Flow Blockchain: A Blockchain For Open Worlds

Author: Okereke Innocent
June 9, 2021

 |5 min read

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Flow Blockchain

Introduction

Flow is a user-friendly, decentralized, and, scalable Blockchain designed to support the creation of crypto-related games, digital assets, and applications that power them. Flow ensures scalability without sharding which makes it possible to keep transactions atomic, consistent, isolated, and durable (ACID).

Developed in 2018 by dapper labs, the Flow was licensed for use in 2020 for developers interested in creating and trading NFT. It gives the power to control data to the consumers, and it also gives the liberty to create any digital asset that can be traded anywhere in the world. Flow is an open-source Blockchain with its smart contract, which can be used by billions of people to power their applications.

Why Flow?

In 2017, the dapper team launched CryptoKitties on the Ethereum network. CryptoKitties is a crypto-related game that allows you to buy, train, and sell cats online. The game became so popular that it brought congestion to the Ethereum Blockchain, causing it to stop. This event made the dapper’s team develop another Blockchain called FLOW. 

Flow was designed to meet the demand of crypto-games like CryptoKitties and other non-fungible token collectibles.

Working Of Flow Blockchain

Flow uses the multi-approach model to operate. This model is grouped into four pillars.

  • Multi-role architecture
  • Resource-oriented programming
  • Developer ergonomics
  • Consumer onboarding

Multi-role Architecture

The four components that make up the validator node.
Source:https://assets.website-files.com/5f6294c0c7a8cdd643b1c820/5fcff1a16213f9d33a6db5ff_ezgif.com-resize.gif

Traditionally, nodes operate and process Blockchain transactions and carry out all the operations involved in transactions. The roles result in a slow transaction and cause the transaction not to be serialized. Flow was able to solve this problem without compromising scaling productivity with pipelining – a technique used for dividing the roles of the validator nodes into four.

They are as follows:

  • Consensus nodes: Ensures the transactions on the Blockchain are present and orderly.
  • Verification nodes: Keeps the execution mode accountable. 
  • Execution nodes: Carries out computation on each transaction.
  • Collection nodes: Ensure that the network connectivity and data is available for application on the network.

The consensus and verification nodes handle the security of the Blockchain. The nodes ensure that the network is functional and accountable through the use of crypto-economic incentives. If a faulty collection or execution node introduces erroneous data into the Blockchain, any other honest node can punish and recover from the erroneous data. The consensus and verification node only allows a high level of participation from individuals.

The execution and collection node takes care of the scalability and security of the network. The beauty of the multi-role architecture is that all nodes are accountable and verifiable by one another.

Learn about TRON Blockchain.

Resource-Oriented Programming

Flow uses a high-level programming language called “Cadence”. Cadence is easy to read and enjoy because of its ergonomic syntax. It is easy to learn, audit, and highly productive. It was designed to be secure, minimize runtime error, and easy to use to create unique and durable applications. To learn Cadence, visit the Flow playground on play.onflow.org.

Developer Ergonomics

A developer determines the tools that can affect their productivity. The criteria for selecting the tools depends upon the installation process, configuration, administration, usage, and maintenance. Flow has designed open-source tools that meet the above criteria. The tools are:

  • Flow Javascript SDK: It is designed for frontend engineers. You can use Flow javascript SDK to create applications without application binary interface (ABI).
    Easy right? That is the flexibility that this tool brings.
  • Flow Go SDK: This tool is for backend developers interested in interacting with Flow.
  • Visual Studio Code Extension: This extension can install Cadence on the Visual studio to interact with Flow and check for errors in your code.

Also, Flow made it possible for developers that built their smart contracts to deploy it to the mainnet in a ‘beta form’. This gives room to update before releasing it. Once released, the contract becomes immutable. Furthermore, Flow alerts the users that the code is not complete, so they can decide to wait until completion before use. This method of smart contract deployment is a deviation from the previous ways where a smart contract cannot be updated after launch. 

Flow reduces finality i.e. time taken for a transaction to be included in a block permanently – on Blockchains. Finality happens on Flow in seconds, which was previously not possible with other Blockchains.

Consumer-friendly Onboarding

You can pay with fiat, FLOW token or other crypto tokens for you to access the Flow network. Flow also gives the flexibility of owning a smart contract wallet that does not require seed phrases. You can easily create a smart user account on your wallet that is secured and supports automated processes. 

Advantages Of Flow

  • Provision of a scalable Blockchain without sharding the system.
  • Presence of the multi-role architecture to ensure a faster transaction.
  • The provision of open-source tools for developers to use when building an application.
  • Ability to use the network with on-ramp payment.

Conclusion

Flow was designed as a solution to the “slow finality” of the Blockchain without sharding. It had achieved this without compromising the safety and serialization of the Blockchain. The Flow team partnered with the NBA, and this partnership has increased the popularity of the Flow network. Flow has made it possible to build an application that users can enjoy worldwide.

Also, read about Azure Blockchain.

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