According to reports, this week Chainlink, a provider of cryptocurrency pricing data and other data for use in smart contracts, introduced staking of its native token, LINK. Within the first 30 minutes selected holders reportedly locked 7 million tokens to secure the oracle network, and within two days the staking pool hit its predefined limit, with approximately $170 million in value staked. The staking pool is reportedly still in beta, and the pool will initially be capped at 25 million LINK, with a plan to scale up to 75 million over time. The protocol is said to be paying stakers 4.75% in annual rewards in the form of LINK tokens. According to a company co-founder, staking allows the company "to scale the system by creating incentives that allow the system to grow."

In other news, a popular encrypted, cloud-based instant messaging service issued an update on Dec. 6 that reportedly permits users to create accounts utilizing blockchain-based anonymous numbers instead of cell phone numbers. The update also allows users to enable auto-delete timers on messages in new chats, according to a report. The anonymous numbers can reportedly be purchased from a separate, decentralized auction company started by the messaging service's founder, but that service is not offered to citizens in the United States. The report also notes that following the recent meltdown of FTX, the messaging service's founder announced that they are building a suite of decentralized tools, with an intent to roll out noncustodial wallets and decentralized exchanges.

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