Chainlink (LINK) - Oracle/middleware that connects smart contracts to external world



https://www.americanbanker.com/news/the-race-to-connect-smart-contracts-to-the-real-world

Smart contracts technology is rapidly maturing. Self-executing coded agreements are being harnessed to launch new digital assets and will soon be used by American corporations to issue shares of stock on a blockchain overseen by the state of Delaware.

But there is something impeding the technology, keeping its use largely confined, thus far, to the hothouse realm of cryptocurrencies.

Because of how blockchain transactions are recorded and verified by consensus, smart contracts are unable, on their own, to talk to external data feeds. That makes them excellent tools for playing in the Ethereum sandbox but not so useful in the outside world.

What is needed, experts say, are more and better "oracles," pieces of middleware by which smart contracts can receive, and act on, data from off-chain systems.

Only through oracles can smart contracts provide benefit to banks — or indeed do much more than move digital tokens around. A smart contract behaving like a financial instrument might need to know commodity or equity prices, for instance.

"Part of the reason that we're seeing Ethereum used almost exclusively for ICOs is that there is a lack of robust, general-purpose oracles today, and therefore it's very difficult to construct useful, interesting smart contracts," said Ari Juels, co-director of the Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech in New York, who recently became an adviser to the San Francisco startup SmartContract. "So I see it as an absolutely critical piece of infrastructure."

Sergey Nazarov, SmartContract's founder and CEO.
"Without data inputs and without payment outputs that users want to receive, it's difficult to imagine a financial agreement of any worth," says Sergey Nazarov, SmartContract's founder and CEO.
SmartContract has made building better oracles its mission. The startup didn't invent the concept, nor is it the only company trying to enable smart contracts with real-world applications. But it is positioning itself to succeed.

SmartContract recently completed phase one of an implementation with Swift that will allow banks' back-office Swift systems to talk to smart contracts. That is meaningful because, if a smart contract can respond to a Swift message, it can send money in dollars or yen, not just in cryptocurrency.

"Without data inputs and without payment outputs that users want to receive, it's difficult to imagine a financial agreement of any worth," said Sergey Nazarov, SmartContract's founder and CEO.

SmartContract's work with the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication came about after the startup won the organization's Innotribe Industry Challenge earlier this year. The partnership so far amounts to "a successful proof of concept," Hazel Nolan, Swift's project manager for Innotribe innovation programs, said in a brief email.

SmartContract is already having concrete discussions with Swift about phase two of the implementation, according to Nazarov, and Nolan said her organization looks forward "to exploring potential opportunities to work together in the future."

If all goes well, 11,000 banks will eventually be able to use smart contracts to initiate payments.

SmartContract, despite its name, is not actually in the business of writing smart contracts. Nazarov sees his company instead as "an accelerant," connecting disparate systems.

To that end, he hopes soon to launch a network called ChainLink, in which various node operators will function as sellers of data or payments capabilities, and will be paid in LINK tokens, a new digital asset Nazarov intends to roll out this year.

SmartContract has been developing ChainLink for the past three years.

"This isn't an idea. This isn't a white paper. This isn't something on a whiteboard somewhere," Nazarov said.

The network is designed to empower an emerging business model in which oracles will be paid for what they offer, just as cryptocurrency miners are.

"Oracles are the new miners in the blockchain world," Patrick Murck, special counsel at the New York law firm Cooley, recalls saying at a conference last year. "And I still believe that's true."

Driving the business model will be the need for reliable data sources. In many cases, a single source won't be enough.

Murck gives an example: Let's say that two baseball fans want to bet on the outcome of a game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Each fan stakes one bitcoin, and they create a smart contract that will rely on a trusted, machine-readable data source — the ESPN sports wire — to learn who has won the game. At that point, the wagered cryptocurrency will be released to either the Yankees fan or the Red Sox fan.

Let's say the fans, devoted as they are, attend the game and see the Red Sox win five to four. But at ESPN somebody makes a transcription error and reverses those numbers. The error is immediately caught and corrected, but too late for our hapless Red Sox fan; the smart contract has already released the bitcoins to the wrong person.

