This article was first published on Chainlink
Chainlink node operators are the backbone of the Chainlink Network. Chainlink node operators participate within decentralized oracle networks, allowing engineers to fetch external data in a secure and reliable manner. They operate the crucial oracle infrastructure that is responsible for ensuring smart contracts across every blockchain have access to the real world data they need to execute properly. For example, Chainlink uses a large collection of node operators to collectively power a wide range of decentralized Price Feed oracle networks live in-production, which currently secure over $4Bn in value for leading DeFi applications like Synthetix, Aave, yEarn, and more.
As previously mentioned in our Education Series, due to the security properties underpinning blockchains, all smart contracts (on-chain) have an inherent oracle problem of not being able to fetch data from external systems (off-chain). This necessitates the use of an oracle to serve as a middleware that transfers data bidirectionally between on-chain and off-chain environments. In this article, we aim to provide a broad overview to how node operators contribute to the Chainlink Network, including:
- The role node operators play in the Chainlink Network
- What are the requirements of running a Chainlink node
- How do Chainlink node operators sell data to smart contracts
- Where to find and evaluate Chainlink node operators
How Node Operators Fit Within the Chainlink Network
Chainlink node operators are the entities running the oracle infrastructure (hardware and software) that powers and secures every oracle network running on the Chainlink Network. These oracle node operators are responsible for watching the blockchain for new incoming data requests from smart contracts, fetching the requested off-chain data from specified APIs, and delivering the data on-chain where it can be consumed by a smart contract to trigger its execution. Similar to how the Internet connects computers to the outside world, oracles ...
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