What Is Nano (NANO)? Billed as “digital money for the modern world,” Nano is a lightweight cryptocurrency that is designed to facilitate secure, practically instant payments, without fees, and addresses some of the major limitations of both legacy financial infrastructure, and many modern cryptocurrencies.
Development of the project began in 2014 under the name RaiBlocks, and the coin (then termed XRB) launched the following year through a public faucet, which allowed users to claim small amounts of XRB after completing a captcha challenge. Users were allowed to complete as many captchas as they liked to increase their words — effectively trading their time and effort for XRB.
RaiBlocks (XRB) was rebranded to Nano (NANO) in January 2018, with the new name chosen to better represent the speed and simplicity the project offers to users.
It is a peer-to-peer platform that uses a unique block-lattice data structure to allow users to easily transfer value to one another without relying on centralized intermediaries.
Unlike other platforms which typically use the combined proof-of-work of a massive mining network to achieve consensus, Nano instead uses a system known as Open Representative Voting (ORV) — which sees account holders vote for their chosen representative, who then work to confirm blocks of transactions securely.
ORV makes Nano extremely energy efficient, positioning it as a more environmentally friendly alternative to proof-of-work (POW)-based cryptocurrencies.
Who Are the Founders of Nano?
Nano was founded by Colin LeMahieu, a heavily experienced software developer and engineer with a wealth of experience working for prominent tech companies, including Dell, AMD and Qualcomm.
Self-described as an inventor, LeMahieu has interests that range from space technology to physics and environmental sustainability, and is a well-known name in the digital currency space. He began working full time on Nano in 2017 and remains the CEO of the Nano Foundation — an organization created to drive the development and adoption of the Nano — to this day.
Colin LeMahieu also pushed the vast majority of commits to Nano’s GitHub repo.
Beyond LeMahieu, the Nano Foundation has over a dozen other employees, including George Coxon, a graduate in Evolutionary Anthropology and experienced account executive, and the current COO of the foundation.
What Makes Nano Unique?
As we previously touched on, Nano is designed to be fast. So fast, in fact, that most Nano transactions reach absolute finality within less than a second — compared to several minutes or even longer for many other major cryptocurrencies.
This speed makes Nano suitable for commercial payments, since merchants and retailers no longer need to worry about transaction delays when accepting payments.
Moreover, Nano transactions are completely free. Since representatives do not receive financial compensation for their efforts to secure the network, there is no need for a transaction fee. This makes Nano an ideal solution for processing micro-transactions, since users no longer need to worry about fronting a potentially expensive transaction fee when making small payments.
These features are enabled by its unique architecture. Unlike many cryptocurrencies which are built on top of a distributed ledger known as a blockchain, Nano is instead built around a similar ledger technology called a directed acyclic graph (DAG).
This structure is highly reliable and allows Nano to process as many as 1,000 transactions per second (tps) — without requiring an energy-intensive mining network to maintain its integrity, positioning Nano as an eco-friendly digital payment option.