What exactly is Flow? The Blockchain Built for NFTs

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Dapper Labs’ goal is to make the blockchain that powers NBA Top Shot and CryptoKitties the platform of choice for many more NFT experiences in the future.

When CryptoKitties, one of the first non-fungible token (NFT) projects, ground the Ethereum blockchain to a standstill in late 2017 owing to massive congestion, developer Dapper Labs realized firsthand that current-generation blockchains were not designed to manage such demand.

Rather of just finding a new home for the decentralized app (dapp) or waiting for Ethereum scaling solutions to emerge, Dapper chose to create a blockchain on which it and other developers could rely.

The result is Flow, a blockchain designed specifically to enable NFT collectibles and large-scale crypto games.

CryptoKitties will soon transition to Flow, and with the brisk success of Dapper’s NBA Top Shot and a slew of other developers joining on to create with Flow amid the NFT boom, it might emerge as one of the main blockchains for such products.

Here’s an explanation of what Flow is, how it operates, and how to obtain the FLOW token.

Flow is a blockchain that is intended for large-scale scaling without the usage of sharding.

approaches, allowing for quick and low-cost transactions that make sense for dapps like NFT markets and crypto-infused video games.

As previously stated, Flow is the creation of Dapper Labs, which opted to tackle its blockchain congestion problem head on by creating one that is ready for gaming and other interactive activities. Dapper currently uses Flow for all of its own projects, including NBA Top Shot, but it is also available to other developers.

How does Flow work?

Flow employs a proof-of-stake paradigm in which validators must stake a particular number of FLOW tokens in order to participate in the network.

However, the way validation works in Flow is distinct among blockchains, as it divides validation responsibilities into four distinct types of nodes: consensus, verification, execution, and collection. Each transaction is validated by all four categories of nodes.

According to Dapper, breaking out the duties makes transaction processing more efficient than on competing blockchains. It is an alternative to sharding, or distributing a blockchain’s storage and processing demands among several nodes. Dapper claims that by not using sharding, Flow makes transactions atomic, consistent, isolated, and durable (ACID) and helps developers to build on one other’s work.

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Upgradeable smart contracts are also available in Flow, allowing smart contracts to be published in beta and then enhanced or rectified before being completed and made immutable.

What’s so special about Flow?

Flow is designed for the collectable and interactive crypto experiences that are rapidly gaining popularity and might reach far wider audiences in the coming years. NBA Top Shot has already proved the ability of a blockchain-powered collectibles experience to produce large sums of money and get significant popular attention. That is just one of many experiences developed on top of Flow.

Flow + NBA + UFC

NBA Top Shot has already been a huge success for Dapper Labs, but the company has additional high-profile partners in its inventory. The company has secured agreements with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Dr. Suess to provide similar crypto collectibles experiences. Dapper’s partners include electronics giant Samsung, gaming producer Ubisoft, and Warner Music Group, in addition to these companies.

What can you do with Flow?

As of today, as a user, you may engage with Flow through NBA Top Shot or by purchasing artwork from the VIV3 NFT store, as well as other functioning blockchain apps. Developers may start experimenting with Flow and constructing their own dapps by using the many built-in features.

Where to buy FLOW

Flow’s native FLOW coin was first made accessible to the public in October 2020 via CoinList, although it was not available in the United States or Canada. Tokens purchased through the offering were locked for at least a year after purchase, preventing them from being circulated until they were opened.

FLOW incentives provided to validators, on the other hand, may be transferred and sold, therefore there is some FLOW on the market, and certain exchanges, such as Kraken and Huobi, allow users to transact FLOW. However, major exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase presently do not support FLOW.

The future

NFT collectibles took off in a huge manner in late 2020 and early 2021, and Flow was one of the greatest winners. Not only has Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot been one of the most popular crypto dapps, but Flow has also reported a huge increase in developer requests over the first few weeks of 2021. In sum, NBA Top Shot has served as a successful proof of concept for Dapper’s custom-built blockchain, and now other developers want to use it.

Dapper is also developing its own collections platforms. Flow is also intended to be utilized for more complex gaming experiences: Dapper refers to it as the “blockchain for open worlds.” On the one hand, the term “open” indicates decentralization—but it may only be a matter of time until it also hosts large-scale crypto games.

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