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Chainlink: The Entire Industry (Op-ed)

link Most won't take the time 2 read this For those that do, enjoy A while back there was a clip that circulated where a btc maximalist said something to the effect of "if someone were to solve the oracle problem, it would be worth more than all of crypto" Crypto web3

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He then went on to give the standard counterargument that Sybil attacks fundamentally prevent resolution of the oracle problem. He was almost right Here's the reality: in isolation without external factors this is correct.

Put differently: if all of crypto was created de-novo and no data/api providers existed before the advent of chainlink, there would exist an equilibrium at which sybill attacks would be more profitable than delivering quality data or outputs.

If this was the case, there are ways of breaking this state, but they involve exchange of value first in a non-deterministic manner and then using the experience from that to bootstrap an oracle network.

Fortunately, before crypto the world did exist. This led to trust systems being developed to reign in this situation (lawsuits, word-of-mouth reputation, the value of name recognition) in a world of non-deterministic interactions. For chainlink this is an absolute blessing.

The network will launch with actors providing APIs and data that are linked to their real-world names and practices. This means that even outside of the sybill equilibrium, there will be significant pressure to have high quality inputs and outputs.

A bank can't expect to keep its good name if it makes a habit of screwing its smart contract customers while keeping good practices with its standard customers

So what follows logically from this? The initial network has to tap into this entropy of trust left over from the non-deterministic world. In other words,

it can't be decentralized initially unless the network wants to go through a growth period where bad behavior is actually game-theory optimal (with asymptotic approach to trustworthy behavior).

Human beings being what they are, such a period would sour people against the use of smart contracts if they could be scammed early on, even if they were safer than conventional alternatives.

For an example of this look at common perception of bitcoin. It has provided 24/7 value transfer at discount rates since its launch 10 years ago. During that time billions have been transferred without loss

On top of that it has increased in value from less than a dollar to over a thousand dollars. Any stock, bond or precious metal that did that would be hailed as the greatest investment in the history of the world.

But human perception matters.

For that reason the chainlink network cannot launch decentralized and must launch with as much provider/node transparency as possible. This sets the floor for node behavior when the network does decentralize.

Only though doing it this way will people, with all their flaws, see the value.

Put another way: the only way to successfully launch any oracle network is from the top down with respect to real-world trust. If you could launch a perfectly coded, perfectly transparent,

perfectly decentralized oracle network right now you would still lose to chainlink. An oracle network must first have the buy in (and implicit pledge to perform) of those agencies with the most real world trust.

The network which harvests these residual trust sources from the real world is the one that wins, and the one that wins is the de facto monopoly because those that can't harvest this resource must traverse the sybill period to launch.

You are about to see an entire industry (the trust assurances industry) be swallowed whole by a decentralized network. The marginal value of all trust assurances services in the world (contracts lawyers, non-criminal courts, administrative workers etc.)

will become the chainlink network. Those groups which don't make this transition will cease to exist. In 20 years it will be hard to imagine how the world functioned without such a network, just as it's hard to imagine a world without the internet now.

You're about to watch the whole world realize, slowly, this new reality. Remember that it takes hours and hours of dedication to get what I'm saying right now. Next year you'll just have to be a CEO/CTO level person to understand.

The year after that, someone who is considered smart and cutting edge. You're about to witness all of this happen. At this point, there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Even if the whole chainlink team died, the cat is out of the bag

Once traditional trust assurers understand this, such a network can't not exist.

Be good and enjoy the ride frens

This post is based on this twitter thread.

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