Dapper Labs

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Dapper Labs
Dapper labs.png
Founded 2018
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Key People Dieter Shirley, CTO and Founder; Roham Gharegozlou, CEO; Mikhael Naayem, Chief Business Officer
Employees 101 - 250
Products Flow blockchain; NFTs
Twitter @https://twitter.com/dapperlabs
LinkedIn Profile
Website Homepage
Blog Blog

Dapper Labs was established in 2018 to deal with the congestion on the Ethereum blockchain caused by the CryptoKitties craze in November and December of the previous year. By 2021, the company was enormously successful hosting non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Development of Flow

Dapper Labs Flow blockchain uses a "proof of stake" approach that relies on splitting transaction validations between four different types of nodes for each transaction processed: consensus, verification, execution, and collection. Each transaction requires all four nodes.[1]

Dapper labs introduced Flow as the technology behind NBA Top Shot which is a joint venture between Dapper Labs and the National Basketball Association. Securing agreement from the National Basketball Players Association, the NBA and Dapper Labs reinvented the sports trading card and put it on the Flow blockchain. NBA Top Shot launched in May 2020 in an invitation only debut among enthusiasts. By the time it launched publicly on October 1, 2020, Top Shot had already invited 17,000 users on board to test out the Flow platform.[2]

In the tie-up between the National Basketball Association and Dapper Labs that yielded the successful NBA Top Shot business, buyers of one of their NFTs receive one of a limited number of copies of a game highlight, a brief video of game play. This is termed a "moment." The platform displays the moment in a frame that mimics a physical trading card or the owner can "showcase" it along with others in their collection in a display on the website. The moments are sold in blind packs, as sports cards have traditionally been sold.[3]

Despite its success with NBA Top Shot, it wasn't until April 2021 when Dapper Labs said it was ready to move almost 100,000 CryptoKitty investors away from Ethereum to the Flow blockchain.[4][5]

On February 25, 2020 Dapper Labs announced in a blog post that it would use Flow to host a moments market for the Ultimate Fighting Championship league.[6]

Origins in CryptoKitties

The first NFTs were developed on the Ethereum blockchain, bringing its own problems. When CryptoKitties launched in October 2017 on the Ethereum blockchain, as the Ethereum developer house ConsenSys put it, "the disarmingly simple CryptoKitties game captured imaginations with the emergent blockchain community and beyond." [7] One of the CryptoKitties developers, Arthur Camara, wrote in an early January 2018 article in CoinDesk that although the team was surprised when the new game went viral, "We put a lot of attention into user experience, gameplay, and design, and the reason for that is simple: our goal is to bring blockchain — often mistaken for an exclusively financial instrument — closer to the masses."[8]

The CryptoKitties sensation clogged the blockchain with numbers of transactions six times previously normal levels. According to ConsenSys, it took an ad hoc group of Ethereum developers from MetaMask, Infura and Grid+ to work with CryptoKitties to slim down the amount of code that needed to reside on the blockchain. One of the solutions to the congestion turned out to be providing users with the ability to raise the amount of "gas" they were willing to spend to complete their in-game transactions. Alex Miller from Grid+ introduced the idea of using sidechains to help the game scale better. Grid+'s "Trusted Relayers" offered the ability to move across Ethereum sidechains efficiently because only transaction headers would be relayed between them, not the state messages. Much of the problem had been resolved by mid December 2017.[9]