Chainlink’s First Staking Pool Pulls in $170M of LINK Tokens, Hitting Community Limit After 2 Days

Chainlink, a provider of price feeds and other data for blockchains, had its first-ever staking pool draw in 24.27 million tokens worth some $170 million, with community allotment filling up in two days.

The new staking effort is designed to help secure the quality of the project’s price feed for the cryptocurrency ether (ETH). Under the system, participants and node operators commit their holdings of Chainlink’s LINK tokens as a form of guarantee, in exchange for 4.75% annualized rewards.

The Chainlink team tweeted at 1:51 p.m. ET on Thursday that the staking community pool’s limit of 22.5 million total LINK tokens was “100% filled.” While community allotment has been filled, node operators are still able to stake their LINK tokens because the overall staking pool is capped at 25 million LINK. This leaves node operators with roughly 730,000 remaining LINK tokens to stake.

General access for the staking program opened earlier in the day, after an early-access period started Tuesday and had seen rapid uptake. At the current price, the staked tokens are worth about $170 million.

Staking is a key part of the project’s “Chainlink Economics 2.0” plan, described on its web site as “a new era of sustainable growth, cryptoeconomic security and deeper value capture.”

According to a Chainlink blog post, “Stakers will earn rewards for helping secure the Data Feed, specifically by participating in a decentralized altering system that flags if the Data Feed has not met certain performance requirements regarding uptime.”

The overwhelming interest in the new staking effort shows that some cryptocurrency investors and users are still eager to sock money into digital-asset projects, even with the nascent markets mired in crypto winter and bellwether bitcoin (BTC) down 64% year to date.

For its part, the LINK price is down 65% so far in 2022, including a 10% decline over the past week.

There are roughly 508 million LINK in circulation, so the staked LINK represents about 4.8% of the circulating supply.

According to the blog post, the next phase of staking is being planned for release in nine to 12 months, after which participants in the initial phase can unlock their staked tokens and rewards.