We could have limited this article to just telling you that at approximately 17:00 UTC on June 26, Coinbase announced that its platform for professional and/or experienced traders/investors—Coinbase Pro—had listed Chainlink (LINK). But there is much more to the story of the top performing cryptoasset of 2019 (with a year-to-date return on investment of +692%).

What Is Chainlink?

Here is the problem that Chainlink says it is trying to solve: “smart contracts can’t access data on their own”. The reason is that the blockchains that power smart contracts “cannot support native communication with external systems” due to “their underlying consensus protocols.”

If in this context we define an “oracle” as a node that “provides connectivity to the outside world,” developers of smart contracts could use centralized oracles, unfortunately, this would create “the same problem which smart contracts themselves seek to avoid,” i.e. “a single point of failure.” If that single node fail fails, the smart control fails.

The solution, according to Chainlink, is “a highly reliable decentralized oracle network” as opposed to using “existing oracles”, which are “centralized services.”

Chainlink connects smart contracts to the inputs and outputs they need by allowing them to “connect to any API” and “send payments anywhere”:

Chainlink Inuts and Outputs Diagram.png

Although the first implementation of Chainlink is for the Ethereum blockchain, its white paper says that intention is “to support all leading smart contract networks for both off-chain and cross-chain interactions.”

On 30 May 2019, Chainlink announced that its decentralized oracles had gone live on the Ethereum mainnet:

Chainlink’s Partnership Announcements

Since July 2017, Chainlink has announced an impressive list of partnerships:

LINK’s Price Action

At press time (15:00 UTC on June 27), according to CryptoCompare, LINK is trading at $2.313:

LINK - 24 Hour CC Chart - 27 June 2019.png

What is notable is that LINK is the only token/coin among the top 20 (by market cap) that is currently in the green. Its reported market cap is $0.80 billion, which makes it the 20th most valuable cryptoasset.

Here are LINK’s return on investment (ROI) figures for various periods:

  • 24-hour: +9.88%
  • one week: +26.14%
  • one month: +83.65%
  • three months: +355.53%
  • six months: +679.05%
  • one year: +1210.98%

But the ROI figure we are most interested in for the purpose of this article is the year-to-date (YTD) number, which is +692.89%, making it the top performing cryptoasset so far this year. This means Chainlink (LINK) is doing better in 2019 than, for example, Binance Coin (+479.78%), Ravencoin (+361.04%), and Bitcoin (+218.07%).

But beyond the amazing performance of the LINK token, it should be pointed out that Chainlink is an extremely important project, and it deserves to be looked at more closely by anyone interested in smart contracts.

Featured Image Courtesy of Chainlink