Chainlink(Link) is a middleware for blockchains. As a middleware Chainlink(Link) provides the vital link between blockchain smart contracts and external resources like data, API's, transaction data, payment data, exchange data etc. Chainlink network consists of decentralized nodes which provide specific data feeds, API access to off-chain payment capabilities directly to smart contracts.
What problem does Chainlink solve?
Smart contracts or other blockchain assets cannot interact or communicate with external systems or data feeds on their own. Chainlink is proposed to be the bridge which let's smart contracts on blockchains to interact with external services or data sources. Chain link wants to be the middleware technically called Oracle which links smart contract ecosystem to the external world.
Let us take a real-life example how Chainlink acts as an oracle and connects Smart contracts with external data sources.
Let us say a smart contract based on digital signature needs some bank payment information to be captured to complete it. In this case, chainlink can provide that information to the smart contract which helps to replicate real-world financial agreements.
Chainlink History and Founders
Chainlink is a product of SFO based startup smart contracts a company which does custom enterprise smart contract rollout. Chainlink is founded by Sergey Nazarov and Steve Ellis
Chainlink was launched in June 2017.
ChainLink Token(Link) and How to buy it
Chainlink uses a token called Link which is an Ethereum ERC20 token as a mechanism/currency to pay and compensate Chainlink node operators. So in a way token value which is governed by supply and demand dynamics is driven by a number of node operators as well as the quantum of services these node operators are offering to blockchain customers.
Token Sale for Link tokens was completed on September 19th and a total of 32 million was raised through the token sale. Here is a break up of how tokens are going to be distributed
1. Total token supply : 1,000,000,000 (1 billion Link)
2. Node operators and network incentivization: 350,000,000 (350 million)
3. Public Sale Token: 350,000,000 (350 million)
4. Founders/Company:300,000,000 (300 million)to carry out development.
Buying Chainlink(Link token)
1. You can buy bitcoins or ethereum from any of the top exchanges based on your geographic location. Like Coinbase, Bitstamp or any other exchange
2. Go to Binance and convert your BTC to Link.
3. Transfer your Link to your hardware wallet or transfer to my etherwallet.
Key Benefits of Chainlink based decentralized oracle network
1. Chainlink has the potential to bridge the gap between blockchain based smart contracts and off blockchain systems enabling to close the loop and make the experience seamless.
2. Providing blockchain developers with easy to use oracles to plugin into external APIs and data feeds
3. Enabling off blockchain networks like payment systems or banks or financial institutions to share data with smart contracts and integrate with ecosystem.
Key Challenges for Chainlink
1. One of the first challenges is to deliver on the promise of the product and deliver the product. Chainlink team has raised lot of money so they need to start delivering the product quickly.
2. Building a node network is going to be another big challenge.
3. Competition from players like Mobius, Oraclize, Zap
4. Still a very small market
Key Competitors to Chainlink(Link)