Flow is a blockchain created by Dapper Labs that aims to make it easy for developers to build decentralized applications and businesses. Flow uses a multi-role architecture design to scale the network instead of sharding. One of the fundamental reasons Dapper Labs opted to shift away from Ethereum and build its own general-purpose blockchain was to avoid the complexity of sharding. Flow asserts that its scaling-without-sharding strategy will improve network speed and throughput while preserving composability standards and a developer-friendly, ACID-compliant environment.
Dapper Labs was founded in 2018 and is based in Vancouver, BC.
As of Fall 2019, the team at Dapper Labs has been building the production version of the Flow network. This includes complete implementations of protocol logic for each of the various node types, integration of the Hot Stuff consensus algorithm, and implementation of the various crypto libraries and signatures the protocol requires. The team released the Flow Beta Mainnet in May which supports production user experiences for us and its partners.
For Beta Mainnet the native token (FLOW) existed on the network to instantiate user accounts and provide a minimal balance for user to conduct their first transactions. All fees were a small nominal amount at this stage. Future development will include integration of epochs (the ability for new nodes to join and leave the protocol), full challenge arbitration by the consensus nodes, performance improvements to the protocol, and upgrades to the programming language (Cadence).