Flow Blockchain – The Future of Games and NFTs
We will introduce another crypto asset from our Fumbi Staking Portfolio – Flow blockchain. Flow is a blockchain specifically targeted at the non-interchangeable tokens (NFTs) sector and the decentralised gaming space, which has brought many innovations to these two areas.
Behind the creation of the Flow blockchain is the Vancouver-based Dapper Labs. The emergence of this blockchain is paradoxically linked to the Ethereum network and one of the first-ever blockchain video games called CryptoKitties.
CryptoKitties is a blockchain game developed by Dapper Labs about collecting and breeding virtual cats. At its release, the Crypto Kitties game had become so popular that it essentially “brought down” the entire Ethereum network. Due to the enormous interest and the high amount of transactions made within the game, transactions on the Ethereum network have slowed almost to a complete halt. The network was unable to handle the large influx of transactions, which caused it to be severely constrained, as well as a huge increase in transaction fees. It took several days for the network to return to its original state.
This event was the catalyst for the developers at Dapper Labs, who, from that point on, began dreaming about and working on developing their own blockchain targeted at the gaming and collectables industry that would be scalable and cheap despite the high load on the network.
In September 2020, a community ICO token sale of FLOW tokens was held through the crypto exchange Coinlist, in which the project managed to raise a total of $18 million. During the initial coin offering, one FLOW sold for $0.10, with the price rising to $35 in March 2021.
What Is Flow?
Flow is a scalable, decentralised, developer-friendly blockchain that has been explicitly designed as a building block for the next generation of games, apps and digital assets built on the blockchain. It is based on a unique multi-tier architecture and designed to scale without the need to implement sharding.
Flow blockchain is designed to enable fast, cheap, and secure transactions. From this perspective, it ranks among the competitors of the Ethereum network and other blockchain platforms, the essence of which lies in creating its own currency and building an ecosystem of projects and decentralised applications based on blockchain technology. However, through its design, Flow seeks to compete with Ethereum and other blockchains, especially in the area of non-negotiable tokens (NFTs) and games.
Pillars of the Flow Blockchain
Smart contracts on the Flow blockchain are very dynamic and can be adapted to different use cases based on the developers’ needs. This allows developers to create applications that cater to the needs of all users – from NFTs collections to blockchain games to applications focused on business-critical solutions.
Flow blockchain is defined by four fundamental pillars:
- Multi-Purpose Architecture – Flow’s design is unique and allows the network to scale to serve billions of users without disrupting or reducing the decentralisation of consensus. Flow also enables the programming of smart contracts for a variety of practical use cases.
- Resource-Centric Programming – Smart contracts on the Flow blockchain are written in the Cadence programming language, one of the very simple yet secure programming languages for crypto assets and applications. The Cadence programming language is built on the foundations of the Move language, which is backed by Diem.
- Developer Ergonomics – The blockchain’s developer environment provides developers with the ability to program upgradable smart contracts, provides them with built-in logging support, and also provides developers with the so-called Flow Emulator – a developer tool that simulates the behaviour and interactions with the Flow blockchain. Developers can use this emulator to test their smart contracts and applications before implementing them on the network.
- Consumer Onboarding – Flow has been designed for ordinary users, making it easy and user-friendly. At the same time, payment gateways on the blockchain provide easy conversions between fiat money and crypto assets.
The developers of the Flow blockchain have come up with a new innovation to achieve fast, low-latency scaling of the blockchain without the need to implement so-called sharding and the need to lose decentralisation.
Sharding is a technique used to process blockchain data in parallel as opposed to the entire database. Many consider sharding to be the perfect solution for scaling blockchain because it dramatically reduces the workload of nodes, thereby improving transaction throughput for blockchains.
However, developers on the Flow blockchain felt that sharding was not suitable for creating composable smart contracts. Composability of smart contracts very simply means that contracts can collaborate and interact with each other, allowing developers to quickly build on each other’s work.
This is the main reason why Flow implemented a multi-node architecture that omits sharding altogether. Instead, each node in the network performs multiple functions, such as collecting data, creating blocks, performing computations, or subsequently verifying the work done by the nodes.
Flow divides these tasks between four types of nodes:
- Consensus Nodes – Nodes that decide the presence as well as the order of individual transactions on the Flow blockchain.
- Execution Nodes – Nodes responsible for the computations associated with the execution of every single transaction on the network.
- Verification Nodes – Control nodes that are responsible for checking and verifying the calculations performed by execution nodes.
- Collection Nodes – Improve network connectivity and availability of decentralised applications.
Composability and Upgradeability of Smart Contracts
One of the foundations of all blockchain platforms is that users do not have to rely on and trust third parties or the authors of the smart contracts themselves. It is sufficient for users to trust the transparent code under which the contracts execute predefined rules and functions. This aspect of trust unlocks entirely new use cases in the world of cryptocurrencies that are still in the exploration and development phase.
