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The Breadth And Configurability Of Chainlink’s Security Model

On the latest episode of the Bell Curve podcast, Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov joined host Mike Ippolito and Framework Ventures co-founders Vance Spencer and Michael Anderson to discuss how Chainlink stays ahead of the curve, creating decentralized oracle services that power increasingly advanced use cases for smart contracts and tokenized assets while maintaining the highest level of security.

Nazarov distilled what sets Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) apart in a world where bridge hacks cost the blockchain industry billions of dollars a year. Unlike centrally controlled bridges or those that feign decentralization, CCIP maintains the highest level of cross-chain security and features a separate Risk Management Network that continuously monitors cross-chain functions for erroneous activity.

According to Nazarov, Chainlink’s superior security stems from the network’s core architecture, which has altogether delivered 11.8 billion data points and enabled $9.7 trillion in transaction value onchain. 

“Chainlink is a system for making oracle networks about anything you want. It has core security assumptions, core security properties, core security guarantees that you can then reuse for bridges, for data, for computation.”

While other bridges are controlled by one oracle network or a couple of nodes, CCIP comprises 20 nodes across three separate decentralized oracle networks (DONs) – a committing DON, an executing DON, and a risk management DON.

“The reason that Chainlink can do this is because Chainlink is a framework and a system for making multiple networks work together,” said Nazarov. 

While the committing and executing DONs verify transactions are functioning correctly, the risk management DON is configurable to meet different security needs. “You can introduce things like rate limits or other security keys, security guarantees,” he explained.

“The whole point of the Chainlink system is not for us to tell you how to build a Chainlink oracle network; it’s for the system to allow you to add whatever nodes you want,” he continued. “If you want a bunch of telecommunication company nodes, you can have those; if you want a bunch of web3 nodes, you can have those; if you want to combine them, you can have that, and you can naturally scale up the amount of nodes that you want.”

This level of configurability allows Chainlink to meet the security requirements of DeFi and TradFi, which is why Nazarov believes CCIP will become a global standard

CCIP can be modified even further via other Chainlink services such as Proof of Reserve (PoR), for example, to secure protocols that only want to accept tokens whose offchain reserves have been cryptographically verified onchain. 

“Another way to think about it is that oracle networks are really decentralized microservices,” Nazarov explained. “Chainlink is a way to generate thousands, hundreds of thousands, and eventually millions of these decentralized microservices to solve all security and transactional problems.”

Watch the full episode.

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