February 24, 2022

Guide to Flow Blockchain for Ethereum users

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Flowverse

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View more Flow Blockchain Research
Ethereum users guide to Flow Blockchain
Written by James and Nish
Publish Date: 24th Feb 2022

What is this guide?

This guide has been written and edited by James and Nish - founders of Flowverse. Flowverse is an independent central hub for Flow Blockchain covering all aspects of the ecosystem and enabling people to easily discover NFTs, applications, companies and projects building on Flow.

In this report, we aim to introduce Ethereum and other layer-1 blockchain users to what's happening on Flow Blockchain. This includes how to get involved, covering some key misconceptions as well as discussing leading applications and infrastructure.

The report is entirely free!! Though if you're an investor or company looking to explore and/ or analyse opportunities within the Flow Blockchain ecosystem, Flowverse does offer an enterprise solution. Perhaps you're an Ethereum or Solana project wanting to make the move over to Flow? Just reach out via flowverseportal@gmail.com for more information.

Disclaimers

  • There is so much happening on Flow Blockchain that we can't include every amazing Flow project in this report
  • We draw many comparisons between the category-leading (most well-known) applications on Ethereum to similar applications on Flow throughout this report. The rationale being that this could be useful for people looking to get into the Flow ecosystem with experience on other chains. It is however important to note that (1) most Flow projects are unique and innovative in their own right - they are not copy-pastas of Eth projects and (2) these are pretty rough comparisons
  • This guide IS NOT an endorsement of any project mentioned
  • All content provided herein our website, hyperlinked sites, associated applications, forums, blogs, social media accounts and other platforms is for your general information only, procured primarily from third party sources. Flowverse does not warrant the accuracy, security and up-datedness of this information. The information should not be construed as professional or financial advice of any kind. Any use or reliance on our content and services is solely at your own risk and discretion

Before we get into this report it's definitely worth emphasising the third disclaimer. To put it in layman's terms, NFTs are risky - see this tweet from @garyvee.

1 - Introduction to Flow Blockchain

What is Flow Blockchain?

Flow is a fast, decentralized, and developer-friendly layer-1 blockchain. It was created by Dapper Labs, the team behind CryptoKitties, to solve problems they had scaling CryptoKitties on the Ethereum network.

  • The CTO of Flow, Dieter Shirley, created the ERC-721 NFT standard on Ethereum and coined the term ‘NFT’

Flow aims to be the foundation behind mainstream consumer applications that will scale crypto from its current user base to the billions.

  • So far Flow is mainly using NFTs to do this, however already we are starting to see the emergence of DAOs, DeFi and fungible tokens on the network.
  • Despite widespread news coverage, the total number of NFT users across all chains globally remains tiny (according to Cryptoslam, there's roughly around 3.8m buyers and 3.2m sellers in the secondary market). It is possible this user-base expands beyond crypto diehards to the >1 billion mainstream users in the coming years, and Flow aims to be at the centre of this.

Flow differs from other blockchains because it was explicitly designed to support games and consumer applications on day one, with the throughput necessary to scale to millions of active users.

  • It has high profile partnerships across sport and entertainment with the NBA, UFC, La Liga and NFL all building on Flow, as well as Warner and Universal music group (partly through an application on Flow called Genies)

What is the $FLOW cryptocurrency?

The Flow cryptocurrency ($FLOW) is the native currency for the Flow network - the exclusive token for staking, governance, payment of transaction fees and the principal reserve asset on the network.

  • i.e. $FLOW is Flow Blockchain’s equivalent to $ETH for Ethereum or $SOL for Solana

On 7 Feb 2022, Flow announced that $wFLOW (wrapped $FLOW) will be available soon enabling the community to bridge their $FLOW from Flow to Ethereum with just a few clicks and deploy the value held in their $FLOW tokens on the Ethereum ecosystem.

2 - Misconceptions

Two common misconceptions regarding Flow is that (1) it's the blockchain just for NBA Top Shot and (2) it's centralized by Dapper. Another more general misconception is that all NFTs are bad for the environment. To briefly address these:

  • NBA Top Shot does currently make up a large majority (>95%) of total sales on Flow with $890m secondary sales at time of writing. However, large IP projects such as UFC Strike, La Liga on Flow, Genies, FanCraze and NFL All Day will all likely reduce this proportion. Indeed from just it's first NFT drop, UFC Strike made $5m in Primary sales. On top of this, there are 675+ active projects, 5000+ developers and 200+ public projects building on Flow listed on the Flowverse website, which are gaining momentum including Flovatar, Matrix World, Chainmonsters, Zeedz,  Ballerz and Hoodlums.
  • Flow Blockchain is progressively decentralizing. As of October 2021, Dapper Labs announced that Flow community validators are now running ~68% of the blockchain network’s consensus nodes.
  • Flow uses an environmentally friendly design via Proof-of-Stake which consumes thousands of times less energy than Proof-of-Work blockchains like Bitcoin and the current Ethereum network. Findings from Deloitte Canada recently revealed minting a Flow NFT uses less energy than a Google search or Instagram post. Here is also a fun game to show how little energy Flow NFTs use, compared to the current Ethereum network.

