The non-fungible token niche within cryptocurrency grew exponentially during the recent bull cycle. NFTs and NFT related projects dominated traditional news headlines as investors flocked to the digital collectible craze. While cryptocurrency remains confusing for the average person, the concept of digital collectibles struck a chord. A pioneer in the space, Dapper Labs built the first major NFT platform – CryptoKitties. Their NFT-based cat collecting site grew so large in 2017 that it began to single-handedly bog down Ethereum transactions.
Building on their success from CryptoKitties, Dapper Labs launched the Flow blockchain. Designed from the ground up to support NFT projects, Flow (FLOW) emerged as a contender to Ethereum’s NFT dominance. NFTs and the game mechanics often built around them require a considerable amount of small transactions. Ethereum’s continued failure to scale made the platform less attractive as a result – resulting in many brand names choosing Flow as an alternative.
Flow’s creation came as a direct result of the congestion caused by CryptoKitties in 2017. The team took learned lessons from Ethereum and built a blockchain tailored to their needs – featuring proof of stake and a variety of different node types to drastically increase efficiency. As it turns out, other projects required similar functionality, resulting in the booming price of Flow’s associated coin.
Hosting the official NBA digital collectible platform further buoyed Flow’s credibility in the industry. Hosting a variety of NFT based collectibles, NBA Top Shot’s helped introduce sports fans to the concept of blockchain technology. While most crypto-enthusiasts assumed that technology and efficiency would bring about wider adoption, it’s clear that projects like NBA Top Shots serve as a more palatable entry point.
Alongside CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shots, Flow’s ecosystem has expanded to include native stablecoins and open NFT marketplaces. The release of FUSD, the first stablecoin native to Flow, allows third-party developers to easily integrate real-world purchasing with the blockchain. Rather than depend on an inherently volatile asset, FUSD will allow direct US dollar prices within Flow-based projects.
NFT-based marketplace Rarible recently acquired over $14 million in seed money, intending to create a Flow-native version of their highly successful exchange. While Ethereum remains the dominant blockchain for NFT collectibles, it does appear that their growing pains have allowed for competition to carve out their niches.