Explicit Staking in Chainlink 2.0: An Overview

The recently released Chainlink 2.0 Whitepaper introduces a variety of innovations aimed at significantly improving the capabilities of Decentralized Oracle Networks (DONs), most notably by enabling DONs to perform secure off-chain computations. With DONs providing smart contracts access to a wider array of decentralized services beyond data delivery, a more expansive hybrid infrastructure becomes available to developers, empowering them to combine on-chain code with off-chain resources to build increasingly advanced smart contracts. 

One dimension to provisioning these next-generation hybrid smart contracts is creating a robust cryptoeconomic security model for DONs that maximizes the cost of attack. This is critical to scaling the security of DONs as they become increasingly involved in securing key functions within high-value smart contracts that affect user funds. To achieve a heightened level of tamper-resistance, the paper presents Explicit Staking—an advanced cryptoeconomic system in development where Chainlink nodes lock up LINK tokens as collateral that can be slashed for malicious and undesirable behavior. 

Chainlink’s explicit staking model is unique because it’s designed to protect against an extremely broad class of well-capitalized adversaries, as well as achieve a super-linear staking impact—a mechanism where malicious actors are required to have a budget significantly larger than the combined deposits of all nodes within a DON, creating increasingly greater security guarantees for high-value smart contract applications in a cost-efficient manner. 

Chainlink’s super-linear explicit staking
Chainlink’s explicit staking mechanism is super-linear as the number of nodes increase

Within this article, we provide an overview of explicit staking in the Chainlink 2.0 Network and how it will generate a much greater level of cryptoeconomic security for users. For more information on Chainlink’s explicit staking model and all of its technical nuances, refer to section nine of the Chainlink 2.0 Whitepaper.

Role of Explicit Staking in Decentralized Oracle Networks

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