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Basics

  • Building (12-9-2019) a blockchain called Flow which is aimed at a specific games use-case. "In a technical primer shared with CoinDesk, Dapper Labs says that Flow is especially designed for “composability” where one developer can use code from one application in a wholly other one. It writes: “Flow empowers developers to safely and easily build on top of each others’ code, creating entirely new products and services at an accelerating pace. This feature of blockchain, known as composability, has the potential to unlock a new approach to software development.”" 

History

"Frustrated with Ethereum, the developers behind CryptoKitties set out to solve the technology problems they encountered. In the process, they created a new blockchain designed specifically for games and digital collectables like the ones that they had helped popularize."

Audits & Exploits

Bugs/Exploits

  • High network traffic due to NBA Tops Shot triggered a consensus node safety mechanism leading consensus nodes to halt activity (31-1-2021) for 1 hour according to Messari (31-3-2021).

Governance

"The Flow Ecosystem makes decisions that affect the Flow Blockchain’s technical core protocol, which will follow a path similar to generally accepted open-source development practices:

  1. Users may submit proposals for modifying the Flow Blockchain to the Flow GitHub repository. The Flow GitHub repository is currently under the control of the Core Team.
  2. Members of the Flow Ecosystem discuss a submitted proposal; during this process, anyone may propose modifications to the originally submitted proposal
  3. Eventually, it is determined whether there is community consensus to implement a given proposal
  4. If and once community consensus forms around a proposal, the Core Team authorizes and implements the changes in a set of compatible protocol definitions and software implementations so they can be deployed by Validators maintaining the Flow Blockchain. The Validators choose which Protocol Version to use.

On-Chain governance mechanisms are being formed in conjunction with the Flow community and have not yet been finalized. Token holders will have the right to vote on proposals put forward by the governing body."

DAO

  • Flow aims towards on-chain governance and DAOs. However it seems not to be live yet, 1 year later. There is a forum, but no voting portal. From their docs (11-10-2021):

"Starting in late 2020, driven by community efforts, on-chain voting will begin as a signaling mechanism: votes will not be binding, but they will be visible to the entire community and will guide the development teams’ efforts.

Additionally, over the first year, various ecosystem development efforts will be dispersed across decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) which will require FLOW or ‘FLOW-infused’ tokens for voting. Service protocols built on top of the Flow network (e.g. stablecoins) will be the first major components of the protocol to be transferred to fully on-chain governance.

Over time, the Flow community will be asked to help define and provide feedback on network upgrades implementing on-chain governance. Initially, FLOW stakeholders will vote for a representative council that can make day-to-day decisions. The council’s vote acts as a “default” that every token-holder can accept by doing nothing – or actively override.

Proposals can be brought on a public forum with full transparency to anyone with access to the blockchain. In practice, we expect the majority of decisions to be made by the council, without the need for token stakeholders to vote. That said, all decisions will be made publicly, and any stakeholder will have the opportunity to organize grassroots action by token stakeholders to veto specific decisions or to vote to replace council members.There will be three kinds of decisions made via the governance process:

  1. Ecosystem decisions: Issues relating to the functioning of the network that can not be expressed within the protocol definition: This includes things like choosing the council members and finalizing any grants or prizes set by the foundation.
  2. Protocol parameters: Some aspects of the protocol (such as the number of seats available for each node type) are set as parameters and don’t require a protocol upgrade (and therefore a new version of the node software). These parameters can be modified by the governance process.
  3. Protocol upgrades: A protocol upgrade (also called a “hard fork”) can theoretically change anything about the protocol; the consensus algorithm, the low-level network communication structure, modifying or adding a new execution environment. In practice, these kinds of upgrades will be exceedingly rare and require large participation and buy-in from every FLOW stakeholder."
  • Flow has acquired @makebrud in order to bring DAOs to Flow (9-10-2021).

Treasury

Token

Launch

  • Had three private sales (15-3-3021).
  • From CoinDesk (5-3-2020):

"Dapper Labs team is planning a token sale later this year for accredited investors, the details of which are still unclear. “Blockchains have their own revenue stream as a part of them, from selling tokens,” Shirley said, adding that tokens won’t be sold to the public until it is legally “prudent” to do so. “We do think the financial support for building a blockchain should be separate from funding from the games. The games need to make sense on their own.”"

