Published 1 Aug 2023

LinkPool: Laying the foundations of a crypto ecosystem

By, Pulsant

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Blockchain-generated smart contracts are transforming the way the world creates and settles agreements. Jonathan Huxtable and the team at LinkPool are using platformEDGE to connect these contracts with real-world data sources.

In 2017, Google searches for the term Bitcoin peaked. It seemed like everyone was talking about cryptocurrencies. For Jonathan Huxtable, this surge in interest didn’t come as a surprise. In fact, he’d predicted it. And while wannabe investors were scrambling to set up their Coinbase accounts, he was launching a business – LinkPool.

The business was created to provide the infrastructure for smart contract execution. Every cryptocurrency transaction is governed by smart contracts: self-executing programs that fulfil the terms of an agreement between two parties. And for these contracts to work, they need data. For example, if a contract governs stock market investments, it needs access to real-time insights to execute effectively.

LinkPool serves as the bridge between off-chain data sources and on-chain contracts. In essence, it allows those who own valuable data to engage with the blockchain developers who need it to power their applications.

Powerful, scalable, cost-effective infrastructure

LinkPool started as a ‘bedroom project’, but the business needed reliable and robust infrastructure from the outset. Smart contracts are executed around the clock, 365 days a year, so it was critical that the business offered 100% uptime. Compute was another consideration. Facilitating an ever-growing number of interactions requires significant processing power, and with the popularity of cryptocurrency on the rise, the business needed infrastructure that could scale as it grew.

LinkPool turned to one of the world’s largest cloud computing providers for help in meeting these demands. Jonathan and his team were drawn to the company’s reputation as a market leader and the fact it could support a multi-cloud ecosystem.

This arrangement suited LinkPool in the short term, but as the business grew, costs started to spiral. The cloud provider’s fixed pricing model made it difficult to predict the usage costs. Meanwhile support costs were rising fast and LinkPool’s multi-cloud suppliers were struggling to deliver on promises of high speed and low latency.

Jonathan decided to migrate to a global infrastructure provider, who specialised in co-location and connectivity. Again, the relationship worked at first but scalability soon became an issue. As LinkPool’s infrastructure is containerised in a Kubernetes environment, there are significant management demands and this particular provider just didn’t have the capacity to support at scale in such an environment.

Enter Pulsant

That’s why LinkPool engaged Pulsant. By colocating in our Rotherham and Milton Keynes data centres, the business was able to compose the exact infrastructure required: a powerful, cost-effective, and highly scalable suite of technologies designed to meet the business’s needs today and long into the future.

The Rotherham data centre was ideally placed for LinkPool’s leadership team to personally oversee the  build and onboard it's infrastructure in a matter of days, rather than weeks.  Since then, the team has taken advantage of our high-speed, intra-data centre network to launch a second live production environment in our Milton Keynes site, which has enabled LinkPool to bolster network resiliency and guarantee uptime.

The results

Less than 12 months on, the team is already seeing results. The performance of critical infrastructure – memory, CPU and disk – is significantly higher than that of the previous cloud infrastructure, while costs have fallen. And these savings are significant, up to 85%. This is partly due to predictable pricing. As the LinkPool team knows precisely how much each resource will cost, they can plan accordingly.

Pulsant’s support services have also been a game-changer for LinkPool. Tight SLAs cover the management of the Kubernetes environment, and our UK-based support staff are only ever a phone call away. Jonathan collaborated with our experts to design the ideal solution for his business and the same team remains on hand to provide advice going forward. With the ability to engage informed experts, the LinkPool team can solve problems and answer questions quickly and efficiently. This degree of access just wasn’t available from previous providers, often the team had to wait up to 24 hours for a response to a query.

The sky’s the limit

We aim to support the UK’s most ambitious and brightest businesses in accelerating forward and capitalising on their digital potential. LinkPool is one such business. The company started as a bedroom project and is now the leading Chainlink service provider with a large pool of clients. We’re excited to follow Jonathan and the team on the next step of this journey.

As Jonathan said himself, “The sky's the limit”.

Read more about how we are bringing Edge to UK businesses.