Looking at the Flow Blockchain sales rankings leaderboard below reveals more information about the vibrant ecosystem of projects building on Flow (see flowverse.co/rankings).

Flowverse Rankings leaderboard showing Primary, Secondary sales of Flow projects at 15/2/2022

2 - Crypto wallets (i.e. what's similar to MetaMask on Flow?)

Most Ethereum users would be familiar with a crypto wallet such as MetaMask to navigate the ecosystem and connect to applications such as Uniswap and Opensea, as well as DeFi protocols.

Likewise, Flow also has crypto wallets which can be used to connect to NFT projects and applications built on Flow. Anecdotally, the two most widely used and integrated wallets across Flow applications and products are Blocto and Dapper but Ledger, Finoa and Kraken are also providers.

  • Blocto wallet: Next generation wallet allowing users to explore the crypto world hassle-free with a user-friendly interface. This wallet is used to connect to the vast majority of Flow ecosystem applications. It’s also cross-chain enabling you to store not just Flow NFTs and fungible tokens but also Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche, Solana, Polygon and Tron. The Blocto wallet is built by the portto team.
Blocto Wallet (Source: portto)

  • Dapper wallet: This is a crypto wallet built by the Dapper team. It’s very intuitive to use however is limited to relatively few Flow Blockchain applications (though more will be integrated soon). Applications integrated with Dapper wallet include NBA Top Shot, Genies, The Player’s Lounge, NFL All Day, Ballerz/Gaia and UFC Strike.

3 - Block Explorers (i.e. i.e. what's similar to Etherscan on Flow?)

All blockchains require a block explorer that enable users to search for real-time and historical information about a blockchain, including data related to blocks, transactions, addresses, and more.

The most used block explorer on Flow Blockchain is Flowscan. Another block explorer is Big Dipper.

  • These are the Flow ecosystem’s equivalent of Etherscan or BscScan and are both built by third-party companies building within the Flow ecosystem.
Flowscan Block Explorer (Source: Flowscan.org)

Looking beyond block explorers

There are also a set of analytical tools that analyse on-chain data to provide insights into usage and growth of NFTs and applications on Flow Blockchain.

These include simple sales bots which monitor sales of Flow NFT collections on Twitter such as:

Beyond simple sales bots, there are full-feature platforms to monitor user activity and/ or transactions of different Flow NFT collections. Many will be familiar to Ethereum users as they also track NFTs on other blockchains

3 - NFTs

NFT marketplaces (i.e. what's similar to Opensea on Flow?)

On Ethereum the most used marketplace to buy NFTs is Opensea, so naturally a common question asked for those new to the Flow Blockchain community is what is the Opensea equivalent?

Flow NFT marketplaces are currently quite fragmented however general purpose ones do exist and include:

  • VIV3 - The first general marketplace on Flow. They are a curated marketplace meaning creators cannot mint their NFTs without getting permission from the VIV3 team. This was also home to one of the earliest drops on Flow, Ben Mauro's Evolution.
  • BloctoBay - Decentralised marketplace built by the Blocto/portto team. Similar to Opensea but no minting - this is just for reselling NFTs that have been integrated into the BloctoBay marketplace platform
  • Rarible - The popular Ethereum marketplace also offers NFT minting on Flow, as well as for integrated Flow Blockchain collections to be traded
  • Opensea - Is expected to be integrated with the Flow Blockchain in Q1 2022
  • Mynft - Platform designed to connect East and West markets and provide users with a premium experience
  • Disrupt Art - NFT marketplace for artists & collectors focused on social impact
As at 22/2/22, BloctoBay was the fourth highest volume NFT marketplace (Source: DappRadar)

Given the fragmented nature of Flow marketplaces, many applications/ companies that launch Flow NFTs currently opt to operate their own independent marketplaces which exclusively list NFTs they produced or helped launch. Some examples:

