The Evolution of ChainLinkGod

Zach Rynes | CLG
5 min readMar 18, 2024

Opinions and commentary are my own.

In early 2019, I started the ChainLinkGod account — primarily to absorb knowledge and share breadcrumbs about Chainlink with a small but dedicated community of enthusiasts. It soon became clear to me just how vast the knowledge gap was about Chainlink within the broader crypto community. Oracles were a novel concept at the time and their full potential was understood by few. There was a clear need for someone to bridge this knowledge gap and, in effect, make Chainlink more approachable for a broader audience.

Who better than an anonymous green frog?

I didn’t imagine at the time that a small city’s worth of people would follow and listen. I’ve engaged in more debates online than I care to admit, some worthwhile and others not. But in the process, I found myself helping guide many community members on their own Chainlink journey, while at the same time learning more than I ever have before about distributed systems, game theory, economics, cryptography, and beyond. I truly could not imagine what my life would be like today if I hadn’t tossed aside my original career path of software engineering.

Now in 2024, cleared of rotting deadwood left behind by FTX, Terra, and 3AC, I see our industry as being better positioned than ever before. Blockchains are rapidly scaling as L2 rollup adoption accelerates, Bitcoin ETFs are legitimizing crypto as an asset class, onchain finance has continued to prove resilient despite volatility, and a growing number of financial institutions are tokenizing assets and moving steadily toward production.

In parallel, Chainlink has proven itself to be not only one of the most essential pieces of infrastructure in crypto — powering nearly every single tangible smart contract vertical — but has established a strong position in enabling some of the largest financial institutions in the world to adopt blockchain networks. Chainlink is no longer a niche tool for price feeds, but the industry-standard platform for connecting the world to blockchains.

Given this evolution of Chainlink, it was only natural for the ChainLinkGod identity to also evolve. Pseudonyms within the crypto community are common, for various personal reasons, and this fact is no different within the Chainlink community. During the early days, a frog identity served as a collective identifier that, in effect, signaled one was a Link Marine. While the CLG pseudonym has served me well over the years, speaking as Zach Rynes presents an opportunity to scale my voice and educate the new wave of entrants just now learning about crypto.

The Human Behind The Frog

In early 2020, just over a year after creating ChainLinkGod, I became a Chainlink Community Ambassador — serving as an educational resource for the community and as a bridge between the Chainlink Labs team and the community. Over time, this collaboration naturally expanded with me working more closely with the Chainlink Labs team, such as contributing educational content and consulting on various projects, among other endeavors.

In parallel, I continued to independently run the ChainLinkGod account and related properties like The CLG Podcast, where I’ve shared my own personal thoughts and opinions on Chainlink and the broader crypto ecosystem.

Shifting from Community Ambassador to Community Liaison simply reflects an evolution of what I have already been doing — breaking down the technical nuances of Chainlink into simpler terms and supporting the team on communication strategy where relevant. With this shift of identity, CLG will continue to be independently run by me and solely reflects my own personal thoughts.

The Network Effects of Community

The origins of the Chainlink community are rooted in the deep understanding that not only are smart contracts the ultimate format for any contractual agreement, but that Chainlink oracles are a fundamental requirement for scaling this industry to a global level for real-world use cases. In no other ecosystem do I see a community as dedicated to a common vision and seeking out the truth in all matters. While no protocol is perfect and Chainlink has yet to reach a finalized state, with much more work to be done, there’s no doubt in my mind that the community’s support has been critical to getting Chainlink to where it is today and will continue to be.

Through engaging with both the community and the team in different ways over the past number of years, I’ve seen the definitive power that the community has around strengthening the network effects of Chainlink. There are multiple positive flywheel effects where, as community enthusiasts spread awareness and advocate for the technology and vision behind Chainlink, the more that developers are pulled into the ecosystem and start building new applications using Chainlink. Then, every new Chainlink integration by a project that is amplified by the community generates broader awareness for that application and helps that newly Chainlinked protocol establish an initial user base. These community-driven network effects are not imaginary or hypothetical, but already exist today.

By the community helping establish Chainlink as an industry standard today, the protocol becomes perfectly positioned so that when institutions start leveraging crypto infrastructure in production to settle trillions of dollars worth of tokenized assets, the use of the Chainlink platform is a foregone conclusion. While the exact timelines for when such an institutional inflection point is impossible to know for certain, Chainlink will only succeed with the support of a growing global enthusiast and developer community.

The Future of Crypto

I became interested in crypto because I saw how this technology presents a viable path towards re-establishing trust in society — between individuals, and between individuals and institutions. I believe a growing number of people are coming to the same conclusion as well and will need guidance and want to have deep-level conversations about a variety of industry topics. My goal is to support those individuals and help connect the dots on how the Chainlink platform provides the plumbing to make it all possible.

I want to thank everyone who helped me on my own crypto journey over the years, from the community to my colleagues. I look forward to helping connect the world to blockchains.

Follow me on Twitter and listen to The CLG Podcast.

--

--