What is Flow?


Flow is a blockchain platform designed to support the development of dApps, NFTs, and games. It is known for its ability to scale without the use of sharding, resulting in fast and low-cost transactions.

Key Takeaways

  • Flow is a blockchain network that hosts fast and scalable dApps, developed by Dapper Labs, the company behind the CryptoKitties game.
  • FLOW is the network’s native currency used to secure the network and transactions.
  • The Flow network is mainly designed to support gaming, digital collectibles, and NFTs.
  • One of the main goals of Flow is to simplify the process of using blockchain technology. For instance, when buying a CryptoKitty on Flow, only one atomic transaction within a single block is needed, whereas, on other blockchains, the same action may require numerous blockchain transactions.

Flow is not only focused on improving user experience, but also on providing developers with the tools they need to efficiently build, test, and launch their dApps. It is built to be a sustainable platform that supports the long-term development and growth of a variety of projects.

How does Flow work?

The Flow blockchain uses the Proof of Stake protocol to achieve scalability without relying on sharding, a common method of increasing speed and capacity in a blockchain network. Flow distributes the work of the network across nodes that support the system, with different nodes responsible for different tasks based on their capabilities.

To increase the throughput of the blockchain, Flow separates non-deterministic processes, such as forming transactions into a block, from deterministic ones, like executing that block of transactions. This allows for more efficient processing of transactions and improved scalability.

Multi-node Architecture

Blockchain networks typically consist of nodes that store the entire blockchain history and verify every single completed transaction. Flow blockchain contrasts this by dividing its network into multiple subdivisions, allowing transactions to be validated by smaller groups of nodes, with each node only responsible for verifying a subset of transactions.

Flow uses a multi-node, multi-role architecture, dividing the process of validating transactions into four categories:

  • Collection nodes: which improve network connectivity and data availability;
  • Consensus nodes, which decide the presence and order of transactions;
  • Execution nodes, which perform the computations associated with transactions but do not have decision-making power; and
  • Verification nodes, which double-check the work of the execution nodes.

This specialization is intended to increase efficiency and allow each type of node to participate in the validation of every transaction. Flow’s native programming language is Cadence, and the Flow team created a learning tool for developers who want to familiarize themselves with it.

Flow also allows developers to release their dapps in beta and update the code as necessary.

Flow Development

The Flow project was created by Dapper Labs, the team behind the popular Ethereum-based dApp and blockchain game, CryptoKitties. The increasing popularity of CryptoKitties highlighted scalability issues with Ethereum, leading Dapper Labs to develop Flow, a scalable blockchain platform for dApps and games such as CryptoKitties.

Launched in 2020, Flow uses a Proof of Stake protocol and allows developers to build and trade NFTs, as well as create dApps and blockchain-based games. Dieter Shirley, the CTO of Dapper Labs, is the founder of Flow.

Significant events in the development of Flow:

  • In September 2019, Dapper Labs announced the creation of the Flow blockchain.
  • May 2020 saw the official launch of the Flow blockchain.
  • In June 2020, NBA Top Shot became the first application supported by Flow.
  • In April 2022, the Flow network voted to introduce a new variable transaction fee structure.

Flow Ecosystem

Flow has a strong ecosystem that includes top entertainment brands, development studios, and venture-funded startups. Some of the partners in the Flow ecosystem include Warner Music, Ubisoft, NBA, UFC, Animoca Brands, Sumo Digital, nWay, Circle, Binance, and Opensea. These partners represent a mix of global IP brands, leading game developers, crypto leaders, and promising startups.

Flow FAQ

What makes Flow (FLOW) unique?

Flow’s multi-role architecture allows it to scale to billions of users without sacrificing decentralization of consensus or even resorting to sharding. Smart contracts are written in Cadence, a programming language that’s regarded as user-friendly. The network itself is designed with developer convenience in mind, featuring upgradeable smart contracts and the Flow Emulator. Flow is also designed to be accessible to mainstream consumers, with payment onramps that make it easy for them to convert fiat currencies to crypto.

How Is the Flow Network Secured?

Flow network uses the Proof of Stake protocol and divides its validation process into four stages. Each node has a specific predetermined task and only processes a portion of the data in a multi-task, multi-node environment. This makes transactions and operations on the network more efficient, and also helps to secure the network by distributing the data and validation process across multiple nodes.

The team developed a new cryptographic technique called Specialized Proofs of Confidential Knowledge (SPoCK). SPoCK allows provers to demonstrate that they have access to certain confidential knowledge without revealing what it is.

How can I buy Flow Crypto (FLOW)?

  1. First and foremost, find a CEX that trades FLOW. Some popular ones that trade FLOW include Binance, Kraken, and Coinbase.
  2. Once you have chosen an exchange, next thing is creating an account and verifying your identity, although if you’re buying FLOW with another crypto, there is no need to verify.
  3. After your account is set up and verified, you will need to deposit funds into your account. This can usually be done using a bank transfer, credit or debit card, or another cryptocurrency.
  4. Once your account is funded, you can search for FLOW token on the exchange’s trading platform. Look for the pair that includes the currency you deposited (e.g. FLOW/BTC, FLOW/ETH).
  5. Select the amount of FLOW you want to purchase and place your order (the same applies when you want to sell FLOW). Be sure to review the details of the trade, including the live FLOW price and any fees, before confirming the transaction. The price of FLOW is determined by its market cap and circulating supply.
  6. Once your order is completed, the FLOW tokens will be transferred to your exchange wallet. You can then withdraw the FLOW to a private wallet if you prefer.

What is the Circulating Supply of FLOW?

At the current time of writing (January 2023), Flow has a circulating supply of 1,036,200,000 FLOW and a max supply of 1,374,883,685.

Final Thoughts

We know that there are tons of cryptocurrencies to choose from, whether they’re utilitarian or just parodies. What we ultimately want is tokens that offer real problem-solving utilities. Our upcoming token, DUA, is a sound example. DUA will bring SocialFi to our matchmaking ecosystem, allowing users not only to connect but also to conduct finance within their dua app. Learn about DUA here and follow our Twitter for updates!

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