Chainlink, an ethereum-based cryptocurrency token that powers a decentralized network designed to connect smart contracts to external data sources, appears unstoppable.
The price of Chainlink's link token has soared by almost 80% over the last seven days, adding to gains of 120% this month and a staggering near-600% rise over the last year.
Chainlink has now knocked bitcoin cash, an offshoot of the original bitcoin, from the top five cryptocurrencies by value, according to CoinMarketCap—with its total value now an eye-watering $6 billion.
"It’s been pretty wild," Thomas Kuhn, head of research and training at Mine Digital, said via Telegram, pointing to Chainlink's role in the "trinity"—along with bitcoin and ethereum—of tokens required for the "effective execution of smart contracts" as compelling.
Kuhn also thinks current sky-high equity valuations are forcing investors to look elsewhere.
"With tech stocks at all-time-highs and without yield to be found, I think that we are seeing renewed institutional interest in digital assets, especially in those trading higher when bitcoin is weak or down on the day—these have been DeFi assets."
The price of Chainlink's link token has soared amid a flurry of interest in decentralized finance (DeFi)—using crypto technology to recreate traditional financial instruments such as loans and insurance.
Chainlink's blockchain network can be used by DeFi and broader projects to connect external data sources, APIs, and payment systems.
Chainlink is "one of the more accessible ideas," related to DeFi, according to Kuhn.
"On the micro level, the asset has an incredible community, born in 4chan meme culture," Kuhn said, referencing a group of highly vocal Chainlink supporters on Twitter and other social networks, as well as messaging apps such as Telegram, that have become known as Link Marines.
"A major aspect of pricing in link is the question of whether it will be used as an escrow asset for smart contracts," Kuhn added.
"If it is, large values would be needed to be held in escrow for contract execution which would reduce velocity as well as act as an upward price pressure."
Elsewhere, Chainlink is rumored to be close to offering "staking"—something that will allow link holders to earn passive income from the tokens.
Last week, Michael Anderson, the co-founder of one of the largest private holders of link tokens, Framework Ventures, said Chainlink was still "wildly undervalued" and predicted the cryptocurrency's total value could eventually eclipse ethereum's near $50 billion price tag.
Meanwhile, other DeFi related projects have also soared in recent months. The price of Tezos' XTZ tokens has almost doubled since early July and the two-day-old DeFi project Yam soared to around $60 million over the last two days only to crash to zero after a last-minute attempt to fix a bug in its code failed.