What is WINkLink (WIN)? Your ultimate guide

What is WIN, and how exactly does it relate to WINkLink and WINk?

A digital image of a WIN coin                                 
WIN is the native token of two networks – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

Contents

It’s possible that you will have heard of the WIN cryptocurrency, the WINk play-to-earn gaming platform and the WINkLink network, but what are they, and how do they relate to each other? What is WINkLink (WIN)? How does WINkLink work? What is WINkLink coin used for? Let’s take a look.

WINk, WIN and WINkLink

There is a significant difference between WINkLink, WINk and WIN. While most people will focus on WINk, telling you that it is the main thing that WINk is used for, that is not necessarily true. Confusingly, you will also see the WIN coin – which, in and of itself, is technically not a coin but a token – get referred to as the “WINkLink cryptocurrency” or “WINkLink (WIN)”, but here we will try to separate the WINkLink system and the WIN crypto. 

So let’s try to see what we can explain and clarify when it comes to the WIN coin and the two networks that it makes use of.

WINkLink explained

WINkLink is a network based on the TRON blockchain. The idea behind WINkLink is all about smart contracts. Smart contracts – programs that automatically execute when certain conditions are met – are a very important thing in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. They allow a lot of deals and transactions to take place on blockchains, but there is one problem with them that WINkLink aims to address.

That problem is that smart contracts are not good at connecting and communicating with things outside of the blockchain. Something that often works to counteract that problem is an oracle, which is, to put it simply, a device or a program that allows data outside of the blockchain to communicate with information on the blockchain, thus giving many smart contracts the information they need.

The problem, according to the people behind WINkLink is that the oracles themselves can be quite centralised and hierarchical, in effect reporting to a central authority. This is where WINkLink comes in.

The fundamental idea behind WINkLink is it helps to provide oracles that are decentralised. This is done by having separate parts of the WINkLink system. On the blockchain, there is something called an aggregator contract, which lets people choose what sort of things they want in their smart contract.

There is also an off-chain element, called the oracle node. These nodes, computers on the network, take data from the blockchain and calculate it onto an aggregator contract. These oracle nodes are also responsible for assigning what tasks get done, when, and by whom. The ultimate idea is to create a system that makes smart contracts accessible, easy to use and create, and remain decentralised. 

In terms of the white paper of WINkLink, cryptocurrency is treated as pretty much an afterthought. The description of the native token of the network only runs to one paragraph, which says: “WIN is a TRC-20 token. The WINkLink network utilises the WIN token to pay WINkLink Node operators for the retrieval of data from off-chain data feeds, formatting of data into blockchain readable formats, off-chain computation, and uptime guarantees they provide as operators. WINkLink will power WIN token in many ways.”

The white paper does not describe or explain how WINkLink will power the token, nor does it list any of the many ways in which it will do so. We have asked WINkLink, but have not yet received a reply. 

WINk explained

This now brings us to our next point. There is a pretty good chance that, if you have heard about WIN, it will not be for the work it does powering and supporting the WINkLink network. Instead, it will be because you will have heard about it in the context of the WINk blockchain gaming platform. 

While play-to-earn (P2E) games based on the blockchain became big news in 2021, when the metaverse itself made headline news in the world beyond the cryptoverse, they are not a new thing. Something that makes use of smart contracts created both by and using the WINkLink system is the WINk play-to-earn blockchain gaming platform. 

What is worth pointing out here is that WIN is, in effect, the native token of WINk as well as that of WINkLink. It is also worth pointing out that most people will act as if WIN only exists in conjunction with WINk. That is, as we have already seen, very much not true. On the other hand, though, gambling – which is what P2E basically is, and what the WINk gaming platform is all about – is a rather more glamorous and exciting subject than the creation of a decentralised smart contract oracle, which may be why there appear to be far more people talking about WIN’s connections with WINk than the ones it has with WINkLink.

WINk
The WINk gaming platform is older than the WINkLink smart contract oracle – Credit: wink.org

Something that is worth noting about WINk is that it followed on from a very similar system, also made using the smart contracts that are a feature of the WINkLink network, called TRONbet. In effect, WINk can be seen as a rebranding of TRONbet, which stopped around the time that WINk started in 2019. This means that WINk is actually older than the WINkLink system, which started in April 2021, even though that time frame might seem somewhat counterintuitive, with the main network coming out after the gaming platform. 

People who use WINk can stake their WIN in a range of games, including dice and poker, as well as a range of virtual slot machines. 

The smart contracts that power each of the games offered by WINk can be viewed by users, which increases the transparency and credibility of its entertainment alternatives. The platform aims to be a project that benefits every party involved, including its developers, players and investors. This is accomplished by giving WIN holders governance rights, while also extending gameplay discounts to players who have also invested in WIN.

The other thing that we need to clarify is that you will sometimes see people saying that WIN operates on two blockchains. This is not true, but what is true is that in late 2020 WINk teamed up with binance to launch BLINk, which was, in effect, a version of WIN that operated on the Binance Smart Chain.  

WIN history

As far as the history of WIN goes, it first came onto the open market in 2019. The main people behind the token and its two networks are former Tencent worker N Yang, who serves as head of product, and former Baidu developer Jacky Li. As of 9 February 2022, there were 961.74 billion WiN in circulation out of a total supply of just over 994 billion. The coin also had a market cap of around $334.94bn, making it the 166th largest crypto by that metric. 

FAQs

As of 9 February 2022, there were 961.74 billion WiN in circulation out of a total supply of just over 994 billion.

Something that makes the WIN coin a bit unusual is that it is linked to two different networks – the WINkLink smart contract oracle and the WINk gaming platform.

WINkLink, WINk and WIN were created by a team of nine people, led by N Yang and Jacky Li. 

Further reading

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