What is Chainlink (LINK)?

Founded in 2017, Chainlink is a blockchain abstraction layer that enables universally connected smart contracts. Through a decentralized oracle network, Chainlink allows blockchains to securely interact with external data feeds, events and payment methods, providing the critical off-chain information needed by complex smart contracts to become the dominant form of digital agreement.



The Chainlink Network is driven by a large open-source community of data providers, node operators, smart contract developers, researchers, security auditors and more. The company focuses on ensuring that decentralized participation is guaranteed for all node operators and users looking to contribute to the network.

Who Are the Founders of Chainlink?
Sergey Nazarov is a co-founder and CEO at Chainlink Labs. He graduated with a degree in business administration from New York University, with a focus on philosophy and administration. His professional career began as a teaching fellow at NYU Stern School of Business. In 2009, Nazarov co-founded ExistLocal, a peer-to-peer marketplace for authentic local experiences.

In 2014, he also co-founded CryptaMail, a completely decentralized, blockchain-based email service. In 2014, Nazarov teamed up with Steve Ellis and launched SmartContract, a platform that brings smart contracts to life by connecting them to external data and widely accepted bank payments. SmartContract was one of the entrepreneurial ventures that led Sergey Nazarov to the founding of Chainlink.

Steve Ellis graduated with a degree in computer science from New York University in 2010. Right after graduating, he became a software engineer at Pivotal Labs. In 2014, he co-founded the Secure Asset Exchange, a company facilitating easy web access to a decentralized asset exchange.

What Makes Chainlink Unique?
Chainlink is one of the first networks to allow the integration of off-chain data into smart contracts. With many trusted partners, Chainlink is one of the major players in the data processing field. Due to the integration of off-chain data, Chainlink has attracted the attention of numerous trusted data providers, including Brave New Coin, Alpha Vantage and Huobi. Data providers can sell access to data directly to Chainlink, thus monetizing the information they have.

As a decentralized network, Chainlink allows users to become node operators and earn revenue by running critical data infrastructure required for blockchains’ success. Chainlink uses a large collection of node operators to collectively power a wide range of decentralized Price Feed oracle networks live in-production, which currently secure billions in value for leading DeFi applications like Synthetix, Aave, Compound and more.

Chainlink and Google, Introduction of Staking in 2022
Chainlink has grown from aggregating and providing cryptocurrency price data to DeFi protocols like Aave, to a lot more. The ecosystem currently access over 1B data points, securing over $75B in value through 1,000 project integrations with 700 oracle networks. Mainstream organizations like AccuWeather, FedEx, FlightStats and the Associated Press have partnered with Chainlink for data verification. However, one of the biggest wins Chainlink have secured is onboarding Eric Schmidt, ex-Google chairman and CEO, as a technical advisor to the oracle network protocol. According to Schmidt, "Chainlink is a secret ingredient to unlocking the potential of smart contract platforms and revolutionizing business and society," and he is interested in helping Chainlink build a world powered by truth. Schmidt joins other notable Chainlink advisors including former LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and DocuSign co-founder Tom Gonser.

On the roadmap for 2022, Chainlink will finally rollout staking for LINK holders to secure the network and earn rewards. Chainlink has been working on a staking solution for years, however oracle networks are not a blockchain but a form of decentralized computing. Co-founder Nazarov explained that Chainlink does not produce blocks but “make consensus on hundreds of oracle networks about price data.” He says the team is finally satisfied with the security and scalability of the consensus mechanism and ready to launch staking this year.

How Many Chainlink (LINK) Coins Are There in Circulation?
During the initial coin offering (ICO) for LINK in September 2017, Chainlink announced a total and maximum supply of 1,000,000,000 LINK tokens. The current supply is about 453,509,553 LINK tokens, or about 45% of the total supply, as of end-September 2021. The Chainlink price at ICO was $0.11 and a total of 350 million LINK tokens were sold. This represents an over 200X from the ICO price to Chainlink price today.

Chainlink price experienced a massive bull run in the period around mid-2019 to mid-2020. Chainlink bulls were colloquially referred to as “LINK Marines,'' becoming a well-known meme in the crypto community. Chainlink price reached an all-time high of $52.88 on May 9, 2021, on the back of an overall crypto market rally, as well as ongoing developments in the Chainlink ecosystem.

According to the ICO documentation, 35% of the total token supply will go towards node operators and the incentivization of the ecosystem. Another 35% of LINK tokens were distributed during public sale events. Lastly, the remaining 30% of the total token supply was directed towards the company for the continued development of the Chainlink ecosystem and network.

How Is the Chainlink Network Secured?
As an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token, Chainlink is secured by the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. Unlike the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus utilized by Bitocin, PoS relies on the amount of staked tokens for selecting node validators.

PoS protocols were created with the idea to battle the vast power consumption required by PoW systems. PoS models are becoming increasingly popular as they need less electrical power and are easily scalable. While PoW has proven itself a reliable consensus mechanism, Ethereum and all other ERC-20 tokens have been growing rapidly and setting the trend in the space.

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