  • NBA Topshot - Trade and collect officially licensed NBA highlights called 'Moments'
  • Flovatar - Enables users to create their own fully on-chain PFP
  • Starly - A marketplace and launchpad for your gamified NFT collections
  • Gaia marketplace incl. Ballerz - A Flow NFT marketplace created by the NFT Genius team
  • Sturdy Exchange incl. Hoodlums - A curated Flow NFT marketplace
  • Geniace - A curated NFT collectibles marketplace for culture's icons
  • Mynft - A Flow marketplace designed to connect the West and East markets
  • Versus - A curated NFT auction platform built on Flow
  • Blockparty - A NFT marketplace that fully supports minting and trading of Flow NFTs
  • nWayPlay - A marketplace for officially licensed IPs such as the Olympics
  • Chainmonsters - A massively multiplayer RPG where you can catch, battle, trade and compete with digital monsters
  • Enemy metal - An NFT collection set across the galaxy
  • Eternal - Collect moments from Twitch streamer clips and gaming history
  • RCRDSHP - Trade, collect music and related digital collectibles
  • Misa - Discover and collect art, powered by KÖNIG GALERIE
  • Many more

Minting NFTs on Flow

I’m a creator/artist and I want to mint NFTs on Flow. What options are there?

  • Rarible - some limitations exist at the moment with respect to creating your own collection and minting but this is expected to change in 2022
  • Many other options do exist but you need to be vetted before minting i.e. Starly, VIV3, Sturdy Exchange, Blockparty, Versus, Mynft
  • Opensea is expected to come to Flow in Q1 2022

PFPs / avatars

A profile picture, or PFP for short, is a form of NFT that has grown in popularity heavily throughout 2021 culminating in Twitter enabling users to set their Twitter profile picture to an Ethereum NFT. Successful Ethereum PFP collections include Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC), CryptoPunks, Doodles, Cool Cats and more.

What PFP can you use on Flow?

On Flow there are less than 15 total PFP collections to-date compared to probably 1000s on Ethereum. Though this number has been growing pretty rapidly over recent months...

It’s still too early to say what the 'blue-chips' will be (if there are any) but here are notable sets:

  • Hoodlums: First PFP on Flow, created by Somehoodlum
  • Ballerz: This was the first PFP to gain significant traction on Flow, potentially due to Flow’s association with basketball through NBA Top Shot and sports more broadly.
  • Flovatar: Innovative IP project on Flow that enables people to create their own fully on-chain PFP (Flovatar) and attach accessories known as Flobits.
  • Party Goobz: Aims to be the nightclub in the metaverse with frequent DJ sets in their Discord
  • Others include: Crypto Pharaohs, Goated Goats, Flunks, Melos Dino Musicians, DGD Mafia, CryptoPiggos, Schmoes

Going beyond PFP projects,  it is worth calling out Genies - a leading avatar technology company who raised $65m in their Series B in early 2021. They are building a culture driven marketplace for digital wearables to use on their avatars and eventually wants to become a 'Decentralised Disney', be your digital clone and enable people to create their own avatar ecosystems.

Gaming (play-to-earn and beyond)

Gaming has taken the crypto world by storm, with games such as Axie Infinity and Sorare catching the eyes of many. There are numerous innovative gaming applications being built on Flow such as:

  • Chainmonsters: A massively multiplayer RPG where you can catch, battle, trade and compete with digital monsters
  • Blocklete Golf: A mobile app play to earn golf game
  • Basic Beasts: Collect, evolve, breed and trade beasts
  • Dark Country: A NFT collectible trading card game that’s based in the American Gothic setting inspired by Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering
  • MotoGP Ignition: Officially licensed MotoGP game
  • RacingTime: A next generation RAC gaming experience
  • The Football Club: A blockchain based football fantasy manager
  • Enemy Metal: Build colonies across vibrant worlds and prepare for the battle against the mysterious Enemy that threatens the peaceful planets of the Sunstar System
  • Zeedz: A play-for-purpose game where players reduce global carbon emissions by collecting plant inspired creatures: Zeedles
  • Olympic Games Jam: Beijing 2022: The official game for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, where users compete in a number of sporting events, including snowboarding and skiing
  • more (see projects)

Music

Music NFTs have a great opportunity to empower creators and disrupt the traditional music industry, which is full of middlemen and streaming services taking an exorbitant proportion of sales revenues. Here are some music applications and NFTs being built on Flow:

  • RCRDSHP: A platform to securely trade music and related digital collectibles
  • Kollketion (KLKTN): Partners with select creators to produce exclusive digital collectibles
  • Fanfare: Own exclusive music from artists
  • Melos: Allows users to create their own Music NFTs on Melos Studio
  • TuneGO: An NFT marketplace connecting the music industry to artists e.g. Method Man
  • Unblocked: Enabling music & entertainment brands to build meaningful value for their communities
  • more (see projects)

Sports (there's a lot more than NBA Top Shot now...)

