Flow (ticker: FLOW) is a blockchain designed by Dapper Labs to specialize in NFTs and blockchain gaming. Its native token quickly rose to the top 100 coins by market cap due to the success of their initial CryptoKitties game as well as prestigious partnerships such as with the NBA, UFC, and Dr. Suess.
One of the fundamental differences between Flow and Ethereum is that the developers of Flow do not believe sharding to be a good solution for achieving transaction scalability. In their view, this needlessly increases the complexity of smart contracts, instead of accepting that burden at the protocol level. Flow uses different types of nodes for each step of the network security process, as opposed to requiring every node to perform every function.
In particular, Flow attempts to separate deterministic from non-deterministic calculations on their network. Deterministic means having an objective answer, such as a mathematical function or series of logic gates. In the case of smart contracts, while the process of deciding the order of transactions is non-deterministic—it is a subjective decision made by miners/stakers to decide who goes first—the resulting changes to the blockchain's virtual state will be the same every time, and are therefore deterministic.