Flow is a layer-1 blockchain that aims to be fast, decentralized, and developer-oriented. 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 is the native token of the Flow network and has the following use cases:
Payment for network services: All activities will be required to pay a transaction fee in FLOW tokens, this includes creating new user accounts, storing assets, and interacting with smart contracts.
Deposit for data storage: FLOW tokens are required to reserve on-chain storage capacity. An account with a higher FLOW balance would have access to more storage capacity, which some developers or applications may require.
Validator nodes: Token holders can stake their FLOW tokens and run validator nodes, which helps to secure the network in return for FLOW token rewards. Alternatively, users may also delegate their tokens to third party operators that helps to run validator nodes on their behalf.
Collateral for secondary tokens: Key service protocols are incentivized to “infuse” their tokens through a bonding curve mechanism with the native FLOW token. The key benefits of infused tokens include improved liquidity, reduced volatility, collateral-backed by FLOW tokens, and participation in Flow governance via secondary tokens.
Governance: Token holders can participate in on-chain voting as a signaling mechanism. Although the voting results are currently non-binding, they are publicly visible and will guide the development teams’ efforts. Initially, FLOW stakeholders will vote for a representative council that can make day-to-day decisions.
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 decentralization of network consensus.
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.