Chainlink is one of the few projects working on the development of decentralized oracles. On Chainlink multiple oracles can work simultaneously, receiving LINK as rewards, thus providing a reliable and stable functionality of complex smart contracts.
Chainlink can easily become the industry leader for years to come, but don't forget that is has a serious competition. It also takes a lot of real-world adoption of smart contracts to see the full potential of the project.
LINK is an Ethereum-based token. Chainlink nodes (oracles) are rewarded with the LINK for receiving data from off-chain systems and converting it into blockchain-compatible formats. Thus, the current use-case of using the token is payment of work for the node operators.
Why Chainlink is so hyped (my opinion):
Chainlink team has attracted a lot of public attention to their project over the last 2 years, and their community is actively growing. Partnerships with a lot of cryptocurrency projects and a high-profile non-crypto companies is ensuring a high rating among other industry players are gradually increasing the company's credibility.
Back in the days, Chainlink haven't done a lot of marketing. From the very beginning, Chainlink worked hard and did not spend money on advertising before their product was launched and accepted. This type of project doesn't really depend on the reactions of ordinary people. Chainlink is more interested in bringing in insights and leaders who can actually use their technology. Their "marketing" lies in their ability to communicate the product effectively to the businesses.
During the product development, the team collaborated with several big corporations. Such giants see Chainlink as the very talented guys who can add smart contracts to their business. In addition to existing use cases, Chainlink can be implemented in any field as a means of connecting the real world with smart contract technology.
Fundamentally, the project looks very good. By all means, there is enough reasons to believe that Chainlink is one of the most promising projects on the market. Some people can point out that their success is only been possible due to their marketing abilities, their ability to cause hype, and so on. But the fundamental benefits of the project is obvious and it's difficult to adquately undermine them.
It's important to understand that the level of blockchain adoption is a very significant factor for this project. How long it will take for Chainlink to implement large-scale, workable solutions that impact the way finances work? It is still remains to be an unanswered question.
Chainlink can be called the most outstanding cryptocurrency this year, the coin has grown 10x for the past year. Chainlink's strength as a project is that it benefits both blockchain projects and real-world companies. The project is not the easiest to learn, but as soon as you begin to understand the essence of the idea, you understand that it can help smart contracts to break through to the masses.