From Cointelegraph (7-10-2020):

"Has completed a Dutch auction for the native token of their ‘Flow’ blockchain, selling 2% of its entire supply at $0.38 each. Bidding for the Flow auction started at $1 at 5 am PT on Oct. 6, and lasted for five hours before finding a final settlement price of $0.38. Coinlist was predicting a final price of $0.28 three hours into the auction, indicating that several large bids were entered late into the auction.

Two percent, or 25 million tokens, out of Flow’s entire supply, was sold through the auction. The tokens are now subject to a 12-month lock-up.

The auction was the second Flow token sale, following from the Oct. 2 ‘community sale’ that allowed non-U.S. residents to purchase 10,000 Flow Tokens each at the pre-seed investment price of $0.10 per token."

Token allocation

"Short Term. The Flow blockchain will have an initial bootstrapping phase to create the initial circulating supply for the network through staking rewards paid to anyone willing to lock their FLOW token and participate in the network. During the bootstrapping phase, at least 20M FLOW tokens will be distributed, representing approximately 1.6% monetary inflation. Staking rewards begin accruing after November 2, 2020 and are paid out every epoch (approximately weekly).

Long Term. New issuance on Flow is used for staking rewards in cases when transaction fees are not sufficient to compensate delegators and validator node operators. On or before December 15, 2020, the total new issuance rate across the network is capped at 5% per year. This cap will go down to 3% after June 1, 2022. New issuance “tops up” the transaction fees to a minimum guaranteed income for node operators. If fees cover the income guarantees, new issuance goes to 0. Therefore, as the Flow blockchain gains adoption and fees increase, the issuance should eventually remain at zero while fees make up a majority of network rewards.”

Note: There is an additional 250 million FLOW tokens, half of which will be held in the foundation reserve for staking and delegation only while the other half is intended as collateral subsidies to secondary protocols. As a result of the intended lockup, these tokens are not reflected in the circulating supply.

  1. Founders & Project 38%
  2. Investors 33%
  3. AirDrops & Rewards 29%"

Utility

"The FLOW token ... is the native asset for the Flow blockchain that is used by validators, developers and users to participate in the FLOW network and earn rewards,"

"The FLOW token is the blockchain native token required for staking on the platform, as well as the currency in which staking rewards are paid. In addition, small amounts of FLOW token are required to pay transaction fees and a minimum reserved balance is required to pay for storage on the network.

Flow is a proof-of-stake system, so operations of the validator nodes require FLOW tokens. The tokens will have multiple uses, including:

  1. Staking
  2. Staking rewards
  3. Gas/Transaction fees
  4. Account storage deposits
  5. Collateral for stablecoin and other third party defi products
  6. Participation in future protocol governance and ecosystem development"

Token Details

Stablecoin

FUSD

"Dapper Labs has announced a new dollar-backed stablecoin made in partnership with Prime Trust, the financial infrastructure provider. Called FUSD, it will work much like familiar stablecoins Circle’s USDC and Gemini’s GUSD in that it will simply be one-for-one backed by U.S dollars deposited at Prime Trust. Notably, Gharegozlou said FUSD also represents the first ERC-20-like token on Flow, enabled by the Flow Client Library (FCL), a new tool that will enable faster development on the network."

Coin Distribution

  • Backers' allocation has been limited in the sales to below 3%.

Tech

  • Whitepaper can be found here.
  • Code can be viewed here.
  • Programming language used: Dapper Labs has launched (3-2020) a new platform called “Flow Playground” last month, alongside a new programming language similar to Swift and Rust called Cadence.
  • Launched a simulator, The Flow Playground for its upcoming Flow blockchain. Cadence will be it's (self created) programming language. From CoinDesk (5-3-2020): 

"Scaling limitations weren’t the only reason Dapper Labs switched over from using Solidity, Ethereum’s native language. Shirley said Ethereum’s forthcoming sharding approach in Eth 2.0 would “really limit what you can do with smart contracts” and his team wanted to use a more “consumer-oriented” platform that can handle gaming volume without clogging the network."

Transaction Details

"Flow targets 1 second block times but the protocol is still early in its development and further optimizations are needed to achieve that. As of Feb 2021, the rate of block finalization on Mainnet is 0.4 blocks/s; with a standard deviation of ±0.1 blocks/s. Hence, a new block is finalized on average every 2.5 seconds. Note that block height only has a loose correlation with time, as the block rate naturally fluctuates."