Flow is the home for sports NFTs and the success of NBA Top Shot has paved the way for an entire ecosystem including:

  • NFL ALL DAY: Digital video collectibles of officially licensed NFL Moments
  • UFC Strike: Buy, sell, trade, collect officially licensed UFC NFTs
  • LaLiga On Flow: Official digital collectibles of iconic LaLiga (popular football/soccer league) Moments
  • FanCraze: Digital video collectibles of officially licensed ICC cricket Moments
  • Canes Vault: The official NFT marketplace for the Miami Hurricanes
  • Fantastec Swap: Discover, collect and swap officially licensed Arsenal FC, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid CF NFTs
  • Pacific League Exciting Moments β: Collect moments and scenes in the history of Pacific League baseball (Japanese professional baseball league)
  • Raceday NFT: A motorsports NFT marketplace for race fans
  • Sportium: A multi-sports NFT platform with the goal of bringing traditional sports to the Metaverse
  • The Football Club: Blockchain based football fantasy manager
  • The Player's Lounge: An NFT community envisioned by former UGA football players, built for both fans and players alike
  • nWayPlay: Collectors can buy, sell and earn officially licensed Olympic NFTs, etc
  • SportsIcon: Partners with elite athletes e.g. Floyd Mayweather, Romelu Lukaku to release NFT videos, art and moments to their fans
  • San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls, Sacramento Kings, Real Madrid CF have/or are planning to launch NFTs on Flow e.g. NFT tickets, collectibles etc.
  • more (see Flowverse)

Digital Fashion

Following Adidas' hugely successful "Into the Metaverse" campaign... it seems NFTs are coming for fashion. Here's the landscape on Flow:

The metaverse (i.e. what's similar to Decentraland / Sandbox on Flow?)

The primary player offering digital land on Flow Blockchain is Matrix World. This is a 3D programmable multichain metaverse.

Unlike other 3D world projects, Matrix World released land across two different layer-1s: Ethereum and Flow; selling out 10,000 lands to-date with 50% on Flow and 50% on Ethereum. The drop on Flow has also had solid secondary market traction placing in #3 overall on Flow Blockchain total sales.

A demo space is releasing shortly with a preview of the alpha build available here.

  • Flow/ Dapper own a decent amount of land (108 lands)
  • Other Flow projects have also acquired land or are integrating their NFTs
  • Cheeze - photography museum
  • Party Gooberz - nightclub
  • Flowverse - HQ (only 1x1)
  • THiNG.FUND
  • In|RIFT - digital fashion on avatars
Matrix World land map

4 - Looking beyond NFTs (DeFi, fungible tokens, DAOs & more)

Though Flow is known known for and used pretty much exclusively for NFTs so far, we are starting to see innovative applications building beyond this. Indeed, Fungible tokens (the equivalent of ERC-20s) can also be built on top of Flow.

Fungible tokens

What's similar to Uniswap on Flow?

Uniswap is a decentralized exchange enabling people to swap fungible tokens on the Ethereum network.

  • The equivalent to Uniswap/ SushiSwap for exchanging fungible tokens built on top of the Flow network is Bloctoswap - which is another application built by the Blocto team

Is there a launchpad like BSCPad, Polkastarter etc. for Flow?

  • Blocto recently launched an IDO launchpad, with their first sale being the $STARLY token

What fungible tokens exist on Flow?

What’s the USDT/USDC (Stablecoin) of Flow?

  • $FUSD is a USD-backed stablecoin issued as a fungible token on the Flow network
  • $USDC recently came to Flow

DAOs

Dapper acquired Brud in late 2021 for an undisclosed amount with the view to make DAOs more user-friendly and accessible to a new generation of crypto web users on Flow Blockchain.

  • Brud became 'Dapper Collective'
  • Brud’s founder Trevor McFedries is also the co-founder of one of the more popular DAOs on Ethereum called “Friends With Benefits.”

There are other players who are also building tools for DAOs including Emerald City (first DAO on Flow), Wonder and Collab Land

  • Emerald City are also building a POAP (proof of attendance protocol) on Flow, called 'FLOAT' which will enable people to seamlessly be rewarded NFTs as proof they attended particular events.

