Today marks three years since Chainlink launched on Ethereum mainnet. Since then, and with the help of a global community of developers, researchers, contributors, data providers, node operators, community members, and more, Chainlink has expanded to become critical oracle infrastructure for Web3.
When Chainlink launched on May 30, 2019, the protocol supported a single ETH/USD Price Feed secured by three oracle nodes. In the three years since, Chainlink has grown to support nearly a thousand independent decentralized oracle networks across more than 12 blockchains and layer-2 solutions, securing tens of billions of dollars in smart contract value.
Since Chainlink’s launch, the role of blockchain oracles has fundamentally evolved. Seen by many as the invisible backbone of DeFi, Chainlink has expanded far beyond a price oracle mechanism to now power a wide range of trust-minimized services that are fueling smart contract innovation and adoption.
Web3’s Oracle Backbone: From Data to Computation
Solving the Oracle Problem
The primary focus of Chainlink has always been to help smart contracts realize their immense potential by solving the blockchain oracle problem. Solving this problem means securely connecting isolated on-chain environments with the off-chain world. The major verticals we see across Web3 today, such as DeFi, NFTs, and parametric insurance, would not have taken off without reliable access to off-chain information like market data, sports stats, and weather conditions—which is to say, without a reliable oracle solution.
Understanding how critical Chainlink oracles are to Web3 is ultimately about understanding the significance of the gap between what’s on-chain and what’s off-chain, and the innovation leap of hybrid smart contracts, which combine these two worlds.
Providing New Trust-Minimized Services
As pioneering oracle technology, Chainlink has expanded the role of oracles to encompass not only reliable data delivery but also secure off-chain computation. From verifiable randomness to transaction automation, Chainlink provides a growing collection of trust-minimized services that empower developers to build more secure, cost-efficient, and fully-functional dApps, ranging from dynamic NFTs and play-to-earn games to yield farming protocols, stablecoins, and DAOs.
Network and Ecosystem Milestones
While there are many milestones to showcase at today’s three-year mark, below are a few that stand out and best capture Chainlink’s impact on Web3:
- DeFi enablement. Recognized by Bank of America as a key driver behind the growth of DeFi’s TVL, Chainlink powers numerous markets and top protocols across the DeFi economy, including Aave, Compound, dYdX, Frax, Liquity, and Synthetix. Read How Chainlink Price Feeds Secure the DeFi Ecosystem.
- Multichain support. As blockchain-agnostic oracle infrastructure, Chainlink is natively integrated with over 12 blockchain and layer-2 networks, including Arbitrum, Avalanche, BNB Chain, Ethereum, Fantom, Gnosis Chain, Harmony, Heco, Moonriver, Moonbeam, Optimism, Polygon, and Starkware.
- New on-chain datasets. Beyond an extensive collection of crypto asset data, Chainlink oracles also securely bring data on-chain around commodities, FX rates, indices, weather readings, sports stats, election results, flight info, and more.
- Off-chain computation. Chainlink has brought secure off-chain computation to smart contract development, including tamper-proof verifiable randomness with Chainlink VRF, enhanced efficiency with the Off-Chain Reporting protocol, and hyper-reliable decentralized smart contract execution with Chainlink Automation.
- Developer onboarding. Through ecosystem-wide initiatives like SmartCon, hackathons, bootcamps, and the Community Grant Program, Chainlink has attracted a fast-growing community of Web3 builders and helped propel numerous early-stage projects from prototype to mainnet.
- 1,320+ Chainlinked projects. The Chainlink ecosystem spans from projects at the forefront of DeFi to leading global enterprises that are eager to access the smart contract economy, such as AccuWeather, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Swisscom, The Associated Press, and Deutsche Telekom MMS.
- Smart contract research and innovation. Chainlink has been and continues to be the nexus for cutting-edge Web3 research and development, from the cost-efficient data aggregation protocol of OCR to the superlinear staking model of the Chainlink 2.0 whitepaper to secure cross-chain messaging with the planned release of CCIP.
- Positive social impact through hybrid smart contracts. By enabling socially conscious projects like the Lemonade Foundation, Arbol, ACRE Africa, Etherisc, dClimate, HealthTrends.AI, and many more, Chainlink is helping power blockchain innovation for the common good.
A Thank You to Our Community
From day one, the goal of Chainlink has been to provide the most secure oracle services possible to unlock DeFi and equip global industries to realize the power of smart contracts. Through long-term vision, a radical focus on meeting market demand, and continuous battle-testing, Chainlink has emerged as the industry-standard oracle infrastructure.
This market position is ultimately thanks to the tremendous talent and commitment of our community, from those who contribute to Chainlink’s open-source code, to the node operators who power the network, to the dApp teams who integrate and provide feedback on Chainlink services, to the developers who discover new possibilities around Chainlinked contracts, to the community advocates and ambassadors who help broader audiences understand the profound vision of a world powered of cryptographic truth.
For your ceaseless enthusiasm and support, we thank you.
Below are some of our most popular resources to guide you wherever you may be on your Chainlink journey.
If you’re new to Chainlink:
- What Crypto Is Really About
- What Is Cryptographic Truth?
- What Is Chainlink? A Beginner’s Guide
- 77+ Smart Contract Use Cases Enabled by Chainlink
If you want to know about the future of Chainlink:
- The Future of Chainlink
- Chainlink Staking: An Overview
- Understanding the Security Impact Curve and Future Fee Opportunity
- Introducing the Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP)
If you’re ready to build with Chainlink: