TVL or total value locked is a very important metric for DeFi, it lets you know how much money is invested on a specific chain and in a specific dapp.
Where to check all this information?
Defillama.com has a very user friendly list of the most popular and some less popular projects. You can check the value locked in many chains and what dapps have the most value locked. If you click on chains a very nice graphic will appear, if you scroll a little bit you will find every chain and its rank by TVL.
You can chose your favourite chain and click on it, this will bring you to another page where you can see the dapps with the most TVL on a specific chain. It even has direct links to the specific dapps if you want to check them and maybe invest in it.
Why is this so usefull?
TVL determines how successful a dapp is and if it's being adopted by users. Dapps with high TVL tend to have its token valued in a higher rank than the others. You can also track the blockchains and see what chain is being used more, this can provide you with a buy in opportunity before the price explodes. If you explore dapp by dapp you can also find the next big dapp on an ecosystem.
This metric is the most used metric to track DeFi and you shouldn't miss it, this can be very helpfull and can help you boost your potential earnings.
Note that during a dip it's normal to see this metric decrease dramatically, this happens because it's measured in USD. If a coin or a token take a big dip they will be less valued in USD, this means that the TVL will decrease. TVL can also decrease if there's a major exploit in a dapp, this will make investors take their money out.
While investing in DeFi comes with some risks, it also comes with great rewards. Research the dapp you want to use very well and start to participate in the future of finance.