In this article, we outline the evolution of Dapper Labs, from just a simple NFT project to one of the leaders in the web3 space.
Roham Gharegozlou, the Co-Founder and CEO of Dapper Labs, has developed one of the most noteworthy blockchain-based companies by creating an NFT game called Cryptokitties in 2017 to now running NFT projects with some of the biggest brands in the world.
Cryptokitties started as a project by Axiom Zen, a Software Development Company. Unlike many other popular NFT projects today, Cryptokitties is not an NFT collection that consists of a limited number of digital art.
Cryptokitties is a game-type setting where users can purchase NFTs in the form of virtual cats. They can use their cats to breed new ones and possibly sell them to other players in the game. This presented some unique challenges to Roham and the other developers who wanted to scale Cryptokitties.
Ethereum posed some significant challenges to the growth of the game. As Cryptokitties scaled, the transactions became increasingly difficult to execute quickly. As traffic increased, so did the Ethereum Gas prices. The slower speed and high cost of Cryptokitties resulted in the loss of players. To scale projects like Cryptokitties, an excellent User Experience was essential. The team behind Cryptokitties realized they would need to create a blockchain that reduces energy consumption with a more elevated speed to ensure the User Experience is great for their future projects.
Flow is a blockchain that came into being due to issues in the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum, like Bitcoin, currently uses a consensus protocol called Proof of Work. It is a protocol that uses a tremendous amount of energy, and it only increases as more people join in. For a platform like Cryptokitties, which used 10 percent of Ethereum’s traffic at one point, the Proof of Work protocol had become unfeasible for players. Moreover, Ethereum’s smart contracts are immutable. Dapper Labs realized that smart contracts should be changeable to build the kind of projects they wanted to.
Flow blockchain was built upon an alternative consensus protocol, Proof of Stake. Proof of Stake is a cheaper alternative when scaling NFT game projects like Cryptokitties and NBA Top Shot. Proof of Stake does not require validators to purchase specialized equipment or use large amounts of energy. Moreover, smart contracts in Flow (unlike Ethereum) are changeable. These changes were essential to building projects like NBA Top Shot and NFL All Day.
Flow has now become the default blockchain for all Dapper Labs’ projects. Today, Dapper’s NFT projects with NBA, NFL, UFC, and other external projects are built on Flow. These projects attracted a considerable amount of attention from investors. These smart contracts can continue to change as needed. Today, Dapper Labs is backed by the likes of Coinbase Ventures, Warner Music Group, and Samsung Next. It will be interesting to see how Dapper Labs will continue to develop its projects in this space and how external developers embrace Flow blockchain.