Blockchain I Flow project

Gepubliceerd op 18 december 2022 om 09:14

Flow is a blockchain on which various applications can run. Think of NFT, DeFi, gaming and Dapps. What is flow and how exactly does this blockchain work? Flow is fairly unknown but has a lot of potential.


If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that blockchain has all kinds of problems. One of them is scalability. If many users use the blockchain, then the blockchain can no longer handle the numbers of transactions properly. The blockchain becomes congested, increases transaction costs and takes longer to complete. If you are not in a hurry, it does not matter if you have to wait a little longer. But if you want to buy a cup of coffee with crypto, for example, you don't want to wait 20 minutes for the payment to be processed.

A well-known example of a scalability problem is Ethereum. At its peak, a transaction could cost hundreds of dollars more. Suppose you want to transfer an amount of 100 euros. The transaction cost could double that. That's not what users want. The reason why Ethereum had such high transaction costs was because Ethereum is very popular among users and developers.

The Flow blockchain's focus is the high transaction speed. The developers consider this aspect most important because they are targeting the consumer market. Usability is also a focus point. Therefore, this all makes perfect sense. If developers can easily build applications on the Flow blockchain, then more applications will come. This will increase the number of users, which will cause more people to buy the Flow crypto. This will cause the price of the Flow crypto to increase.

Programming with Cadence
Cadence is a newly developed programming language. All developers use Cadence to write smart contracts on the blockchain.

Many new developers who want to program on the Flow blockchain will not be happy that they have to learn a new programming language. Cadence is indeed a new programming language intended for Flow. But the Cadence programming language has the idea that it should be easy for developers to build smart contracts. For this, you only need to click blocks together. The interface can be used by any developer. If you already have a good knowledge of a programming language, Cadence should not pose any problems. According to Flow, Cadence is also more secure than Solidity, the language used on Ethereum.

Why having a proprietary programming language is often detrimental
Before this, I mentioned that new developers need to relearn a programming language. Developers often already master many programming languages and often don't want to learning a new one. This can cause Flow's popularity to decline and few developers to want to work with the Flow blockchain. Learning a new programming language takes a lot of time and energy. Therefore, it is important to build a programming language that is easy for developers to learn and use.

Many new programming languages make sure that their own programming language is very similar to a language that many developers already know (such as Solidity, Python, etc.). This creates more convenience for developers and they can get started right away. They do not then have to learn a new language from scratch. By making some modifications - including joining an existing programming language - a programming language can be even easier to use.

The blockchain is designed to be used by billions of users, without requiring sharding or reducing the decentralization of the network and consensus algorithm.

Flow uses a pipeline architecture on the blockchain. This takes on tasks normally performed by nodes. This allows nodes to focus on other issues and work more efficiently because they don't have to tiptoe around getting work done.

Nodes are roughly divided into four groups.

Consensus nodes: this node ensures that the transaction comes in correctly and guarantees the order of transactions.
Collection nodes: these nodes ensure that the network connection remains online and that the data from the Dapps remains available.
Execution nodes: these nodes ensure that a block is added and linked to the previous block.
Verification nodes: these nodes verify the work of the execution node.

The difference with the Flow blockchain and the other blockchain is that in the Flow blockchain there are several nodes with different tasks. Each node has its own specific task and does not interfere with the tasks of other nodes. At the other blockchains, the nodes have to store and process the entire status of the blockchain. Each node performs the tasks as indicated above. Therefore, you can easily imagine that if many transactions need to be processed, the nodes cannot handle it well. Because the nodes have different tasks, transactions and tasks can be processed faster. Working with 5 other people is more efficient than if you have to do everything yourself.

Or if someone has to put a product in a box, seal the box, put a sticker on the box, transport it to a container at the port, load it into the container and then put the container on the ship, it takes a very long time to ship one box. It is much easier if this whole process is done by different parties. More boxes can be ready in the same amount of time than if you were to do it on your own. So this also works on the Flow blockchain.

Focused on consumers
Besides making it easy for developers - with a simple programming language - they also want to make the blockchain easier for consumers. By doing so, Flow hopes that consumers will also start using the blockchain (through their crypto). Flow does this through simple language and clear layout.

Atomic, Consistent, Isolated, Durable (ACID).
The way Flow works ensures that the blockchain has full ACID guarantees. ACID stands for Atomic, Consistent, Isolated and Durable.

The code written by developers are available to anyone. In fact, Flow's code is open source. Any developer can reuse or improve this code. This allows for more innovation within the Flow blockchain. As a result, more and better applications programmed on the Flow blockchain can come onto the market.

Proof of Stake (PoS)

Flow's network is based on the Proof of Stake consensus algorithm. There are many different types of consensus algorithms, of which Proof of Work (PoW) is probably the best known. In recent years, more use has been made of PoS.

The reason is that the PoS is less impactful on the climate. After all, very little power is used when verifying transactions on the blockchain.

The PoS works with a validator. This validator is allowed to verify the transaction on the blockchain. This validator is chosen through their stake in the network. The more crypto they have in a project, the more likely they are to be allowed to verify the transaction on the blockchain. For this they receive a reward (block reward).

A major disadvantage is that this makes the richer validators richer. After all, you need a lot of money to be chosen in the first place to verify a transaction on the blockchain. If you have little money, you can't become a validator easily. The validators with a big stake get richer, because they pocket the block reward. It also seems that the blockchain is becoming more centralized because only a few rich validators verify all transactions.

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