Flow is more committed than ever to bringing 1+ billion active users into Web3 – and 2023 is already shaping up to be its best year yet.
In this quarterly ecosystem report, we’ll take a look at some of the Flow community’s most noteworthy achievements in Q1 to realize Flow’s full potential as the Layer 1 blockchain of choice for building and scaling powerful innovations for the mainstream.
INDICATORS OF THE QUARTER
The Flow ecosystem continues to build innovative products and solutions, making meaningful progress towards the mainstream adoption of Web3. The numbers speak for themselves:
Flow is once again revolutionizing how consumers are introduced to Web3, showcasing how Flow’s native account abstraction framework can be used today:
Enabling Walletless Onboarding and Hybrid Custody with Account Linking:Account Linking & AuthAccount capabilities will allow users to realize the benefits of familiar onboarding experiences through custodial accounts while achieving real ownership through self-custody.
Innovating on top of Flow’s native account abstraction framework: Flow provides native support for key use cases that are enabled by account abstraction. Available today, users can use Flow to recover access to their accounts, run gasless transactions, use multifactor authentication, execute pre-approved and multisig transactions, and bundle multiple transactions together.
NFTS & COLLECTIBLES
The largest communities continue to choose Flow to bring their projects to the mainstream:
Doodles 2 is coming to Flow: Doodles – one of Ethereum’s most prominent NFT projects – has joined the Flow ecosystem. The team chose Flow for its powerful composability, which allows users to enjoy portable and interoperable Doodles across social platforms, gaming worlds, live events, streaming content, retail activations, and more.
NBA Top Shot is going mobile: NBA Top Shot launched its mobile application, making the NBA Top Shot experience more personalized, innovative, and accessible. The app gives users access to their favorite NBA superstars and most epic moments wherever they go.
Flowverse is averaging an NFT drop per day: The team – which runs an NFT marketplace and operates a central hub for Flow with 40,000+ subscribers – released over 90 NFT drops in the last quarter. With their latest release, they became the first Flow marketplace to enable bulk purchasing of multiple NFTs in a single transaction.
“Piece” project turns Twitter moments into collectibles: This Twitter bot turns Tweets into digital moments without the need for any account setup on Flow. It won first place – and $30,000 – for Walletless Onboarding in the recent Flow Hackathon.
Flow’s push to unlock more immersive Web3 gaming experiences with endless composability and limitless scaling potential continued with:
Decentralized games at consumer scale on Unity: The new Flow Unity SDK, developed in collaboration with the core contributor of the Flow .NET SDK, enables developers to craft games with Unity’s robust native game development tools, while at the same time leveraging Flow’s lightning-fast transaction speeds, endless composability, and gasless gaming experience.
Strategy games going mainstream on Flow: Raiders Rumble – a new type of competitive mobile strategy game that bridges the gap between traditional and Web3 gamers – was released as an open beta on the Flow blockchain. Flow also sponsored a series of Raiders Rumble tournaments geared toward finding the best strategy gamers, with a total prize pool of 120,000 FLOW tokens.
“Wonder Arena” project demonstrates the power of Web3 gaming: This Flow Hackathon “Best Mobile Experiences” winner took home $30,000 for creating an engaging mobile gaming experience with on-chain logic and Walletless Onboarding. It used the new Flow Unity SDK and highlights composability by building on top of existing NFT collections.
Flow is doubling down on grassroots efforts to drive awareness and made a splash globally through events, hackathons, meetups, and more:
Going big on hackathons in 2023 with over $3,000,000 in prizes: In February, the first global Flow Hackathon took place with 7,600+ registered developers competing for $500,000 in prizes. The three-phased hackathon kicked off with 12+ webinars, featuring speakers from across the ecosystem and broader Web3 community, before transitioning into the build phase. For all winners and highlights from 250+ submissions, check out this announcement.