"These errors in data happen all the time," said Murck, who is also a fellow at Harvard University's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

In financial systems, such a foul-up could be disastrous. The ChainLink network, says Nazarov, should provide an easy way to match up smart contracts with the information resources they need.

"You can go and say, 'I want to make bank payments from HSBC; here's what I'm willing to pay,' " Nazarov said.

SmartContract intends to launch an initial coin offering for its LINK token this fall, with a fundraising goal of $33 million. One billion tokens will be created, of which 35% will be distributed in the crowdsale. Another 35% will be given to node operators to kickstart the ChainLink ecosystem. SmartContract plans to retain the rest to cover ongoing development costs.

While the success of ChainLink is uncertain, oracles seem destined only to grow in importance over time.

"Smart contracts voraciously need data in order to do their job," Murck said. "Somebody's got to provide it."
TLDR version:
-Oracles/middleware that connects smart contracts to external world
-partnership with SWIFT (protocol for banks) and adoption by 11000 banks if successful
-working prototype/proof of concept
-product has been worked on for over 4 years
-Devs are all killers. One of the new ones is director of engineering for Facebook
-I think this will do very well (I think 50-100x isn't crazy talk in a 1 year time-frame)



Sept 19 is ICO: http://smartcontract.com/link
 

kinjutsu

Pelican
This is just a bad idea from the word go.

In cyber security circles this is unbelievably bad practice to have everything linked together.
Once part of the information gets compromised the rest of it goes down.

Use separate emails/logins/passwords it will be a godsend if/when someones cracks one of your accounts.
 

Deepdiver

Hummingbird
Gold Member
http://therealnews.com/t2/story:19960:Equifax-Data-Breach-is-a-10-out-of-10-Scandal

Ooops we were all massively compromised who have used Credit in the USA - 142 Million FULLZ records hacked - not clear how Chainlink could prevent this though if a New Credit Reporting Agency kept all credit records like cryptos in a distributed blockchain with the owners of their data (All of us) required to approve each release of their info via private keys in an encrypted and unhackable hardware wallet like Trezor or Ledger Nano. - i.e. when you apply for a new Credit Card, Car Loan or Mortgage and the Credit issuer had to verify their identity via advanced Non-NSA SHA-3 encryption https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Hash_Algorithms.

I like the concept of ChainLink - though I do think the term Oracles confuses the function in ChainLink context with Oracle Corp, and as Kinjutsu mentioned without an advanced SHA=3 blockchain and users verification or pre-verification not to make the smart contracts execution too cumbersome (one time encrypted authorization that gets stored on the blockchain in the same chainlinks protocol for each smart contract mechanism - not sure that ChainLink has sufficient cyber security built in as they are only the middle ware enabler - i.e. able to avoid legal liability if smart contracts executed in "error" i.e. on or the other side of the transaction hacked.

Oh yeah keep an eye on your Credit Card and Bank/Trading Account Statements and change your PIN numbers to be safe.
 

thebassist

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Olav said:
How do we take part in the ICO? Has anyone received anything from them by email?
No emails yet. I hope you have a couple of emails signed up already (registration only closes on monday) and individual wallets prepared for each email account.
 

NewMeta

Newbie
Translation: we know its a sure thing so we need you to put less into it so we can buy more of it.

I dont buy that article, the hype for the coin is real, even just based on /biz/, and that board had enough influence to moon OMG and bring IOTA down 40%.
 

thebassist

Kingfisher
Gold Member
RE: Chainlink (LINK)

Ray Carlton said:
A undecided perspective on Chainlink here:

https://hacked.com/ico-analysis-chainlink/

We arrive at a 5, or lukewarm for Chainlink. We fear that the lack of details may be attributable to the lack of a dedicated team, not just a desire to build hype. We wouldn’t put too much into it, but wouldn’t write it off or be surprised if it does extremely well, either.
Seems that the biggest criticisms that this article refers to are their currently small team, and their communication as a company.

I didn't see anything in that article about their partnership with SWIFT, which is a pretty big deal in my opinion.

