Flow token with a ticker “FLOW” or “F” is a digital asset issued by the Flow platform to serve as a native currency for its ecosystem. Flow is one of the Dapper Labs’ projects. This company was founded in 2018 and became famous thanks to its blockchain-based applications like NBA Top Shot and CryptoKitties, the project which was so successful that it brought clogging of the Ethereum network in 2017.
Powering the decentralized network, the token is designed to scale without sharding. The developers can create their businesses on the basis of the Flow blockchain and use the apps to control their data.
Flow features a four-node architecture that helps to speed up transaction processing and makes it less expensive improving hardware capacity as well. Speed and cost-effectiveness are achieved without compromising the decentralization. It also doesn’t require breaking up the network into layers or shards for smooth performance. The split of consensus from computing helped the developers to increase throughput considerably without loss of security.
The characteristics of the FLOW token set it apart from many other cryptocurrencies. The diversity of its use turns the digital asset into the token for apps, games, and smart contracts created on the basis of the Flow blockchain. It provides the opportunity to build the system into their apps to make P2P payments possible and accept payments for the services. The members of the community are able to hold, transfer, and transact the native token through a peer-to-peer channel.
The platform gives the opportunity to earn rewards by staking the FLOW tokens thus powering the network and securing it via running validators nodes. It’s also possible to delegate stake to qualified operators performing the job for them. Validators are necessary to deliver computation and storage for the network making it secure.
Flow is required to pay for the activities on the network including storage or execution of smart contracts. With the development of the platform, more services appear that can also employ tokens. The token is going to be used as a governance token as well, collateral, and medium of exchange.
The mainnet started operating in May 2020. During this stage, other cryptocurrencies were employed for services’ payment. The phase of token generation and distribution started after 1.25 billion tokens were created. The distributed assets remain locked for a year for all members of the community and the team without exception.
The developers of Flow used Cadence programming language, which is simple and safe for apps and crypto-assets. The Flow has a multi-role architecture with the pipelines that require staking for work and including Consensus, Verification, Execution, and Collection Nodes. All of them perform their duties from deciding upon the order of transactions to their computation and the improvement of network connectivity and data availability for dApps. The roles are separated to decrease the possibility of redundancy. The architecture was designed so that each node could trigger the recovery process to correct the invalid data obtained from dishonest Collection and Execution Nodes. It was also very important for developers to create a system with a high number of participants as even users with consumer-grade hardware can act as validators.
One of the versions of the proof-of-stake algorithm HotStuff is employed for the work of consensus nodes. The architecture of the system makes it less vulnerable to hacking attacks. The platform also uses a new cryptographic technique SPoCKs (Specialized Proofs за Confidential Knowledge) that was developed by the in-house team of the company. It enables the demonstration of access to confidential data to third-party observers that can be fulfilled by any number of provers. To ensure a healthy ecosystem the team launched a Developer Alpha Program to attract blockchain developers for technical feedback.
Before the tokens were issued, the Dapper Labs used convertible notes for fundraising, which is a kind of a hybrid of stocks and bonds. They are expected to be converted into the FLOW tokens. The company managed to raise 24.6 million USD in this way.
The distribution of the tokens is organized in the following way: the largest share (29%) was preserved for the development of the ecosystem. 20% of tokens are allocated to Dapper Labs and 18% of tokens to the development team. Large and small backers received 11.1% and 8.9% of tokens correspondingly, while 13% of tokens were offered for community sales.
In August 2020 the funding round was closed after the company raised 12 million dollars. The round was led by NBA stars. The token sale that took place in October 2020 attracted 13,000 people who participated in the offering. According to the Crunchbase data, the platform had over 4 funding rounds and raised a total of 52.5 million USD to date, at the time of writing.
The official website of the Dapper Labs says that over 500 developers are involved in the development of the Flow blockchain that is called ‘the blockchain for open worlds’. Roham Gharegozlou is the CEO of Dapper Labs that created CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot before Flow. Roham has Bachelor’s degree in Economics as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences he studied at Stanford. Also, he founded Axiom Zen, where he held the position of CEO.
The founder and CTO of the company is Dieter Shirley who co-founded CryptoKitties and was the author of the ERC-721 proposal determining non-fungible token standard. He also worked for Axiom Zen where he was a Chief Architect.
It’s also worth mentioning Mikhael Naayem among the key figures who manage the project. Mikhael is a Chief Business Officer who previously founded the Fuel platform and was its CEO until 2017 when the customer base reached 225 million users and it was sold to Animoca.
Dapper Labs’ blockchain partners with NBA and NBA’s Top Shot marketplace helping the league to sell packs of “moments”, which resemble the trading cards in digital form.
In October 2020, Dapper Labs announced an exclusive partnership with Finoa, the leading digital asset custody and financial servicing platform in Europe enabling institutional-grade custody to those who want to invest in the platform. Besides, the users can do it directly from Finoa’s secure infrastructure.