As strong as a rope may be as a means to tie two ends together, it won't take much force before it eventually snaps. Chain links, by comparison, have been entrusted as a structure that could cope with the might of intruders on the other side of your fence, all the way to carrying the weight of a battleship's anchor.
End-to-end, Chainlink similarly offers the same solutions in the blockchain space; a decentralized network of oracle nodes to efficiently, securely, and reliably allow on-chain smart contracts access to off-chain data without fear of hindrance or influence in between.
Chainlink is positioned as the bridge between two worlds. Currently, it already has an impressive roster of partners and clients that relies on its network to secure data, including the likes of Google, Oracle, and SWIFT.
Not only major enterprises, but they're also expanding its reach into decentralized finance (DeFi) and various other services such as weather data, gaming, or sports results. As we begin a major transformation that marks the beginning of the blockchain era, the LINK tokens that fuels this network has great promise for growth to come, as our Chainlink price prediction forecasts a very bullish future.
An ICO was launched on September 19th, 2017, to help fund the development of Chainlink. It raised $32 million by selling 350 million LINK tokens, from a combination of pre-sale offerings to private investors priced at $0.0900/LINK, and then later at a public sale at $0.1100/LINK.
It bottomed out to its all-time low on September 23rd, 2017, at $0.1263, before breaking above the $1.0000 mark around May 2019. From there, it went on a fairly steady upwards pattern but was then impacted by the March 2020 crash that also affected the rest of the cryptocurrency markets.
In LINK's subsequent recovery, it went on a tear before rapidly peaking an all-time high of $19.8500 on August 16th, 2020. This parabolic run made headlines for the massive gains earned by early investors and traders from just months prior.
Current Price, Market Cap, & Supply
Since breaking into its all-time high, LINK has corrected back downwards to a low of below $10.0000 in late-2020, before rising once again. At the time of writing (January 12th, 2021), LINK tokens are trading for $14.9600. By comparison, today's price would put Chainlink's tokens down just 24.67% from its all-time high and up a massive 11,741.25% from its all-time low.
Although initially stable, LINK's pricing action has been fairy volatile recently due to its increased publicity and network growth. It has a total supply cap of 1,000,000,000 LINK, all of which have been pre-mined.
The issuance of LINK's tokens has been distributed among its founders and team members (30%), ICO investors and participants (35%), and reserved for node operators or other network participants as rewards and incentives (35%). LINK's circulating supply of 400,509,556 tokens would give a market capitalization value of $5,989,696,850, making LINK the 10th most valuable cryptocurrency.
With its promise of being a potentially powerful tool in interconnecting widely available off-chain data that most rely on today and securely bring them on-chain to any blockchain network, Chainlink has a very hopeful future. Combined with its already impressive list of partnerships across major enterprises and the growing DeFi industry that uses its oracle nodes and smart contract system, our LINK price prediction forecast based on algorithmic models shows a very bullish sentiment moving forward.
Our models are forecasting a steady upwards gain starting from 2021 onwards. Already, Chainlink's solutions are being deployed to help safeguard against malicious activities. As of January 2021, Warp Finance have announced that they're using Chainlink's decentralized network of oracles to provide verified and tamper-resistant price feeds. They aim to better protect against insecure oracles, such as those that caused an $8 million hack by exploiting flash loans.
By 2023, we expect decentralized finance (DeFi) to make greater headway into more mainstream audiences, attracting users increasingly tempted by digital-only banks and socialized financial services. Following in Warp Finance's footsteps, more DeFi platforms could adopt Chainlink's unique solutions, like their verified price feeds, to further improve the robustness and security of their core functions, decentralized exchanges, lending, or borrowing, or to those offering wallets and staking.
Chainlink's oracle nodes and smart contracts network are designed to be scalable beyond just powering cryptocurrencies. In the next few years, we could see a swath of businesses integrate their current IT infrastructure with blockchain technology to better secure their data.
Chainlink's role as a middleman to move data between off-, and on-chain could rapidly expand to other industries, such as medical data, payments data from PoS terminals, shipping data, asset prices for financial institutions, weather patterns, sports results, and so on.
