Following Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov’s recent appearance on The Crypto Conversation, where he described various opportunities for the Chainlink community to participate in securing the Chainlink Network through staking and a node reputation system, Chainlink published a detailed blog post outlining components of its model for community-driven cryptoeconomic security and a proposed timeline for staking’s rollout starting later this year.
The post established four primary goals of Chainlink staking as it evolves over time: increasing the Chainlink Network’s cryptoeconomic security, enabling community participation in the Chainlink Network, generating sustainable rewards from real long-term use, and empowering node operators to access higher-value jobs.
Chainlink’s roadmap designates staking as the beginning of “Chainlink Economics 2.0,” a “new era of sustainable growth and security.” Because Chainlink is the blockchain industry’s leading decentralized oracle network, securing tens of billions of dollars in smart contracts across an ecosystem of more than 1,200 projects utilizing nearly 1,000 bespoke Chainlink oracle networks, staking is ultimately aimed at scaling a multi-chain smart contract economy to secure “multi-trillion-dollar markets across major global industries.”
Several successive models of Chainlink staking are to be refined by in-production results and user feedback. The initial v0.1 release is intended to create “a simple and secure foundation” including a basic reputation framework and staker alerting system. The following v1 release will enable slashing of stake and distribution of user fees as staking rewards, while a successive v2 release will be aimed at installing loss protection mechanisms.
In line with Nazarov’s assertion that building the highest model of cryptoeconomic security requires a “slow, methodical” approach, Chainlink determined staking’s rollout will follow the trajectory of Chainlink Price Feeds, which began with “a single ETH/USD Price Feed on Ethereum operated by three oracle nodes” and expanded over the course of several years to “nearly a thousand Price Feeds powered by 50+ leading node operators across twelve blockchains and layer-2 solutions.”
The long-term goal is to scale Chainlink into a global standard for decentralized infrastructure. Nazarov has said that maintaining Chainlink’s long-running security track record will remain the highest priority during every stage of this process. He emphasized all that’s at stake with staking:
“There are a lot of people that rely on us in this industry and there are a lot of people in the entire crypto community that understand the immense value of what we do. I feel a very serious set of obligations about needing to build a protocol that meets all of these varied expectations. That has been my focus – to build the most secure protocol possible to enable the DeFi industry and other industries to grow to new heights.”