(NANO) is a cryptocurrency that was created to address some of the scalability issues associated with blockchain-based digital assets (such as bitcoin and ether), including high fees and slow transaction times, which have been a blocker to mainstream adoption. Nano does this with a different kind of ledger technology known as directed acyclic graph (DAG).
The price of nano hit an all-time high (ATH) on January 1, 2018, when it reached $33.7, at the end of the cryptocurrency bull run of 2017. Over the course of that year, Nano’s near-zero fees and fast transactions made it one of the leading digital assets for providing financial support
to citizens in Venezuela, who were struggling amid the country’s hyperinflation. This provided the asset with new mainstream appeal, with the price briefly rising above the $2 mark during the period sometimes referred to as crypto winter
(a prolonged period of low crypto market activity that began in early 2018.)
Nano has a fixed total supply of 133,248,297 nano. But, unlike many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, that release their tokens using a predictable issuance system, Nano released its entire supply all at once.
To distribute the cryptocurrency as far and wide as possible when the cryptocurrency first launched, Nano’s asset nano (CoinDesk uses upper case for projects and lower-case for assets) was dispensed free of charge from an online “faucet
.” Users would need to solve complex CAPTCHA tests to retrieve the tokens. CAPTCHAs are puzzles deployed to detect that whoever is interacting with the website is a human, not a computer. One common CAPTCHA is to click on the image squares that feature traffic lights.
By 2017, after 126,248,289 nano were distributed, the faucet was shut down.
In addition, 7 million nano were committed to a development fund to incentivize developers to improve on and maintain the cryptocurrency.
How does Nano work?
To secure its network, Nano uses a technology its developers call Open Representative Voting, which is similar to a delegated proof-of-stake
system – a popular consensus mechanism used by EOS and many others where token holders can elect delegates to vote on their behalf. The more nano a user has, the greater their voting weight is.
Nano also uses a directed acyclic graph (DAG), not a blockchain, as its underlying technology for setting transactions across the network. What this means is, instead of everyone contributing to a single ledger of transactions that everyone has a copy of, each Nano validator maintains their own individual blockchain – called an “account chain.”
This is the piece of Nano’s technology that guarantees faster transactions and lower transaction fees. Rather than the network all reaching an agreement on one transaction history stored in a blockchain, each user of the network stores their own local transaction history.
But this design decision doesn’t come without consequences. Many blockchains, such as Nano, claim that they solve scalability, but whether they can do so without compromising on security while remaining decentralized is unclear.
For instance, in 2021 Nano’s blockchain was attacked with spam
, preventing users from sending transactions on the blockchain for a time. So far this sort of attack hasn’t been possible to execute on Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, which is much more mature and durable.
Key events and management
Software engineer Colin LeMahieu created Nano in 2015 in an attempt to fix blockchain’s most pressing problems. LeMahieu currently directs The Nano Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to grow the Nano ecosystem and community. The project was originally called RaiBlocks
but rebranded to Nano in 2018.
Later that year, Nano became embroiled in one of the most unusual crypto exchange hacks to date.
The founder of Bitgrail, Francesco Firano, publicly announced over 17 million nano had been stolen from the platform by hackers. It was later discovered, almost two years later
, Firano had actually stolen the funds himself and even asked Nano’s team to cover up the exchange’s losses by altering their blockchain ledger. However, Nano’s team refused.