Flow is a Layer1 blockchain created by Dapper Labs that aims to make it easy for developers to build decentralized applications and businesses. It is designed as the foundation to power games, apps, and the associated digital assets.
Flow allows developers to build Decentralized Applications (DApps) and crypto-enabled businesses. On the Flow network, users can create new types of digital assets that are tradable on open markets, maintain control and ownership of their data, and build open economies owned by their communities.
Flow consists of the following major components working in conjunction:
- Multi-node architecture: The Flow architecture allows the network to scale without sharding or reducing the decentralization of network consensus.
Flow uses a multi-role architecture design to scale the network instead of sharding. One of the fundamental reasons Dapper Labs opted to shift away from Ethereum and build its own general-purpose blockchain was to avoid the complexity of sharding. Flow asserts that its scaling-without-sharding strategy will improve network speed and throughput while preserving composability standards and a developer-friendly, ACID-compliant environment.
Flow separates the jobs of a validator node into different roles to improve efficiency. The roles in the Flow network include Collection, Consensus, Execution, and Verification.
- Collection Nodes enhance network connectivity and data availability for Dapps
- Consensus Nodes decide the presence and order of transactions on the blockchain
- Execution Nodes perform the computation associated with each transaction
- Verification Nodes are responsible for keeping the Execution Nodes in check
This separation of labor between nodes is vertical (across the different validation stages for each transaction) rather than horizontal (across different transactions, as with sharding). In other words, every validator node still participates in the validation of every transaction, but they do so only at one of the stages of validation. They can therefore specialize for their particular stage of focus, which increases efficiency.
- Resource-oriented programming: Smart contracts on Flow are written in Cadence, a resource-oriented programming language for crypto assets and apps.
- Upgradable Smart Contracts: Smart contracts can be deployed to the Flow mainnet in a “beta state”, allowing the original developer to update the code.
- Node Operators: Validator node operators supporting the network receive a portion of the transaction fees that pass through the system proportional to the work they do and their associated stake.
Flow network was founded by Dapper Labs. Dapper Labs was founded in 2018 and is based in Vancouver, BC. It is the company behind the blockchain-based game CryptoKitties, which raised $12 million in funding from storied venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures.
Roham Gharegozlou is the CEO of Dapper Labs.
Current known investors of Flow include A. Capital Partners, Accomplice, AppWorks, Bellegarde Capital, BlockTower Capital, Blockchange Ventures, CLF Partners, CMT Digital, CNK Fund, CoinFund, Coinbase Ventures, DTL Capital, Digital Currency Group, Distributed Global, LD Capital, LedgerPrime, North Island Ventures, Novel TMT Ventures, ONEBOAT CAPITAL, Rising Tide, SNZ, SVAngel, Sky Group Limited, Stonehaven Ventures, The Innovation Department, Union Square Ventures, Venrock, Version One Ventures, Warner Music, and a16z Crypto.