What is Chainlink (LINK)?
LINK is the native token of the Chainlink network. The platform runs on the Ethereum mainnet and the LINK token is an ERC-677 standard. This standard, also known as the Transfer-and-Call token, allows users to transfer tokens to contracts to trigger a pre-programmed response during a blockchain transaction.
Chainlink is a multichain decentralized oracle network. Users are able to create their own hybrid smart contracts using Chainlink’s service. While Chainlink was built on Ethereum, it’s also supported on other blockchain networks, including Polygon, Avalanche, and the Binance Smart Chain.
Chainlink acts as a solution to security and access issues related to smart contracts. Since smart contracts cannot access data outside the blockchain, oracles act as a digital bridge that allows off-chain data to be accessed. Smart contracts can then process the necessary data and conduct transactions without compromising security.
The most accurate Chainlink price and market performance trends can be seen in the chart above.
Who developed Chainlink?
Chainlink was co-created by Sergey Nazarov and Steve Ellis. Nazarov has been in the blockchain business for over a decade, with Chainlink being his biggest decentralized project to date. Ellis is the CTO of Chainlink with years of experience as a software engineer. He works on reinforcing the data security of decentralized networks.
The goal of Chainlink is to facilitate the process of smart contracts accessing off-chain data. Chainlink uses a series of oracle nodes known as Decentralized Oracle Networks (DONs), which can transfer off-chain data onto the main blockchain for the smart contracts to process and validate.
The platform launched in 2017. From the time of launch until mid-2019, the Chainlink price showed little volatility and was relatively stable. However, the asset has been affected by market trends.
Starting in August 2020, the asset has seen more frequent fluctuations that follow the trends of bigger cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC). Throughout 2021, there was notable growth. In May 2021, it reached its peak for the year, as the highest LINK price was recorded at more than $50.
What Are the Key Features of Chainlink?
The supply of LINK tokens has a hard cap of 1 billion. Of this amount, roughly 35% of the tokens were sold during the launch. Another 35% has been set aside as a reserve for rewards and incentives for network participants and LINK token holders. The remaining 30% went to SmartContract.com, the parent company of the network.
As an asset with a limited supply, Chainlink is considered deflationary. It's expected that the LINK price will rise as the available supply becomes increasingly limited.
The oracle operations on the network are conducted by using the Chainlink token. It’s used to cover the node operator fees and allow access to the required off-chain data.
LINK tokens can also be staked by using either the implicit or the explicit staking method. The former stakeholders are rewarded to incentivize them to continue their contributions to the network. The latter is conducted by node operators staking LINK as collateral to ensure network fidelity and transparent services.
The rewards may vary depending on node contributions. Besides, the rewards can be converted to crypto or fiat currencies and used for further network investments. The Chainlink price is not pegged to any asset and can change depending on the trading pair used.