The early smart contracts were designed so that the code could never be changed once the contract was uploaded. If the code is completely transparent and open, and no one can change it, it is obvious that there is no longer a need to trust the authors but only to rely on the code itself. However, over time, it has become clear that some smart contracts on various blockchains have been found to have bugs that have led to the loss of funds. These errors would not be difficult to fix, but the nature of these smart contracts inherently does not allow it.
In contrast to these “standard” smart contracts, the Flow blockchain allows the deployment of contracts in Beta, which allows its authors to gradually update and improve the code. In the case of Beta contracts, the users themselves who interact with the contract are alerted to the unfinished nature of the code, which may change over time. The decision is thus up to the users themselves whether they choose to interact with the smart contract now or wait until the code is complete before trusting it.
This system balances the needs of users being informed about what type of code they are coming into contact with – whether or not the application or smart contract is actually trustworthy, while also giving developers the flexibility to edit and improve their code for some time after the contract is deployed. Once developers are confident that their code is secure, they can irrevocably relinquish control of the contract and it becomes immutable.
Finality of Transactions
From an end-user perspective, one of the two most important factors, in addition to transaction fees, is the speed and finality of transactions – generally measured by the time after which users can be confident that their transaction is irreversible and permanently included in the chain.
For example, in the Bitcoin network, a transaction with six block confirmations is considered irreversible, which translates to roughly one hour. On the Ethereum network, using probabilistic finality, it is approximately six minutes.
On the Flow blockchain, which can process up to 1,000 transactions per second, transaction finality is achieved in seconds – just after consensus nodes determine which block the transaction will be part of. The process of “sealing a block” and formally observing it takes approximately 10 blocks, which is about 20 seconds at an average block production rate of 2 seconds per block.
Consensus Algorithm and Staking
Blockchain Flow operates on the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm. Proof-of-Stake, in contrast to Proof-of-Work, is less energy-intensive and, thus, a greener consensus mechanism.
In the PoS mechanism, validators lock their inputs to the log in the form of $FLOW coins. Validator nodes collect rewards from the stacking in the form of new coins and transaction fees in exchange for providing the security, computing, and storage services that the network needs.
Token holders can earn these rewards either by placing their FLOW in the form of a security deposit and running their own validation node or by delegating their deposit to professional operators who stake their coins on their behalf for a fee and pay them aliquot staking rewards.
You, too, can make money by holding and betting on the FLOW cryptocurrency. Flow Blockchain is part of our Fumbi Staking Portfolio, in which we stake your assets for you. You receive rewards from this product every week, and the product is free from entry or annual fees.
The Flow Ecosystem
There are several interesting decentralised applications, games and art collections currently operating on the Flow blockchain. Some of the most well-known ones include:
- NBA Top Shot – Flow is home to the famous NBA Top Shot collection for fans of NBA basketball. Fans can collect their favourite players and teams in the form of NFTs.
- CryptoKitties – The popular game CryptoKitties, which previously operated on the Ethereum platform, has been launched on the Flow blockchain.
- UFC Strike – The UFC, an organisation dedicated to promoting mixed martial arts, has created its own collectable collection on the Flow blockchain that captures the most iconic moments of UFC fighters.
- NFL ALL DAY – A digital video collection of iconic moments from the world’s biggest and most prestigious American football league.
Source: The Nifty Crypto Nomad
Flow x Meta
Flow is currently working with Meta (formerly Facebook) on non-interchangeable tokens (NFTs) on Instagram. Back in August 2022, Meta announced the international expansion of a pilot digital collectables feature on its Instagram platform. At the time, Meta declared support for NFTs created on the Flow blockchain through the Dapper Wallet integration.
However, in addition to the Flow blockchain, Instagram also supports digital assets stored on the Ethereum and Polygon blockchains. To share digital art, you need to connect your digital wallet to Instagram via a web browser. Users can then share their virtual collections as individual posts and stories or share them with other users in a private message. There are no fees associated with sharing NFTs on Instagram.
Native network token – FLOW
The Flow network’s native token is the $FLOW coin. Within the Flow ecosystem, this coin performs several important functions:
- Means of exchange,
- A payment instrument for computing and verification services (transaction fees),
- It serves as a backup to store data on the Flow blockchain,
- It serves as collateral for secondary tokens,
- It is used in stacking to secure the network and also within the Flow blockchain management model.
The current value of one coin is around $1. In the pre-sale on the Coinlist platform, one coin was sold for $0.1. The $FLOW reached its All-Time High in May 2021, when it traded as high as $39. There are currently 1,036,200,000 $FLOW coins in circulation, and the project has no fixed ceiling regarding the total supply.INVEST WITH FUMBI