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**Chainlink is an __[oracle network for hybrid smart contracts]( that enables interactions with real world data and off chain computation while keeping the integrity, security and reliability of __[blockchain technology]( intact.** ## **The History** **Chainlink was founded by programmer Sergey Nazarov and co-founded by Steve Ellis in 2017.** \ **In 2014, the Secure Asset Exchange (SAE) project was created. It focused on __[decentralised]( clearing. The service closed in January 2016 due to claims made by American regulators. Nazarov and Ellis, who were both involved with the creation of SAE, focused on the development of a different project called __[Smart Contract]( which Chainlink falls under.** \ **On September 4th 2017 Nazarov and Ellis co-authored a whitepaper with professor Ari Jules from Cornell University. The paper introduced Chainlink’s protocol and network. Chainlink carried out a crowd sale for the LINK token on September 19th of the same year. The sale was a success, selling $32 million worth of tokens in two hours. However, $29 million from the sale was raised before the sale therefore less than 10% of the tokens were bought by the public. One link sold for $0.11.** \ **In 2018, Chainlink integrated an execution environment based __[blockchain oracle]( that connected the __[Ethereum blockchain]( with web resources that use __[HTTPS](** **Chainlink registered its trademark in 2019.** ## **Biggest Claim to Fame** **The decentralised platform developed by Chainlink and fuelled by the LINK token managed to stay afloat during the period when the prices dropped and did not peak, commonly known as the __[crypto winter.]( LINK’s market value increased by 136% per token rising from $0.22 to $0.52 during this time, which put its __[cryptocurrency]( performance ahead of the larger cryptocurrencies which dropped in value within the same timeframe.** \ **Chainlink also combines the ideas of __[Bitcoin](, which offers transfer of value, and __[Ethereum](, which allows for the creation of smart contracts. Chainlink merges both concepts and adds the possibility of the blockchain interacting with real world data. By using Chainlink, smart contracts can interact and operate with data from the traditional financial market which enhances the use of the technology. This makes Chainlink more popular for those who need the function.** \ **Chainlink has developed a platform for blockchain oracle that allows smart contracts to get data from the traditional financial system, something that smart contracts on Ethereum don’t have a way to access outside of the Ethereum ecosystem.** \ ## **Chainlink Criticism** **The biggest criticism Chainlink faces is in regard to the __[centralization]( in terms of their security and vetting of node validators. Chainlink centrally curates and verifies node validators and determines the trustworthiness through proprietary methods. This means everyone who uses the system has to trust that the information from the validators is accurate and fair. However, there is no means to verify whether data from the validator is accurate or true.** \ **Chainlink also has a problem in collecting compensation from the smart contracts. There is an amount of collateral set aside for use in case a mistake is made on either side of a smart contract. However, the value is fixed and claims are hard to follow up on. The compensation may be too high or too low for the damages caused. Even when reported, the follow up is not easy to deal with as the value of the mistake cannot be proven with an appropriate level of accuracy.** ## **The Chainlink Team** **Chainlink was created by Sergey Nazarov and co-founded by Steve Ellis in 2017.** \ **Sergei Nazarov founded Exist Local in 2009 which was a peer to peer marketplace. He proceeded to work as a partner at QED capital for three years and founded a decentralised email service known as Crypto Mail. He was involved with the creation of the Secure Asset Exchange that focused on decentralised clearing which was closed in 2016. He and Sam Ellis, another member of the SAE cofounded Chainlink together.** \ **Sam Ellis headed the development team as a software engineer at Pivotal labs, a consulting firm based in California before joining the SAE and later joining Sergei Nazarov in forming the Chainlink.** ## **In Conclusion** **In terms of smart contracts, Chainlink is unmatched. The technology they use gives it an edge over other crypto markets. They have the means to create a self-sufficient and well protected ecosystem through the use of real-world data and blockchain technology. There are, however, problems that can arise from connecting blockchain and real-world data that do not have clear solutions. These solutions and risk assessments should be considered before adopting Chainlink into the daily lives of people.** \ \ **__[Read more chainlink stories on HackerNoon](**