Don’t look now, but crypto market laggard Tezos has been putting together a modest rally in recent days amid renewed interest in Ethereum competitors.

XTZ tokens this morning traded for as much US$5.40, their highest level since the May 20 crash. This afternoon they had fallen to US$4.60, still up 10 per cent from where they were 24 hours ago.

Their gains for the day were the best of any top 100 coin aside from Revain, a platform for token reviews that’s the No. 90 crypto. For the week , Tezos tokens are up 35 per cent, the best gainer of any top 100 coin aside from Avalanche.

The total value locked on Tezos reached US$100 million this week, Tezos Finance founder Kevin Mehrabi tweeted on Tuesday. “1 year ago it was $0,” he wrote. “I still stand by what I’ve been saying for months: that we will exceed $1 billion TVL by the end of this year.”

To be sure, $1 billion would still be a drop in the bucket compared to the $79 billion TVL in Ethereum or $21.7 billion in Binance Smart Chain. Polygon and Terra have a TVL of just under $6 billion, while Solana has $2.5 billion, according to Block Crypto.

But Tezos’s market cap of US$4 billion is also well under those projects.

Earlier this week, a group of Swiss financial companies selected Tezos as a platform with which to provide compliant digital financial products, Decrypt reported.

Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman told Forbes for a story published Tuesday that Tezos smart contracts have resulted in 10 million contract calls since its June 2018 launch. Half were in the platform’s first five years, and the other half have been in the past eight weeks.

“So use of the network has exploded since the beginning of the year,” she said.

That has to do with demand for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and using Tezos for gaming, she said.

Most coins slide

The rest of the market was down this afternoon, with Bitcoin trading for US$46,715 (down 3.3 per cent), and Ether changing hands for US$31,100 (down 3.4 per cent).

The overall market was down 3.1 per cent to US$2.02 trillion, with only a handful of coins in the green. Avalanche was the biggest loser, down 18.2 per cent following a strong run earlier in week.

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