Other DAOs on Flow (or coming at somepoint in the future) include Blocto, Flovatar, Geniace, Mantle Finance, Starly and THiNG.FUND

DeFi Summer?

DeFi is very early on Flow, and so far is centred on NFTfi (DeFi applied to NFTs). However, eventually once there are more fungible tokens on Flow it could well expand beyond this.

  • Flowty -  Flow Blockchain based P2P collateralized NFT lending, launched on mainnet on 7th Feb 2022
  • Incrementalfi - Decentralized Money Market & more on Flow blockchain, aiming to build the liquidity engine for flow ecosystem
  • NFTfi - Currently on Ethereum but have stated people will soon be able to get a loan on your NBA Topshot and any other Flow based NFT through NFTfi
  • Mantle Finance - the first-ever Flow Blockchain NFT collateralized loan happened on this network in January 2022 involving a BALLERZ NFT
  • Schmoes Swap - Exchange any decentralized Flow NFT and Flow tokens in a peer-to-peer fashion
  • Barter Yard Club - The first NFT swap club built on Flow

Name services i.e. what's similar to ENS/ Unstoppable domains on Flow?

  • .find - "A place to find people and things on the Flow Blockchain" - also a gallery which enables you to show off your Flow NFTs with many projects already integrated
  • Flowns - a decentralized domain name service aiming to build an open protocol of identities and assets

5 - Buying and selling the Flow token

Crypto Exchanges

Flow can be purchased on crypto exchanges such as the ones listed here.

Through Moonpay

You can use Moonpay natively within the Blocto wallet mobile app to buy $FLOW with a credit card or other payment systems (such as ApplePay, Google Pay).

Some users report issues purchasing $FLOW through Moonpay - in this situation buying $FUSD through Moonpay and then swapping it to $FLOW on Bloctoswap can help. Link to Bloctoswap can be found here.

Using Bloctoswap

  • Go to Uniswap and trade for $USDT
  • Transfer your $USDT to your Blocto wallet $ETH/$USDT address
  • Then, use Bloctoswap (link above) and click 'Teleport'. Connect your Blocto wallet + MetaMask
  • Teleport your ERC-20 $USDT for some $tUSDT on Flow
  • Then swap/trade the $tUSDT to $FLOW

Here is a tutorial on the above method.

Additionally, here is a useful video tutorial by EarlyAdopterNFT on how to swap $ETH for $FLOW and $FUSD.

Also, here are some helpful instructions to acquire or sell the $FLOW/$FUSD token, written by Flow Blockchain DeFi project Flowty.

6 - Buidl on Flow

If you're a developer and you want to start checking out Flow, we recommend these resources: 

Start building on Flow here

Flow Developer resources

Apply for a job in the Flow ecosystem

Jacob Tucker (Founder of Emerald City DAO) Youtube Tutorials

7 - What's Flowverse?

To learn more about Flow, check out the Flowverse community :)

What is Flowverse?

Flowverse is an independent central hub and discoverability platform for everything in the Flow Blockchain ecosystem. It was built by the Flow community for the Flow community. We provide information on Flow projects, upcoming NFT drops, project rankings, jobs and investors, as well as detailed research in the form of AMAs and research reports. To do this we make frequent Twitter posts, have an email newsletter, a website and of course, discussion in our community discord. Official links to these can be found below.

What is the Flowverse Discord? What can I do there?

The Flowverse Discord is a place for people to discover Flow Blockchain projects and chat/ ask questions to the broader Flow/ Flowverse community. Here you can share your unbiased opinion on upcoming Flow NFTs, projects and more!

Useful Flowverse Resources

  • Website - upcoming drops, project list, investors directory, rankings and more
  • Flowverse Research Hub - AMAs and articles covering Flow projects in more detail
  • Twitter - announcements and infographics of all things Flow
  • Newsletter - weekly news on the Flow ecosystem
  • Jobs board - job listings by companies/startups building on Flow
  • Discord - this is where the Flowverse community hangs out and chat all things Flow!

Are you owned by Flow Blockchain?

Nope - we are Flow enthusiasts who love the mission and vision of Flow Blockchain and want to enhance the discoverability of all Flow projects.

I am a Flow Project, how can you help me?

You can be listed on the Flowverse through completing the two forms located on our website footer. We can also list any job positions you are hiring for, conduct discord AMAs with you, drop announcements and work with you on giveaways and user acquisition. Just DM Support in the Flowverse Discord.

8 - Official Flow Resources

Please find below a list of official Flow Blockchain resources:

9 - Additional reading