Firstly, we’d like to thank the entire Chainlink community for all the amazing work they’ve already done to create the most widely used oracle network in the blockchain industry. We’ve all played an important role in enabling DeFi smart contracts to reach new heights, and in starting to move the entire smart contract industry towards more advanced use cases through the appearance of universally connected smart contracts.
As the Chainlink Network’s usage, network size, and technical community is now entering a new stage of rapid growth, we feel it’s important to continually support that growth through a Chainlink Community Grant Program.
The next stage of Chainlink’s growth will be defined by accelerating two positive feedback loops around both placing more data on-chain and continuing to increase the security guarantees with which that data is delivered. Combining these two positive feedback loops will rapidly increase the amount of oracle-validated data that can be securely utilized to generate even more universally connected smart contracts in various industries. We have already seen and believe that we will continue to see increased access to oracle-validated data, driving an increase in the development of new smart contracts that will come to secure even more value across an increasingly large and varied collection of use cases in DeFi, decentralized insurance, blockchain gaming, and many other categories of financial contracts.
It is Chainlink’s goal to accelerate the adoption of smart contracts to the point where they are the dominant form of digital agreement for all contracts everywhere. This is a goal that we can only achieve together with our amazing community, their amazing ideas, the diligent development of those ideas into reality, and a community-wide commitment to creating an economically fair world powered by universally connected smart contracts.
In order to clarify the key categories of development that community members should consider working on with us, we will consider two important virtuous cycles which the Chainlink Network already has underway, and which we are now seeking to accelerate.
Accelerating the On-chain Data Cycle
Growing the amount of reliable, oracle-validated data that is accessible on-chain will accelerate the number of smart contract applications that can be built and greatly shorten the time it takes to launch them:
- Access to a deeper and more diverse set of high-quality data feeds and APIs leads to new smart contracts across multiple different use cases and applications.
- Enabling more universally connected smart contracts grows the overall base of paying users, culminating in larger revenue pools for data providers to capture.
- A larger market of smart contracts to sell high-quality data creates financial incentives for more data providers to put data on-chain and expand their business model to cater to this emerging smart contract market.
- The appearance of more data creates even more contracts, accelerating the cycle.
The Chainlink Network is already experiencing a data cycle that’s quickly accelerating, as evidenced by having the largest collection of on-chain price data on public blockchains. Chainlink Price Reference Data is relied on by many leading DeFi applications, with a rapidly growing increase in usage. This is driven both by new DeFi smart contracts using the data already available and those applications’ continued growth in secured value, which justifies an increase in the variety of data that they can access to make additional DeFi markets and continuing the virtuous cycle.
Accelerating the Oracle Network Security Cycle
Securing smart contracts to the point that they can manage billions to trillions of dollars in user and corporate funds requires scaling the security and reliability guarantees provided by oracles.
- As more smart contracts get built across numerous different markets and applications, a larger pool of user fees is available for Chainlink Oracle Nodes to compete for.
- Successfully competing for smart contracts’ data delivery and validation fees is determined by the cryptographically provable and historical quality of a node or node network.
- As Chainlink nodes and their combined networks continue to increase in both number of nodes and overall security, the value that can be secured by these oracles also increases.
- As more value is secured, more fees become available for that value’s security, accelerating the cycle.
We are already seeing demand for increasingly secure node operators and are excited to see great community projects like https://market.link/ and https://www.reputation.link/ taking various steps to highlight the quality of node operators. We do believe that smart contracts and their users will be willing to pay for greater security guarantees, especially as the smart contracts consuming the data rise in value secured. For example, an enterprise smart contract responsible for moving billions of dollars in corporate funds should justify paying a premium for more security through higher quality data and a more secure oracle network that uses more advanced cryptographic security techniques, if that means it mitigates a large array of risks and attack vectors.
If you’re interested in the more detailed thoughts around these cycles, how they fit into Chainlink’s larger plans and how the grant program seeks to accelerate them, this video may be of interest:
Accelerating the Data and Security Cycles With Chainlink’s Community Grants Program
The Chainlink Community Grant Program is meant to accelerate both of these virtuous cycles even further by supporting the Chainlink ecosystem teams that are building the additional tools and services that will be used by data providers, node operators, and smart contract developers interacting with the Chainlink Network.
We encourage those applying to the grant program to focus on the benefit their project will have to both the enablement of universally connected smart contracts using Chainlink and the improvement of the Chainlink network’s ability to provide increasingly better data to more blockchain environments. Grants will be made in cash and/or LINK.
Some key categories to consider include:
- Easier consumption of Chainlink networks by various smart contracts
- Accelerating the placement of additional data onto the Chainlink network
- Accelerating integrations with various blockchain environments
- Proving a Chainlink oracle network’s status, security, and reliability to users
- Any other category of Chainlink oracle network consumption and/or universally connected smart contract enablement that you believe Chainlink can be useful for
If you would like to participate in the Chainlink Grant Program, please apply here.
We’d like to once again thank our community for their support. We’re excited about empowering developers everywhere to create the universally connected smart contracts that will come to redefine our industry.