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Sep 21, 2022

LinkPool At SmartCon 2022: What We Learned

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Ben Rogers

LinkPool plus SmartCon introductory graphic.

With SmartCon 2022 in the books and major announcements made, LinkPool is grateful to have played a meaningful role at the conference and is excited for what’s to come. Our CEO Jonny Huxtable shared his vision for growth, and engineers Jon Gregis, Víctor Navascués, and Daniel O’Sullivan led deep dive workshops into core LinkPool services. It was a unique opportunity to showcase our accomplishments, our plans to drive network value, and how we will continue to break down barriers of participation to the Chainlink Network.

When we established the company shortly after the Chainlink token offering in 2017, LinkPool’s focus was to reduce barriers of entry to the Chainlink Network, abstract away complexities, and simplify development for builders. The core audience for our tools are retail users; enterprise; and power users –technical users with the infrastructure chops to spin a node, develop external adaptors, and build their own projects. We achieved this by launching the first of its kind data analytics platform and feed directory, Chainlink Market, our Node-as-a-Service platform, and our upcoming staking platform

Not only have we stayed the course in our original objective, we’ve evolved to create service offerings that expand the Chainlink ecosystem and accelerate adoption of the blockchain economy. To say we were excited to have been given the opportunity to share this work at SmartCon is an understatement.

Jonny's Vision

Jonny was reflective in his address, recalling LinkPool’s humble beginnings as a bedroom project and its evolution to become the leading third-party Chainlink ecosystem developer while also playing a critical role in Chainlink’s mass adoption. We continue to strive towards this mission through what he described as a three-pronged approach of building on the protocol, building the ecosystem, and reaching economies of scale.

LinkPool Founder and CEO on stage at SmartCon 2022.

It’s important to understand the relationship between Chainlink Labs and third-party operators such as LinkPool. Chainlink Labs builds the core software, and it’s this work that enables third parties to build on the protocol by creating new tooling and services to increase native capabilities. This expansion subsequently leads to a snowballing effect of adoption, which yields a stronger ecosystem and further expansion: more building, more security, more participation. 

This positive feedback loop allows the protocol to reach economies of scale. Adoption and growth of the protocol are exponential, which in turn benefits the broader blockchain industry. 

This is LinkPool’s approach. LinkPool enables self-service economies, increases network participation, and grows adoption of Chainlink decentralized oracle networks. We build infrastructure to onboard Node Operators and enable one-click deployment of nodes through our Node-as-a-Service solution, naas.link. We are also the go-to choice for enterprises looking to participate in the Chainlink network; and, a key participant in decentralized oracle networks (DONs) bringing Chainlink feeds, data, and services to blockchains. LinkPool also powers analytics and increases economic transparency through access to Chainlink feeds, data, and services at market.link.

An image listing LinkPool products and services.

Further, LinkPool extends Chainlink core functionality through smart contract development; integrated tooling to bring complex, decentralized data on-chain, and makes all products available for developers through open source licensing.

Perhaps the most anticipated development is that LinkPool is building a platform to enable retail users to stake assets in a trustless manner. LinkPool is uniquely positioned to excel on this front due to our accrued sector expertise and having worked on staking economics since 2017. Additionally, LinkPool has one of the highest reputations of all Chainlink node operators and has been battle tested through years of market pressure.

In the end, Jonny took time to appreciate the monumental impact LinkPool has had – from its humble beginning to indexing the growth of Chainlink offerings today in the form of business intelligence, staking, node services, enterprise services, service coordination, and the infrastructure platform. This has only been possible because of the support of our community who have been in our corner since the very beginning.

An image illustrating information about LinkPool's history.

Workshops

In addition to Jonny’s address, LinkPool engineers had the opportunity to showcase how LinkPool works behind the scenes, and we’re excited to share a series of blog posts from our engineers to highlight their SmartCon Workshop presentations and dive deep into key LinkPool products. While available to everyone, these posts are designed for technical audiences who are keen to leverage the tools and take action building. 