How it works

"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.

As of Fall 2019, the team at Dapper Labs has been building the production version of the Flow network. This includes complete implementations of protocol logic for each of the various node types, integration of the Hot Stuff consensus algorithm, and implementation of the various crypto libraries and signatures the protocol requires. The team released the Flow Beta Mainnet in May which supports production user experiences for us and its partners."

"Unique among crypto networks, Flow achieves dramatic improvements in speed and throughput by separating the jobs of a cryptocurrency miner or validator into four different roles, each with their own characteristics. This means anyone with a reliable internet connection should be able to participate as a validator for Flow, at a variety of computational and financial tiers.

Validators join Flow in one of four roles:

  1. Collector Nodes increase efficiency
  2. Execution Nodes enable speed and scale
  3. Verifier Nodes guarantee correctness
  4. Consensus Nodes ensure decentralization

Smart contracts and user accounts on Flow can always interact with each other in one atomic, consistent, isolated, and durable (ACID) transaction. In other words: all applications on Flow can run in the same shared execution state. On Flow, every application can be a platform."

"Flow, by contrast, aims to create many subdivisions of its network to allow for the total work to be split across nodes, with each node only validating a subset of the transactions. To do this, the Flow blockchain employs a multi-node, multi-role architecture."

Fees

Upgrades

"For Beta Mainnet the native token (FLOW) existed on the network to instantiate user accounts and provide a minimal balance for user to conduct their first transactions. All fees were a small nominal amount at this stage. Future development will include integration of epochs (the ability for new nodes to join and leave the protocol), full challenge arbitration by the consensus nodes, performance improvements to the protocol, and upgrades to the programming language (Cadence)."

Staking

  • Flow Blockchain claims (21-10-2021) that 68% of nodes on the blockchain are run by the community. However, Flow has 4 types of nodes:
  1. Execution
  2. Consensus
  3. Collection
  4. Verification Execution, Collection and Verification are all still heavily dominated by the Flow Team. Only Consensus now has 1/3rd Flow Team nodes and is suddenly flooded with 'unknown' nodes. Just 2 weeks ago these numbers were still Flow owing 2/3rds. Even if these unknown nodes are really outsiders, than still 3 out of 4 checkpoints are owned by the Flow Team, so it is too early to call out decentralization.
  • From the Flow docs (15-3-2021):

“There are a number of teams currently running a node on the Flow network including companies like Samsung, Ubisoft, and T-Systems (a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom); non-profits and academic institutions like Cal Berkeley, Yonsei University, and the Andreessen Horowitz Cultural Leadership Fund; as well as crypto funds and infrastructure providers including Bison Trails, StakeFish, Figment Networks, and 50+ others.”

  • There are a total of 335 nodes as of 15-3-2021 and 3919 delegators staking in total about 619615621.24597571 FLOW. Figment is number two on the list of stakers. From the execution nodes, 4 out of 7 are from the Flow team. Within the consensus, it is again a majority of Flow team nodes. Same for the collection nodes and the Verification nodes.

Liquidity Mining

Scaling

Interoperability

  • "Flow will not directly support the EVM" from their FAQ (15-3-2021).

Implementations

Other Details

"Another unique feature of the Flow blockchain is that developers can release their dapp in beta, while updating the code as problems arise. Users will be alerted to these changes as they are interacting with the software. Once the authors submit the final version of the code, it then becomes immutable, meaning that it cannot be changed again."

Oracle Method

Privacy Method

Their Other Projects

Roadmap

  • Can be found [Insert link here].

Usage

Projects that use or built on it

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fast and cheap.

Cons

  • Still early (15-3-2021) in its progress of development. Dapp creaters have to go through a form to list their dapps (this seems to have been solved 11-10-2021). Governance is still unclear. The team holds the majority of nodes.

Competition

Team, Funding, Partners

Team

  • Full team can be found [here].
  • Created by DapperLabs

Funding

  • Dapper Labs raised $18M in Token Sale for NFT-Centric Flow Blockchain (12-10-2020).
  • Had in total, three private sales, with $33.1M worth (9-2020).
  • Partnered with Google (14-9-2021):

"Through the multi-year partnership, Google Cloud will act as a network operator, offering its infrastructure to help Flow scale."

Partners 

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