Digital Assets: Chainlink Staking Platform to Be Upgraded

Staking is a core initiative of Chainlink Economics 2.0 that reportedly aims to “bring a new layer of cryptoeconomic security” to the Chainlink Network.

Staking enables ecosystem participants, “such as node operators and community members, to back the performance of oracle services with staked LINK and earn rewards for helping secure the network.”

Last December, the initial beta version of Chainlink Staking (v0.1) was “released, consisting of a 25M LINK staking pool that supported the cryptoeconomic security of the ETH/USD Data Feed on Ethereum.”

Both Community Stakers and Node Operator Stakers “in v0.1 earn staking rewards by participating in a decentralized alerting system around performance requirements.”

The next version of Chainlink Staking (v0.2) is “on track to launch later this year in Q4, with an initial expanded pool size of 45M LINK.” The launch of the v0.2 beta upgrade “will progressively expand access to a broader scope of participants, starting with a Priority Migration period for existing v0.1 stakers before entering Early Access and then General Access.”

While v0.1 served as the initial Staking program, v0.2 has “been rearchitectured into a fully modular, extensionable, and upgradable Staking platform.” v0.2 takes learnings from “the v0.1 release and builds upon its foundation” by focusing on the following goals:

  • Greater flexibility for Community and Node Operator Stakers while retaining a secure non-custodial design for staked LINK.
  • Improved security guarantees for in-scope oracle services supported by Chainlink Staking.
  • Modular architecture to iteratively support future improvements and additions to Chainlink Staking, such as expansion to more services.
  • Dynamic rewards mechanism that can seamlessly support new sources of rewards in the future such as user fees.

With security being of paramount importance in the Chainlink ecosystem, a competitive crowdsourced audit of the Chainlink Staking v0.2 codebase “is beginning today on the Code4Rena platform.” The contest features an aggregate prize pool of $250K and will last for 18 days. The Code4Rena platform was successfully “used to review the codebase of Staking v0.1 and CCIP, and has been used by many leading protocols such as ENS, OpenSea, The Graph, Aave, and more.”

The launch of Chainlink Staking v0.2 will “involve multiple entry phases so that a wide diversity of Chainlink community members can contribute to the cryptoeconomic security of the Chainlink Network.”

By increasing the likelihood that the v0.2 staking pool is distributed across a large number of entities, “including smaller participants, the security assurances provided by Chainlink Staking are strengthened.”

At launch, v0.1 stakers will have the opportunity to migrate their v0.1 stake and accrued LINK rewards to v0.2 or withdraw. This Priority Migration period “will last for seven days, where v0.1 stakers can choose to migrate all or a portion of their v0.1 stake and LINK rewards.”

If choosing to migrate a portion, then all non-migrated v0.1 stake or rewards will be withdrawn. If a v0.1 staker takes no action, then their staked LINK and rewards will remain in v0.1 and no longer earn additional rewards.

After the Priority Migration period ends, LINK token holders “who meet at least one predefined criterion on the updated Early Access Eligibility List will have the opportunity to stake LINK in v0.2 up to the per-wallet maximum.”

Similar to the Early Access period during v0.1 launch, being on the eligibility list provides an opportunity “to stake in v0.2 but does not serve as a guarantee of entry given the capped pool size.” The Early Access entry period will last for two days. The Early Access Eligibility List builds upon the list previously used in v0.1. Similar to v0.1, there will also be “an Early Access Eligibility App made available before launch that can be used to check eligibility for Early Access.”

After Early Access ends, the v0.2 staking pool will “open to General Access, at which point anyone will have the chance to stake up to the per-wallet maximum, provided that the v0.2 pool has not yet been filled.”

The Chainlink Staking v0.2 codebase has “been rearchitected to operate as a modular set of smart contracts.” This modularity allows “a broad scope of upgrades, including new features and configuration changes, to be applied without requiring a full staker migration to a new set of smart contracts.”

Staking v0.2 will feature “an expanded total pool size of 45M LINK to increase the accessibility of Chainlink Staking to a broader diversity of LINK token holders.” The pool size represents an 80% increase from “the pool cap of v0.1 and would account for over 8% of the current circulating supply of LINK.”

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