Sergey Nazarov on working with SWIFT:
https://www.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/comments/6lg6kr/swift_completes_smart_contracts_trial_with/dju2mlt/?utm_content=permalink&utm_medium=front&utm_source=reddit&utm_name=ethtrader

Our goal when looking at SWIFT's high quality messaging standard, which is in use by 11,000+ bank backends, has been it being a messaging standard accepted/understood by a ChainLink, effeciently connecting a bank's backend systems to smart contracts on Ethereum (public or private). This way the banks won't need to reinvent their backend (as they haven't for 40+ years e.g. Cobalt), they can easily interact with smart contracts with one integration, and smart contract developers on Ethereum will be able to access payment, collateral and governance services provided by banks in order to make better smart contracts for everyone.

If it was easy for an Ethereum smart contract to send payment in local fiat currency, that would greatly improve their appeal to end-users in both the consumer and securities context.
Additionally it didn't make a single mention of its pretty dang stellar advisory board:

Ari Juels was previously the Chief Scientist at RSA and is currently a distinguished professor of Computer Science at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, as well as a Co-Director of IC3, an initiative of faculty members at Cornell University, Cornell Tech, UC Berkeley, UIUC, and Technion. As the former Chief Scientist of RSA, an industry-leading provider of business-driven security solutions, he played a key role in making significant contributions to the field of cybersecurity. Beyond his many contributions to cybersecurity, Juels also produced world-changing contributions to decentralized infrastructure through work such as the Proof of Retrievability paper, which leading decentralized systems like Storj and Filecoin are heavily based on.

Andrew Miller is a well-known authority on decentralized consensus and the creation of highly secure decentralized systems, which has led him to advise a limited number of top-tier decentralized infrastructure initiatives such as Zcash, Tezos, and the ChainLink Network. In addition, Miller is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the prestigious University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an Associate Director of IC3.

Hudson Jameson brings extensive experience in Blockchain, digital currency, and finance to SmartContract.com’s Board of Advisors. Jameson serves as the Ethereum Community Manager and is a well-known authority on smart contracts and the Ethereum development roadmap.

In describing SmartContract.com, Hudson has said:

“They have been working on this problem since before Ethereum was even a thing and I believe they have the most experience tackling this problem.”

Juels, Miller, and Jameson join Blockchain industry leaders Jake Brukhman and Brian Lio on SmartContract.com’s Board of Advisors. Brukhman was previously the CTO at Triton Research, and also launched CoinFund, a Blockchain technology research company and crypto-asset investment vehicle. In addition, he serves as the token sale advisor to leading projects like Kik’s Kin Token. Brian Lio is CEO of Smith+Crown, a widely accepted leader in Blockchain research and analysis of both ongoing token sales and the larger evolution of decentralized technology.
Also note that the most recent addition to the advisory board is Evan Cheng, the current director of engineering at facebook, and that they also have strong connections to the top-end of US academia via IC3 (Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts, a collaboration between Cornell, UC Berkeley, and some others) who SmartContracts has already been working with previously.

Truth be told, I'm not worried about the currently small team given the strength of their connections in all corners of both the crypto world and academia- given this I highly doubt they will have much trouble finding talented developers as the project progresses.

I do agree that they definitely need to improve their communication going forward- some companies have hired dedicated PR folks to be responsible for just this task and I would hope that Chainlink will at some point do the same.

In summation:

[attachment=37546]
(All credits to Burner for this masterpiece)
 

Attachments

thebassist

Kingfisher
Gold Member
The signup just closed now, with the token crowdsale beginning soon. This was probably the second most hyped ICO of the month after Kyber, it will be interesting to see what the demand for the tokens will be like once they hit exchanges (token distribution should occur just after crowdsale completion).

In the mid-term, the dates to look out for are October 16-19, during which the next phase of Chainlink's collaboration with SWIFT will be announced. Most likely we will see a nice pump in the runup to the conference (hopefully by then tokens will already have multiplied in value a couple times) so keep your eyes out for that.

https://www.financedigest.com/smart...art-contracts-to-off-chain-data-payments.html

SmartContract.com has already acquired industry leaders in financial technology as paying customers for its revolutionary blockchain middleware technology. SWIFT, the leading global provider of secure financial messaging services, is working with the company to create its own SWIFT Smart Oracle, which will allow smart contracts on various networks to make payments, send governance instructions, and release collateral with more than 11,000 banks. After completing a successful phase 1 implementation in May, the details of which are set to be announced at the upcoming SIBOS conference, SWIFT has continued to work with SmartContract.com towards a Phase 2 Implementation.
 

superschalk

Woodpecker
The Chainlink token sale tomorrow looks quite fishy to me. There is no smart contract and everyone has to send ETH to an individual wallet. How is it possible that a company specialized on smart contract is not using a smart contract for their token sale?

