TL:DR: Thanks to developers all over the world building on Flow, it has become home to countless communities across Art, Music, Gaming, Tech, Sports and more
Blockchain adoption and activity has grown exponentially in the past year. The rise of NBA Top Shot marked the beginning of a huge surge of mainstream interest in NFTs and across crypto - and Flow ecosystem partners have captured that lightning in a bottle. With over 1.8M wallet accounts on Flow mainnet, the momentum is stronger than ever.
We’re seeing true communities come to life, filled with legendary brands and characters, fresh ideas and exciting platforms that are finding their home on blockchain powered by Flow. We are also seeing leading consumer brands like Visa officially recognizing the role Flow plays. "Flow is another blockchain that is gaining traction for NFTs," Visa wrote in their first-ever NFT whitepaper. "It has notable mainstream brands building platforms, like NBA Top Shot. Flow has been built to increase throughput and reduce the challenges of high gas costs through an energy-efficient blockchain transaction validation approach."
There’s something being built on Flow for everyone. If you love gaming or just hanging out on Twitch streams, you can check out dapps like Dark Country, Enemy Metal, MotoGP Ignition and Chainmonsters for something fun to do in your downtime, or collect moments and support Twitch streamers with Eternal. If it’s sports you’re looking for, look no further. NBA Top Shot, Fantastec Swap (soccer), nWayPlay (Olympics), and the upcoming UFC platform are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s to come. There’s unique experiences like Vault by CNN and Versus, where you can find scarce and carefully curated NFTs that will stand out in your collection. Then, the magic all comes together on open marketplaces like VIV3 and MyNFT today, with Rarible and OpenSea launching their own support for Flow in the future.
What do they have in common? They are all part of the thriving and fast growing Flow ecosystem; open worlds with limitless possibilities. Ultimately, there will be something for everybody on Flow as the ecosystem expands. If you want to see just how large the Flow universe has already become, check out our third-party partner Flowverse, which keeps track of everything Flow.
As the ecosystem grows, so do the ways in which experiences are being built on Flow. One of the great things about such a vibrant open world is watching incredible teams bring their expertise and differing perspectives to the table. That’s why dapps like Versus exist on Flow, a fully non-custodial and on-chain auction platform, built by a team that met during Flow’s Open World Builder bootcamp. Vault By CNN and Miami Hurricanes by Gig Labs, Chainmonsters, or MotoGP by Animoca take a hybrid approach by offering consumer-friendly fiat payment options for the mass audience, yet still leveraging a non-custodial solution with Blocto wallet via the Flow Client Library integration (soon to be compatible with Dapper Wallet).
Easing the friction of user onboarding is also why minting Flow’s first US dollar-backed stablecoin, FUSD, was a critical milestone. Creating a 1:1 USD-backed stablecoin will expand the potential target audience for dapps on Flow globally, while minimizing friction that still plagues the broader crypto ecosystem. Developers are empowered to accomplish this by leveraging simple and direct fiat onramp to FUSD offered by providers like MoonPay or Ramp. The same ease-of-use that led to mass user adoption of NBA Top Shot is now available to all developers on Flow, providing a sense of familiarity and trust for mainstream audiences.
Reducing user onboarding and payment friction is also why Flow is one of the first blockchains to be fully supported by ecommerce giant Shopify. We’ve seen this implementation with the Chicago Bulls Legacy Collection, which consistently sold out every day through an entire week of drops. Users simply interfaced with a familiar storefront from Shopify while purchasing NFTs on Flow powered by MINT. MINT was also the stealth startup powering the Charlotte Hornets’ first-ever commemorative NFTs for in-arena fans, in addition to being the backbone of the upcoming NFT marketplace by the fine art powerhouse König Galerie. These innovations are creating new paths to user engagement, collector empowerment and fandom experiences.
Elsewhere, third-party wallets like Blocto are emerging as a true home for blockchain users, and are leveraging FCL to accomplish this. Blocto becoming a hub for users’ assets from a variety of Flow partners highlights the diverse experiences that can be enjoyed across the ecosystem. Giving users the ability to collect and enjoy all of their NFTs in a single place, curated to their tastes, empowers true digital ownership via non-custodial options. It is yet another huge step in leading the audience to explore the many possibilities in front of them. It is a perfect example of the open world being built on Flow.
Staying true to the core crypto ethos while launching unmatched premium experiences was once a challenging mountain to climb, but Flow has made huge strides to lower that barrier for entry for developers and users alike. NBA Top Shot started as a custodial experience because that was needed to attract large-scale mainstream consumer adoption. With over one million registered users now and nearly one billion USD in sales, NBA Top Shot proved that mainstream consumers are eager to engage with blockchain applications, given the right user-friendly onboarding experience.
The seamless experience was achieved via the integration with Dapper Wallet which served as both fiat onramp and custody solution to store users’ NFTs. Like many blockchain powered experiences on Flow, the NBA Top Shot universe will become more open over time also because Dapper Wallet itself will start integrating with other Flow ecosystem partners. This means that NBA Top Shot moments will likely feature additional utility, like fractional ownership, NFT loaning and more. We’ve only just begun seeing NBA Top Shot weave real-life applications with the collector experience..
Dapper Wallet was instrumental in NBA Top Shot’s early success by simplifying user onboarding and offering simple credit card payment, so much so that users engage with NBA Top Shot without needing any knowledge of how transactions work, or any worries about where or how their NFTs are being stored. Make no mistake, all NBA Top Shot moments are still minted on Flow, and each transaction on the marketplace are traceable on-chain transfers, open for anyone to inspect.
The transparency of this data has allowed communities to sprout up around NBA Top Shot with platforms like The First Mint, Evaluate Market, Own The Moment, and Moment Ranks, who have in turn built complimentary services for the community and raised millions of dollars in the process.
The goal of Dapper Wallet is to provide that same seamless experience to as many Flow ecosystem partners as possible. Genies, the ultimate avatar creation platform, is integrating FCL and will be one of the ecosystem partners that Dapper Wallet will be available on.
As new platforms like Genies are fully integrated with Dapper Wallet, users will be able to spend their Dapper balance to buy NFTs from platforms beyond NBA Top Shot. This creates a cohesive ecosystem, where users have choices about how they spend their Dapper balance, growing the audience for all developers on Flow significantly. Dapper Wallet isn’t available for the broader developer community yet, but that is about to change. In the future users will be able to buy NBA Top Shot Packs, Genies avatar wearables, and NFTs from their favorite platforms on Flow all using the same balance via Dapper Wallet, creating a shared experience for the entire ecosystem. Please note: Partners interested in using Dapper Wallet should integrate FCL now to be compatible for when it does fully launch.
All of this is to say there is a great deal of activity across the Flow ecosystem, and all of it is exciting. That’s why we’re kicking off the State of Flow series, which will allow us to highlight what’s happening across different sectors on Flow. Whether it’s digging into collectible platforms, or detailing partners launching educational resources for Flow developers, surfacing the map of the entire ecosystem will help paint the picture of what’s being built on Flow every day.
So with that, thank you to everyone for being a part of this journey to build a truly open world, and welcome to the State of Flow. To stay updated with the latest on Flow, subscribe to our newsletter here.