The Netherlands is king of efficiency. Nano is needed for that.

Forest Horsman
16 min readDec 15, 2021


One of the fundamental qualities of the Netherlands that has always fascinated me is innovation. Historically, the Netherlands has always been a frontrunner when it comes to engineering, economics, technology, politics and social matters. As Dutch people, we are always looking for the best, most profitable and effective ways to achieve our goals. And one element is more important than all the others: efficiency.

The strength of the Netherlands lies in efficiency

Efficiency is therefore one of the elements in which we as the Netherlands are strong. For example, as the Dutch, we are the most efficient in the world when it comes to agricultural food production, we have the most efficient railways in all of Europe when it comes to transport, and we have the most competitive economy in all of Europe. This all stems from our ability to find efficient solutions for processes. So what does efficiency actually mean?

Efficiency is achieving a goal, with as little waste as possible. That can be a waste of energy, time, money… basically everything that is not reflected in the ultimate goal. Consider, for example, the difference in efficiency between an incandescent lamp and an LED lamp. To provide the same amount of light, an incandescent lamp needs much more energy than an LED lamp. This is because an incandescent lamp converts much of its energy into heat, which is not the purpose of a lamp. With an incandescent lamp, there is therefore a significant waste of energy.

Let’s look at an example where digitization has brought us more efficiency. Consider, for example, the transition from letter post to email. Both letter post and email serve the same purpose: to transmit information over distance.

But one does this a lot more efficiently than the other. With letter post, there is a lot of waste to achieve the same goal. First, the waste of material. With letter mail, paper is needed to transfer information to another person. Depending on the amount of information, more or less is wasted. In addition, there is a waste of time. Depending on the distance, it may take longer for the information to reach the other party. There is also energy wastage in various forms. A postman has to deliver the letter, the letter has to be driven via a bus to the post office or shipped to another location and delivered to the destination etc. This also costs energy, fuel, manpower, money and more.

Is this really a waste? All this is necessary to transfer the information on paper over distance. Now that we have email, a more efficient way of achieving the same goal with less waste, we can say that letter mail is not efficient for transferring information. Email does not cost more or less energy, money, time and other resources depending on distance or amount of information. It’s virtually free, can be done virtually infinitely and arrives directly at its destination without wasting time, energy or money.

This kind of efficiency is what we need to look for in order to achieve our goals with as little waste as possible. That is what we as the Netherlands do to stay ahead. I argue that the same should be done with money, and that we as the Netherlands should be frontrunners in this. Just like email when sending information, sending value, within the Netherlands and around the world, should also be free of charge in all forms. Doesn’t matter over what distance or the amount. Just like email, this should be possible immediately, without costing money and without wasting energy.

The inefficiency and problems of the current system

The first step in making money more efficient is digitization. We have seen this with the digitization of letter post to email, and should therefore also be possible with money. Because in principle there are no borders via the internet, everything can be sent all over the world without much loss of time and without extra costs.

“Isn’t money easy, fast and cheap right now? Isn’t this already digital just like email and therefore very efficient? What is the waste if I pay via iDeal, with a debit card or a simple bank transfer?”

These are questions that might come to mind when you think about sending money digitally. This already seems easy, fast and cheap, so efficient. But this is a much more complicated story behind the scenes.

Suppose you had a nice evening drink with your friends and the next day you get a payment request for 10 euros.

As with sending information via letter post or e-mail, there is one end goal that we can keep in mind:

  • Send value from you to your friend.

You pay the payment request to your friend via your online banking app. This seems direct, from you to the other. As if only 2 people are involved, just like an email. But you do this through the bank. That’s because with the traditional system, with the euro, digital transactions can only be done through a bank. The banks are intermediaries here. It’s like telling the bank that you want to send an email to your friend, and what should be in that email. The bank then writes that email for you and sends it to your friend’s bank. His bank then receives the email and reads it to your friend. Why does it have to be this way with money? Why can’t this be done directly, like with email for information, between the two people, without the need for banks between them? That’s because with the traditional system, through banks and with the euro, this is not trusted to people like you and me and can’t be done safely. Intermediaries and companies must therefore be used, just as with the letter post. And that leads to waste, and therefore, inefficiency.

In addition, sending money through the bank reveals much more inefficiency. In addition to wasting energy by intermediaries and companies, this also involves wasting money and time. Securing the infrastructure between and of banks, the people who work here, the buildings that are built for this and much more.

Payments via pin in a store are even more inefficient. From the outside, as a customer, you may notice this less. But if you have your own business you will see this anyway. For example, the Chamber of Commerce calculates from research that an average debit card payment costs about 16 cents and an average cash payment about 29 cents. The store owner pays fees for the device that accepts payments, and the bank charges fees for accepting payments. You as a customer do not see the costs for these payments, but they are all settled in the products you buy.

In addition to costs, there is other waste in the payment process between you and the business owner. One more person is placed in this.

Your bank naturally comes into play here, but also a transaction processor. It keeps track of who has transferred money from which bank account to the bank account of the business owner. Sounds unnecessary, but this is necessary for the legacy infrastructure of banks because it involves a lot of transactions between many different banks, which are all private institutions. For a simple payment between you and the business owner, 2 people, 3 intermediaries are used here. Your bank, the transaction processor, and the business owner’s bank. So 5 different entities are needed to send value from you to the business owner.

In addition, payments are not sent directly from your bank account to the business owner. It looks like the money has been sent immediately as it disappears from your account, but that doesn’t mean the money is directly in the business owner’s account. The money is often deposited into the business owner’s account the next business day. And even that only on working days. This often takes longer on weekends and holidays.

You could argue that there is inefficiency here in the same areas as letter post. There is waste in the form of costs, time, and energy.