Also it could happen that they sell out quickly in this case if you are not lucky they will keep your Ether and only refund you after a couple of weeks according to their Email.

I stay away from this ICO. instead I put some buy orders for more Kyber on Etherdelta.
 

Ray Carlton

Robin
Gold Member
So who got their e-mail from Chainlink for the Crowdsale?

Thanks for your interest in our work on ChainLink, and the LINK Token Sale.

We’re glad to say that we’re able to include you in our token sale using the below process and its associated links. Please follow the steps and recommendations below to participate in the token sale.

We’ve done our best to include the wider community, which means that each token sale participant will initially have an individual cap.

Your initial individual cap will be 7 ETH, which may increase in later rounds of the crowdsale, and will be made accessible to you at the start of the crowdsale (September 19th, 2017, 15:00 UTC) through the Ethereum address in your unique token sale link: ..... Both this unique link and the address revealed there is meant only for use by you, so we ask that you please keep it private.

Once we reach the crowdsale start time of September 19th, 2017, 15:00 UTC, your Ethereum address will be fully revealed, and you will be able to send up to your individual cap to that address.

Once the crowdsale has reached its target cap, your address will no longer be able to receive ETH, and any ETH sent after that point will be returned to the sending address over the coming weeks.

It appears likely that we will reach the target cap needed to complete the crowdsale in the first hours after the crowdsale opens, so we suggest that you’re prepared to act on your ETH cap as soon as the crowdsale opens.


LINK Token Sale Pricing

We feel it’s important to let people know their individual cap before the crowdsale begins so that all participants can be well prepared for the crowdsale, for this reason we need to set the USD/ETH conversion rate at the time when we are setting the initial individual cap of all participants. The setting of the USD/ETH conversion rate, also tells us how many LINK we are able to sell for every ETH, in order to meet our target of raising $32MM (the "Target Cap") during the crowdsale.

The USD/ETH conversion rate we are using is the rate on CoinMarketCap at approximately 15:00 UTC time today, September 18th.

At the USD/ETH conversion rate of $285 USD for every 1 ETH, in conjunction with an effort to maintain our target cap, we arrive at a crowdsale conversion rate of 2600 LINK for every 1 ETH for the first 24 hours of the crowdsale.

This new rate does apply to all presale transactions, meaning that the percentage increase gained on our initial pricing, will be applied to this new pricing. So that any purchasers percentage gain as a presale participant will remain intact.


Security Recommendations

For your security during the crowdsale, we’re sending you a partially revealed version of your unique crowdsale address:
....

Please make sure to compare the first 8 characters displayed above, and the last 8 characters displayed above to the address that is revealed to you at the start of the crowdsale, they should match. If the beginning and end of the address displayed to you during the crowdsale does not match the address given to you in this email, do not use the address displayed, and please contact us at [email protected] for a new address.

Also, please make sure to only rely on links from SmartContract.com for the Crowdsale.

Also, please make sure to send ETH only from an address whose private key you control. DO NOT send money directly from exchanges such as Coinbase or ShapeShift. If you use an exchange you must transfer your ETH to a wallet, such as MyEtherWallet, before purchasing.


Crowdsale Process Details


Round One of the crowdsale will continue until either 1) the Target Cap is reached, or 2) Round One of the crowdsale reaches its designated end time of September 20th, 2017, 01:00 UTC. If Round One goes to the end of its designated time and the Target Cap has not been reached, then each address that filled their initial cap in Round One will be given an increased ETH cap allowing them to purchase additional LINK during Round Two, which will begin on September 20th, 2017, 03:00 UTC.

