Participate with confidence based on Bison Trails’ expertise and experience with Flow, as the only provider that runs all four of Flow’s participatory node types—including one of only three Execution Nodes on the protocol. We continue to collaborate with Dapper Labs, the team behind Flow, providing feedback on infrastructure requirements, operational costs, economics, and timelines.
The Bison Trails team really sets the standard for professional node operation. Their team is reliable and committed, and goes beyond technical excellence to build communication and understanding in the wider community.Dieter Shirley, Chief Architect for Flow
Flow is built by Dapper Labs, the company behind Cryptokitties, and it’s inspired by the scalability challenges Dapper Labs faced as Cryptokitties rose to prominence. Flow aims to be the blockchain foundation for onboarding mainstream users via the next generation of game, app, and digital asset developers. The protocol is designed to scale using multi-role architecture rather than sharding, resulting in increased speed and throughput while remaining developer-friendly and secure.
Flow’s first forays into the game and collectibles market are their partnerships with the NBA and the UFC. Developed on Flow, the innovative NBA Top Shot app allows NBA fans to buy digital tokens featuring photos, videos, and data from the most memorable moments of the season. The NBA Top Shot app is considered highly successful, with over $31M USD in sales of digital momentos since it was founded. Once sold out the tokens can only be purchased in a peer-to-peer marketplace, and in the future tokens will highlight moments from the league’s history.
Flow also published plans to “sponsor the creation of an entertainment industry council for C-level executives from global IP holders, game publishers, entertainment studios, and cultural influencers. The council will help identify risks and opportunities, remove friction-points for consumer adoption, and help catalyze a healthy global entertainment ecosystem.”
In order to increase throughput speed, Flow created multi-role architecture for the network. Using four different types of participation nodes, Flow separates non-deterministic (“subjective”) processes, such as determining the presence and order of transactions in the blockchain, from deterministic (“objective”) ones, such as computing the result of those ordered transactions once it has been determined. Non-deterministic tasks require coordination while deterministic ones have a single, objectively-correct outcome.
Each type of node performs a discrete task in the validation process for each transaction. To allow this approach to work, Flow uses a new cryptographic technique called Specialized Proofs of Confidential Knowledge (SPoCKs) to address the Verifier’s Dilemma. Without revealing anything confidential, SPoCKs allows ‘provers’ to show they have access to the same information. Each prover has its own specialized SPoCK which can not be copied or forged. Requiring each prover to have a SPoCK ensures that each node does its own check rather than copying other nodes results or blindly following their lead.
All four participation node types are rewarded for their work on the chain, but the number of each type varies by the work performed. At launch, Flow expects to have 20 Collection Nodes, 43 Consensus Nodes, 3 Execution Nodes, and 73 Verification Nodes. As the protocol grows, a balancing system will incentivize the most secure distribution of node types by changing the reward rates for each type.
|Node Type||Target Staking Ratio||Minimum Stake
(From Self-Bond And Delegation)
Delegation is also a feature on Flow. Delegation rewards are paid out automatically on a weekly basis by the protocol. There is a minimum 10% fee on the rewards earned by delegators, which is paid to the validator to help cover the costs of node operation.
Flow has a fixed inflation rate (although it drops after the initial bootstrapping phase); network participants will earn 3.75% inflation per year, derived from new token issuance and transaction fees. As transaction fees rise, the rate of new issuance will decrease. If transaction fees rise above the inflation rate, the additional earnings are held in escrow to offset future inflation. This process minimizes new issuance while guaranteeing a healthy inflation and reward rate for participants.
With a 3.75% inflation rate, the reward rate is expected to be 11.36% per year.
All four participate node types (Collection, Consensus, Execution, and Validator) are rewarded for their work on the chain. In order to maintain a balance between node types, the protocol does not reward all node types equally. A balancing system incentivizes the most secure distribution of node types by changing the reward rates for each type.
If a node type is overrepresented (e.g. Consensus nodes have 60% of the stake), then the inflation rate received by that node category will decrease and the inflation received by underrepresented node categories will increase. This adjustment parameter is called a reward coefficient.
The reward coefficient will not be live at launch; it will be enabled after epochs are enabled. Before this time, the Flow team will delegate to nodes to keep the ratio at the ideal state. For example, if only 40% of tokens are staked to Consensus nodes, the Flow team will stake the necessary tokens to those nodes in order to get the ratio to 51.8%.
The Flow foundation will delegate to partner nodes to ensure they remain in the active set for up to two years or until the time the staking requirement for the node equals the validator’s holdings. If, at the end of two years, the holdings still don’t match what is needed, Flow governance will vote on whether the Foundation’s delegation should remain with that validator or go to a new entrant.
There is no slashing at the launch of the Flow network. Slashing is unlikely to be enabled for at least a year after launch. Once slashing exists, there will be no performance-related slashing penalties, such as for downtime, except for Collection Nodes.
If too many Collection Nodes are down simultaneously, the protocol will assume this act was done intentionally and will slash the nodes exhibiting that behavior. A single Collection Node going down for a short period of time will not result in slashing.
At its launch Flow has no formal governance; instead, anyone may submit an improvement proposal to Flow’s GitHub where it can be reviewed, and may be implemented, by the Flow Core Dev team. Protocol upgrades designed by the development team are then proposed to node operators for adoption.
The team’s first step towards on-chain governance is expected to be allowing for non-binding votes to be cast publically on the network to display the Flow community’s opinions on the development team’s efforts. At some point Flow intends to then enable on-chain voting for a representative council that makes day-to-day decisions for Flow and implements public development proposals, with their decisions being default unless Flow holders vote otherwise.
Flow is a developer-friendly blockchain built for a new generation of games, apps, and the digital assets that power them.
Bison Trails and CoinList: supporting the growth of innovative networks Bison Trails and CoinList have a strong collaboration to help advance the crypto ecosystem. Bison Trails powers secure staking infrastructure for CoinList, enabling users and token holders to participate in innovative new networks, contributing to their security and decentralization.
NBA star Spencer Dinwiddie enlists Bison Trails to power his blockchain community nodes A driver of blockchain innovation, Dinwiddie taps Bison Trails to power Calaxy’s nodes on the Flow and Polkadot blockchains
Bison Trails announces support for Flow and all node types Flow—developed by Dapper Labs—is a solution to blockchain scalability in consumer applications like games and digital collectibles. Bison Trails will support all five of Flow’s node types to help secure and bootstrap the network.
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