Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that enables blockchain-based smart contracts to access reliable real-world data stored off-chain. To accomplish this, Chainlink rewards data providers, known as oracles, for providing accurate and useful data in exchange for Chainlink's native ERC-20 cryptocurrency, LINK.
Chainlink is made up of nearly 1,000 independent decentralized oracle networks that provide crypto market data, FX rates, indices, weather readings, sports stats, election results, flight information, and other information to smart contracts running on over 12 blockchain networks. Arbitrum, Avalanche, Ethereum, Fantom, Harmony, and Polygon are among the blockchains supported by Chainlink.
To become an oracle in the Chainlink ecosystem, data providers must first stake a predetermined number of LINK tokens to maintain the integrity of the network. If data providers are found to be involved in jeopardizing the network's viability, Chainlink will reduce their stakes.
Beyond being a provider of decentralized data, Chainlink offers several services, such as Verifiable Random Function (VRF), Keepers, Proof of Reserve, and Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP). The network's Off-Chain Reporting (OCR) also enables nodes to provide ten times more data to smart contracts while reducing operating costs by 90%.
Chainlink's supply is hard-capped at 1 billion LINK tokens. Investors received 35% of the total supply, while node operators and ecosystem rewards received 35%. Chainlink's parent company, SmartContract.com, received the remaining 30% of LINK supply.
LINK tokens enter circulation when node operators who receive LINK as a reward, investors who hold LINK, or projects that receive LINK as an acquisition or grant sell them on the open market. LINK has a total circulating supply of over 460 million at the time of writing.
Chainlink was founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur Sergey Nazarov and software engineer Steve Ellis. Before launching Chainlink, Nasarov worked on a number of projects centered on peer-to-peer technology. He co-founded ExistLocal, a peer-to-peer marketplace for tourists, in 2009. He was instrumental in the launch of CryptaMail, a fully decentralized mail service, five years later. Nazarov also collaborated with Steve Ellis to launch two other companies in 2014, including SmartContract.com.
Chainlink's technical advisors include prominent figures both inside and outside the blockchain industry. Eric Schmidt, former chairman and CEO of Google, Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, and Tom Gonser, co-founder of DocuSign are among those on this list.
According to Crunchbase, Chainlink has raised a total of $32 million from investors such as Fundamental Labs, Andreas Schwartz, Nirvana Capital, and others.
1. Chainlink integrates weather data from Google Cloud
Since 2019, Google Cloud and Chainlink have been working together to allow Chainlink to incorporate Google Cloud data. Chainlink has now fully integrated decentralized weather data from the Google Cloud in 2021. The Google Chainlink integration employs an oracle node, which continuously sends data from the outside world into the Chainlink network. This data is then combined and made accessible in aggregate form for blockchain applications.
2. Chainlink partners UNESCO and UNICEF
Chainlink joined forces with UNESCO in January 2021 to raise awareness about blockchain technology and support promising contributors. After a few months, Chainlink announced a partnership with UNICEF to fund blockchain applications in developing countries.
The Chainlink team revealed plans to optimize the protocol in April 2021 via the Chainlink 2.0 whitepaper. According to the whitepaper, the next set of upgrades will focus on enabling a trustless and more decentralized system for running the Chainlink protocol. Notably, a component of this strategy calls for the establishment of a staking-powered incentive mechanism. As a result, Chainlink can ensure that malicious node operators are penalized while honest data providers are rewarded by implementing a staking economy anchored by LINK.
In June 2022, more than a year after this publication was published, Chainlink announced that Chainlink 2.0 would allow LINK holders to delegate their stake to get more people involved in the protocol's validation process. In addition, the upgrade will include an advanced reputation-tracking system that will generate performance metrics for each node operator.
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Before you begin trading with OKX, you need to create an account. To buy LINK with your preferred fiat, click "Buy with card" under "Buy Crypto" on the top navigation bar. To trade LINK/USDT, LINK/USDC, LINK/BTC or LINK/ETH, click "Basic Trading" under "Trade". Under the same tab, click "Convert" to convert crypto to LINK.
Alternatively, visit our new OKX Crypto Calculator. Select LINK and the desired fiat that you would like to convert to view the estimated live conversion price.