The increased cap for Round Two will be displayed in you unique link shortly before the start of Round Two, which will continue until either: 1) the Target Cap is reached, or 2) Round Two of the crowdsale reaches its designated end time of September 20th, 2017, 15:00 UTC. If Round Two goes to the end of its designated time and the Target Cap has not been reached, then each address that filled their initial cap in Round One will be able to send as much ETH as they’d like until the Target Cap is reached.

Round Three begins at the end of Round Two, on September 20th, 2017, 15:00 UTC, and runs until the end of the crowdsale. In Round Three anyone with an active crowdsale address can send any amount of ETH until the target cap is reached, or until the crowdsale end date is reached on October 19th, 2017.

This tiered approach allows us to initially include more people from the larger community, and if there is anything remaining after Round One, possibly allow participants with larger amounts to buy additional LINK.

We will let you know when the crowdsale is completed by updating our site.

Thank you for your interest in our work, and your support of the ChainLink Network, our entire team does very much appreciate it.

Newbie question: Can I use the ETH, which I store in my JAXX wallet?
 

Bill Brasky

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Yes myetherwallet. I was a fan of Metamask but am hostile to anything requiring Chrome/google.

Buy a ledger/trezor and use it with MWE. If you are in crypto there is absolutely no reason not to shell out $100 or less for one of these.
 

Bill Brasky

Kingfisher
Gold Member
It appears likely that we will reach the target cap needed to complete the crowdsale in the first hours after the crowdsale opens, so we suggest that you’re prepared to act on your ETH cap as soon as the crowdsale opens.
I loled when I saw their ICO discount structure up to week four. No way in hell it would make it that far.
 

void

Pelican
Questions:
1) I don't want to use myetherwallet. If I use the standard Ethereum wallet, I should not need any extra settings? This is a normal transaction a->b.
2) They ask for a deposit on an unique Ether-Wallet, probably so that no one spoils the adress on reddit and to enforce their limit of 7 ETH/person. But we would not receive anything in return, how do they plan to distribute the Tokens?

Checked the website:
"LINK tokens will be distributed within 24 hours of the crowdsale's completion."
That means they will create contracts with the contributing Ether-adressess?
 

CleanSlate

Hummingbird
Gold Member
superschalk said:
Also it could happen that they sell out quickly in this case if you are not lucky they will keep your Ether and only refund you after a couple of weeks according to their Email.
Where in the email do they say this?
 

Bill Brasky

Kingfisher
Gold Member
CleanSlate said:
superschalk said:
Also it could happen that they sell out quickly in this case if you are not lucky they will keep your Ether and only refund you after a couple of weeks according to their Email.
Where in the email do they say this?
Once the crowdsale has reached its target cap, your address will no longer be able to receive ETH, and any ETH sent after that point will be returned to the sending address over the coming weeks.
 

Bill Brasky

Kingfisher
Gold Member
superschalk said:
The Chainlink token sale tomorrow looks quite fishy to me. There is no smart contract and everyone has to send ETH to an individual wallet. How is it possible that a company specialized on smart contract is not using a smart contract for their token sale?

Also it could happen that they sell out quickly in this case if you are not lucky they will keep your Ether and only refund you after a couple of weeks according to their Email.

I stay away from this ICO. instead I put some buy orders for more Kyber on Etherdelta.
Where does it say that there is no smart contract? Also, there are not too many variables at play that would require the programming of a smart contract.

What will happen, just like almost all ICOs is that the token's will be sent to the address from which the ETH was received based on what they said in their email

At the USD/ETH conversion rate of $285 USD for every 1 ETH, in conjunction with an effort to maintain our target cap, we arrive at a crowdsale conversion rate of 2600 LINK for every 1 ETH for the first 24 hours of the crowdsale.

This new rate does apply to all presale transactions, meaning that the percentage increase gained on our initial pricing, will be applied to this new pricing. So that any purchasers percentage gain as a presale participant will remain intact.
This is more than the presale discount of 20%.

Also, you mentioned something about the refunds coming weeks later. The most likely reason for this is to disincentivize people from going above their caps as it requires gas (money) on their end to refund back to the wallet. I have seen other ICO's explicitly state at times that they will not even refund overpayments or payments below their minimum threshold, again to disincentivize people for the time and money that it will cost them by people just not following simple directions.
 
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