Ambassadors evangelized Flow globally with 100+ contributions: The first cohort of the Flow Ambassador Program made a massive impact in just a few months. Ambassadors organized 20+ developer events across the globe, translated 60+ pieces of content, and posted 30+ trending developer-centric articles.
Upgrades across the stack made Cadence more powerful, reduced time-to-code, and simplified becoming familiar with Cadence and operating a Flow node:
A more convenient way to play with Cadence: We are excited to unveil the latest iteration of the Flow Cadence Playground, designed to empower developers by offering a slew of improvements including an improved editor, project management capabilities, refined signing experience, and better logging and error messaging.
Run your first Flow dApp in under 4 minutes: Flow CLI has evolved over the last few months to become a one stop shop for developers building on Flow. New features like super commands, project scaffolding, and account creation allow developers to boot up and experiment with a ready-to-extend Flow project.
Instantly launch a developer Access node:QuickNode added beta support for Flow, which means developers can now tap into the industry-leading accessible core infrastructure they need to power applications at scale on Flow.
Cadence working group shared a preview release of Stable Cadence: Core contributors and community members are working on the next major release of Flow’s native smart contracting language. Codenamed Stable Cadence, it’s a major advancement for Cadence as the best programming language for building smart contracts. As of today, four FLIPs have been accepted with 11 improvements and fixes merged.
The latest major Flow update introduced several new features to improve the network’s scalability, performance, resilience, and accessibility while making it more secure. It was several months in the making, with meaningful contributions from Flow community members including NCC, CoinbaseCloud, BlueSign and others.
Improved network availability with faster and fewer network upgrades: To improve network uptime, the spork cadence has been changed to one spork every quarter instead of bi-monthly upgrades. Additionally, to ensure the network is continuously maintained with new features and updates, height coordinated upgrades which have negligible downtime are executed once every month when there isn’t a spork scheduled. The last height coordinated upgrade took place in March and only caused a seven-minute pause for transaction and script execution.
20 percent faster transaction finalization: Flow released a significant upgrade to the consensus protocol in January, replacing the passive pacemaker that coordinates consensus view progression with an active pacemaker. The upgrade enables considerably faster and more predictable recovery from failures. It also changed consensus confirmations to occur within 2 blocks, compared to the previous 3-block scheme, resulting in a 20 percent improvement in time-to-finalization.
Fully permissionless access nodes for developers: Permissionless access nodes, released in February, enable any individual or group to operate an access Node simply by winning a slot in the staking auction. Additionally, Flow’s access node minimum stake has been raised to 100 FLOW (from 0 FLOW) to protect against frivolous staking and safeguard against vulnerabilities.
New features were introduced for Cadence in Q1, and continued progress was made toward Stable Cadence milestones.
The Attachments feature preview-release unlocked testing for new major composability use cases: The feature has now been deployed to testnet to make it more accessible for developers, and the community continues to iterate on closing the remaining gaps in the implementation to make the feature more robust and safe.
Cadence Compact Format unblocks additional protocol security features: The Cadence Compact Format (CFF - Release Candidate 1 specification) is a new encoding format that provides deterministic and compact representation of Cadence external values. It also enables new protocol performance improvements. CCF Codec implementation is near completion.
Entitlements and Safe Downcasting proposal went through 5 breakout sessions: All discussion topics were resolved with the community, and implementation is in progress.
Capability controllers proposal is near completion: With 4 breakout sessions this quarter, the last remaining topic (deployment model) was closed early April. Implementation is in progress and it is likely that the new API will be deployed ahead of the Stable Cadence release as a non-breaking change.
With these exciting updates, Flow has continued to grow its effectiveness as the optimal computational layer for mainstream Web3 dApps. We can’t wait to see how Flow developers leverage these advancements to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and onboard new customers into Web3.
Interested in taking a peek at what’s on the horizon for Flow? Stay tuned for part two of our quarterly report, “What’s on the horizon for Flow in Q2 2023 and beyond?”