes higher scalability by leveraging layer-2 service chains, additional interoperability bridges with other blockchains, and integrating an Interplanetary File System (IPFS) gateway for decentralized storage.
Klaytn smart contracts deposits jumped 24%
Despite KLAY's negative 15% performance over the last 30 days, the network's TVL increased by 24% in the same period. As a comparison, Arbitrum scaling solution stalled at $1.7 billion, and Polygon decreased to $3.35 billion from $4.65 billion on Feb. 15.
In dollar terms, Klaytn's current TVL of $1.2 billion is 13% below its $1.35 billion peak in January 2022. Yet, these figures represent less than 2% of the aggregate TVL (excluding Ethereum), according to DeFi Llama data.
In terms of recent developments, on Feb. 17, Klaytn joined the Blockchain Game Alliance, which encourages the development of standards and sharing of best practices in the decentralizing gaming sector. The initiative also aims to increase the public understanding and awareness of blockchain games.
To confirm whether Klaytn's TVL growth is backed by increased adoption, one should analyze DApp usage metrics. Some DApps, such as games and collectibles, do not require large deposits, so the TVL metric is irrelevant in those cases.
As shown by DappRadar, on March 15, the number of Klaytn network addresses interacting with decentralized applications decreased by 5% versus the previous month.
Even though Klaytn's TVL has increased by 24%, the network lacks a more substantial user base growth to support further KLAY token price momentum. Still, KLAYswap, the leading DApp, presented a decent 39,090 active addresses over the past 30 days.
The above data suggests that Klaytn has found a niche within the decentralized application segment. If the project's proposed features come to fruition, KLAY's token price will likely hold $1.05 as medium-term support and present a decent upside.
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