What is ChainLink?
ChainLink is blockchain middleware that allows smart contracts to access key off-chain resources like data feeds, various web APIs, and traditional bank account payments.
By providing smart contracts secure access to these key resources, ChainLink allows them to mimic real world agreements that require external proof of performance and need to make payment in widely available payment methods e.g. bank payments.
What problem does ChainLink solve?
Smart Contracts are unable to communicate with external resources on their own. Data feeds, any/all APIs and traditional bank payment systems are all inaccessible to smart contracts without blockchain middleware like ChainLink.
This limitation is inherent in how smart contract data is secured on a blockchain, and is due to the way that consensus is reached by miners around blockchain-based transaction data, this limitation will remain for all smart contracts for the forseeable future.
The way this problem is traditionally solved is through the use of a blockchain middleware called an "oracle", which is the role ChainLink plays in the smart contract ecosystem.
What are some examples of how a ChainLink can be useful?
ChainLink bridges smart contracts to key off-chain resources like data feeds, legally binding e-signature and bank payments; allowing them to mimic real world financial agreements, for example:
Smart Contract Securities need data feeds about market prices and market reference data e.g. Interest rates. They commonly also need to pay into existing bank accounts for many of their users, which can only be done through a ChainLink that connects to the existing banking system.
Smart Contract Insurance needs data feeds about IoT data related to the insurable event in question e.g. was the warehouses magnetic door locked at the time of a breach, was the companies firewall online, did the flight you had insurance on arrive on time, etc... Insurance products also commonly want to pay out in formats that users already want to receive e.g. USD to the end-users bank account.
Trade Finance Smart Contracts commonly need GPS data about shipments, data from supply chain ERP systems, and customs data about the goods being shipped; all of this data needs to be added to the smart contract by a ChainLink. Many trade finance transactions are still currently settled in fiat currency, which they can pay in using a ChainLink.
What is the ChainLink Network?
The ChainLink Network is a decentralized network of ChainLink Nodes, which are all selling usage of a specific data feeds, APIs and various off-chain payment capabilities directly to a smart contract.
Any data, payments, e-signature, or other API provider, as well as individual developers, can easily join the network by connecting an API their familiar with. Once the API they'd like to offer to smart contracts is connected to a ChainLink, they become a ChainLink Node Operator, responsible for keeping that API connected to the ChainLink Network and being compensated in LINK for their succesfull fullfilment of on-chain requests.
How will the ChainLink Network help accelerate the creation of useful smart contracts?
If smart contracts are able to recieve external inputs that prove performance and create payment outputs that end users want to recieve e.g. USD bank payments, that will immediately improve their ability to mimic 80%-90% of financial agreements.
The ChainLink network seeks to make a large pool of premade oracles, which make it easy to access all the off-chain resources a contract may need to mimic real world agreements.
With the ChainLink Network, a developer will no longer need to learn an off-chain API, they'll have an on-chain contract that represents the resource their contract needs to interact with off-chain e.g. data feeds, e-signatures, bank payments, etc...
What network is the LINK token on?
LINK is an ERC20 token on the Ethereum Blockchain.
How can I participate in the LINK Pre-sale?
Please submit your interest in participating in our crowdsale by filling out the form on the "Participate in LINK Pre-sale" button on chainlink.tech
When will I receive my LINK tokens from the presale and/or crowdsale?
LINK tokens will be distributed on the day of the crowdsale's completion.