Chainlink's LINK tokens don't have the same usability factor as some other cryptocurrencies, such as those with immense liquidity and stability to be used as a form of currency for day-to-day transactions. However, as a utility token that is awarded for operating a hugely versatile and powerful network of oracle nodes and the smart contracts working in tandem with it, LINK has an incredible value proposition. It's certainly worth getting looked at if you're thinking of expanding your portfolio, as our Chainlink price prediction models suggest.
Although it is still a nascent industry, this is one that is growing quickly, as more services are pivoting towards adopting blockchain technology. Smart contracts, as a way of confirming transactions, are becoming more widely used, even far beyond the financial industry.
However, smart contracts by themselves cannot easily fetch off-chain data while still maintaining secure end-to-end resistance against manipulation or tampering. Chainlink can bridge that gap, quickly, easily, and securely connecting the wealth of data and information from existing networks and bring them safely onto any blockchain.
A wide array of support guarantees easy compatibility to adopt Chainlink's ecosystem, such as enterprise networks, cloud providers, third-party APIs, IoT devices, payment terminals, and any other resource that feeds data.
Chainlink is making this transition easier by providing tools needed so that enterprises and governments can leverage its network to bring transparent and decentralized data that is underpinned by blockchain technology but without having to incur the massive cost of having to rebuild their entire IT infrastructure.
As one of the top market-cap cryptocurrencies, Chainlink's LINK tokens are widely available on most exchanges. Popular marketplaces such as Binance, CoinBase, Huobi, OKEx, Kraken, Upbit, Bithumb, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, KuCoin, HitBTC, and Bittrex are among the places that offer LINK for trading. You can always use sites such as CoinMarketCap or CoinGecko to get a much more detailed view of where you could buy LINK.
Chainlink's parent company is SmartContract, which was founded in September 2014 to create a bridge between various data sources and securely feed them onto selected blockchains.
However, their original oracle nodes for blockchains were centralized. Chainlink was launched in 2017 to resolve this issue, using the core technology developed by SmartContract, but reorganizing it to become a decentralized structure – based on the Ethereum blockchain.
LINK is an ERC-20 standard token and is awarded to node operators that provide computing power to Chainlink's oracle network. Node operators also have the option of staking their LINK tokens as collateral on the oracle network. Apart from being used as a reward or collateral, LINK could also be spent on Chainlink's data marketplace. Here, data providers can easily sell their valuable data through the Chainlink network.
Chainlink currently has major partners that use its oracle network. Popular decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms such as Kyber, Aave, dYdX, Celcius, Yearn. Finance and several others are plugged into Chainlink's price feed. These price feeds are fetched from trusted APIs – both centralized, and decentralized sources – that are used to determine transactions on these sites. For example, the settlement price for derivatives trading, interest calculations for lending or borrowing, calculating the collateral value of stablecoins or measuring the rebalance for asset management.
They have also expanded beyond financial applications, as Chainlink's oracle networks are being used to secure other data streams. Theta Network relies on Chainlink to verify viewership data and fight against fraud, while Arbol uses Chainlink nodes to securely bring weather forecasts and data.
Chainlink has also partnered with Google that allows for Ethereum-based smart-contracts to use Chainlink's oracle nodes to bring data from its off-chain cloud servers. Chainlink VRF is a new service that introduces cryptographically-secure random number generation (RNG) mechanics into blockchain-based games without fear of unfairness or cheating.
Chainlink's innovations in the blockchain industry have no doubt an incredible amount of potential. It has the means to not only attract more businesses to adopt the inevitable principle of decentralization but also to do it in a way that's safe and secure.
The peace of mind aspect is a valuable consideration, especially for large entities responsible for countless petabytes of data and with billions of dollars at stake in the event of failure. The transit for information on its way to the blockchain is rife with risks, one that Chainlink can help avoid.
The major risk for Chainlink now is competition. Its role as a middleman for data would no longer be tenable if other innovators in the blockchain space can somehow integrate smart contracts through to external data sources without fear of interference. In other words, ‘cutting out the middlemen'.
For the time being, however, it looks as though Chainlink is primed to continue growing and to hopefully expand its clientele list even wider. As its ecosystem becomes larger and busier, it'll have nothing short of an explosive impact for the LINK tokens that run it.