  • Jon Gregis presents the LinkPool Metrics Engine, what it’s for, what it can do, the technologies used to build it, how it’s being used today in the Market. 
  • Víctor Navascués will go deep into Direct Request Automation Framework for Testing (DRAFT). What is DRAFT, how LinkPool uses it, its advantages, and the experience of creating new Direct Integrations without DRAFT. 
  • Daniel O’Sullivan highlights the process of managing a Chainlink node from Kubernetes with a Helm Chart. Overviewing data level and sharing deep insight about the infrastructure of running Chainlink nodes–a core element of LinkPool’s business.

Keep a lookout for these!

SmartCon 2022 was a big deal for LinkPool especially and the first opportunity in the company’s history the entire team was in the same physical space.

Portrait of the LinkPool team at SmartCon 2022.

We pride ourselves on being a globally distributed workforce, and we fervently believe that geographic differences should not be an inhibitor in the development of the Web3 world. We’ve therefore been able to hire some of the most talented individuals in the blockchain industry and broader tech space to work with us. 

The net-positives of focusing on talent and ability first, regardless of geographical differences, are undeniable. We see it and we live it every day at LinkPool. Still, there is something about in-person working, with direct, in-person connections and rapport, that builds culture and strengthens bonds. 

One week in New York City for SmartCon certainly isn’t the same as being in the same office space every day, but it did have a huge impact. The first opportunity to collectively spend time with one another after years of working together was an unforgettable experience. The same goes for our partners on the Chainlink Labs team who we work with every day and our customers. It was amazing to meet everyone in real life, see their faces, and engage in person. Coupled with the developments from the Chainlink Labs team, at one of the most anticipated, professionally organized industry events, it’s safe to say SmartCon 2022 was an astounding success.

Let’s Hear From the Team!

In this section, we showcase the team’s overall experience surrounding SmartCon. Some team members even visited the United States for the first time! 

 

Víctor Navascués, Integrations Engineer

“SmartCon 2022 ticked each reason to be there; we learned, we built, and we connected. We learned how Chainlink will move the blockchain world to the mainstream thanks to protocol improvements, new products, and new economics.”

“We built plenty. As workshop speakers, code the week before, and then team during the week; it was great to finally meet colleagues in person! And finally we connected lots. It was a great satisfaction and a motivation boost to watch our customers speaking about their success, and to chat with NodeOps, teams, and other ecosystem members. All in all we ended up quite LINK-pilled, and on a collective positive thought… like if it was happening…”

 

Eric Jaurena, Director of Innovation

“I’ve worked remotely with LinkPool and Chainlink Labs for years now and virtually attended each previous SmartCon. The opportunity to meet all my coworkers and friends in person, most of them for the first time, was a rare pleasure. The LinkPool team did a mini offsite and spent a couple days working and building together. Seeing the natural collaborative chemistry among folks who mostly had never met face to face was a magic moment for me and left me profoundly energized. I’ve worked with some incredible folks in the past, but I’m truly humbled to stand shoulder to shoulder with this team.

Seeing the brilliant minds at Chainlink Labs and the teams from the greater ecosystem speak to their visions on-stage and in person was inspiring. I’ve never been more certain I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”

 

Marc Ghannam, Integrations Engineer

“Attending SmartCon was a wonderful experience. I got the chance to finally connect with my friends from LinkPool in person. I’m so grateful for being surrounded by such brilliant and interesting individuals. I learned a ton from them, and we shared meaningful ideas together. I can’t think of a better team that I would rather build and grow with. I’m excited, and this excites me.”

 

Jonny Huxtable, Founder & CEO

“Attending the first in-person SmartCon this year was an amazing reflection for us on how much the Chainlink ecosystem has grown since its inception. To be amongst so many leaders from many different areas was not only a sign of where we are, but how much opportunity we have to revolutionize industries for the better.”

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