Chainlink is the industry standard for building, accessing, and selling oracle services needed to power hybrid smart contracts on any blockchain. Chainlink oracle networks provide smart contracts with a way to reliably connect to any external API and leverage secure off-chain computations for enabling feature-rich applications. Chainlink currently secures tens of billions of dollars across DeFi, insurance, gaming, and other major industries, and offers global enterprises and leading data providers a universal gateway to all blockchains.
A blockchain oracle is any system that services a smart contract by providing it with data from an off-chain source or connecting it with an off-chain system. Oracles enable connectivity between blockchains and real-world data by interfacing with external APIs and data feeds, allowing them to pull data for or push data from a smart contract.
The Chainlink Network refers to all the decentralized oracle networks actively operating using the Chainlink protocol, including individual oracles, data providers running their own node, and node operators. By enabling smart contracts to quickly and securely connect to off-chain data sources using decentralized oracle networks, the Chainlink Network helps developers build more robust and diverse blockchain applications using real-world inputs and outputs. Additionally, as middleware between low-level blockchain protocols and external, off-chain data sources, the Chainlink Network serves as an abstraction layer for data providers to easily sell their existing APIs to any blockchain network.
Node operators and the broader Chainlink community will be able to stake their LINK via node operators and get rewards for helping enhance the cryptoeconomic security of the network. Providing accurate and timely feed updates is necessary for the node operators to actually receive those rewards and in order to enforce the best data quality. In the early-stage beta implementation of Chainlink Staking, v0.1, stakers will have the opportunity to monitor the feed, raise an alert, and get rewarded if they successfully detect in a timely manner that the ETH/USD feed has not met certain performance requirements. In v0.1, alerting conditions will be focused on feed uptime but will expand in scope in later versions. The Chainlink Staking design is quite complex, so its elements are going to be brought forward step by step.
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