Worldwide payments

We have just looked at payments with the euro, and especially within the Netherlands. But the Netherlands is a cosmopolitan country. A country that, although so small, still has a large economy and a major impact on the world. This is deep in our history. From the first company with shares, the VOC, which traded all over the world and spread our culture and people worldwide, the Dutch guilder that was used as a reserve currency in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, and laid the foundations for the modern financial world, to companies such as Heineken with which the Netherlands is putting itself on the map. The success of the Netherlands is largely due to our strength to play with the world and to be ahead of the rest. Global trade, playing a part in the global economy and not being limited to borders.

When it comes to money, we also have to look beyond our borders. Global trade also means global value transfer. When a country on the other side of the world trades with the Netherlands, we also want as much of the value as possible to end up with us. And vice versa. The Netherlands is a country full of different cultures and many people with family abroad send money around the world. So, also when it comes to money, let’s zoom out a bit.

Money is already inefficient within borders, but it becomes even more inefficient on a global scale. Although the digital world of the internet seems limitless, this is not the case with money. Transferring a euro to someone in the Philippines or vice versa is virtually impossible. The costs associated with this make this difficult, more intermediaries are needed and this results in even more waste. For example, when converting the currency. This often involves quite high costs, and it can sometimes take days before the money arrives at the recipient. It costs more money, takes more time and takes more effort. Even more waste, even less efficiency.

Let’s also not forget that a large part of the world’s population, more than 2 billion people, which adds up to around 30% of the world’s population, do not have access to the financial system because they do not have access to a bank account. A large proportion of those people cite cost as one of the reasons they cannot have a bank account. They therefore have no direct access to the digital financial system.

Safety and trust

When it comes to the security, speed and cost of money via the bank and with the euro, we have to trust that banks have everything right. And that sometimes turns out to be quite disappointing. The infrastructure of banks and payments through the bank are built on an old system. A too old system. A system that predates the time of payments via the Internet. We are constantly building on top of this to keep up with the modern, digital world. But the problem is in the foundation. Like a building with a weak foundation that is about to collapse, the banking system continues to prop up support posts against the building. Until this goes wrong at some point. And that has happened several times, such as at ING in 2013.

Read more in this article about the problems with the current banking system and why it often goes wrong.

We must trust that banks are wise and responsible with our money. But banks don’t actually have the amount of money in their vaults that we gave them. If everyone decides to have their money in cash anyway, that is not possible. This has already been seen several times in countries around the world, such as Greece for example.

When it comes to inflation, we must also trust that our governments, in the case of the Netherlands the EU, will handle our economy and our money wisely. And that also proves difficult. For example, annual inflation is currently higher than it was during the financial crisis in 2008, namely around 4.9%. In the United States, annual inflation has already risen to 6.2%, the highest since 1990.

Ever-rising annual inflation can eventually lead to hyperinflation, meaning your savings might as well be fake monopoly money.

The system that we have now means that we have to rely on banks, on our government, the European Union and also governments of other countries. Many people, not only in the Netherlands but throughout the European Union, are starting to lose more and more confidence in their own government.

So we are stuck with an outdated money system, built on an outdated infrastructure where we have to trust that companies and governments are responsible for securing and preserving the system on which our money runs. This outdated and trust-based system is inefficient and limited by boundaries. Innovation is needed to waste less and to maintain our Dutch identity as frontrunners in technology and the economy.

What we need is money without borders, without waste and without having to rely on governments and companies.

The solution

So how can we lead the way when it comes to money? How can we make sending value as efficient as email and more secure than what we have now, without relying on governments and businesses? How do we as the Dutch become the frontrunner in innovation in the field of technology and economy, and how do we ensure that this also has a positive effect on the environment?

In recent years, various solutions have come into the public eye. The Dutch are generally quick to adopt this kind of new technology, but we have seen many solutions that ultimately disappoint. They centralize over time (and so trust comes into play again), they still cost money, energy and transactions take a long time, so we end up back to square one. Trying to build on this technology is just postponing the problems. We are looking for a money network without having to trust and with as little waste as possible. Decentralization and efficiency built in from the foundation.


This is where I introduce the technology that in my opinion fits this description best, nano. Nano is a payment system with the nano currency. It is a modern network to send digital money without borders, without intermediaries, without costs and without having to trust. Let’s dive a little deeper into this.

Efficient. The nano network is made to waste as little as possible. Efficiency is the essence of nano. Money on the nano network is sent directly from the sender to the receiver, without the need for a bank or transaction processor. Similar to sending an email, you can do this yourself and the recipient can receive it directly, without the need for a bank. Transactions literally cost nothing, no matter how big or small. Transactions are complete and irreversible in less than a second and use only 0.000112kWh of energy per transaction. This means no wasted money, no wasted time and no wasted energy. In addition, no intermediaries are needed.

Due to the low energy consumption of nano, the entire network can handle thousands of transactions per second with the energy supply of just 1 wind turbine. This is even less power consumption than large centralized transaction processors such as VISA. In comparison, nano uses about 0.000112kWh per transaction, and Visa uses 0.003kWh.

So when it comes to efficiency, we look at this almost instantaneously. Transactions take an average of about 0.5 seconds. Waste of time is therefore not an issue and since transactions are free of charge, any value can be sent, over any distance, without wasting money. This efficiency is the key to a more effective and better economy.

Nano is limitless

Borders are no problem for nano either. The network knows and sees no boundaries. Nano can be used anywhere in the world and a transaction between you and your neighbor works just as well as a transaction between you and someone on the other side of the world. It’s just as fast and just as free of charge. You don’t even need an internet connection to receive a payment. The transaction just comes in, even if you’re not online. However, to see your nano ledger live and to send nano you will need to connect to the internet.

The fact that nano can be used anywhere, with no minimum balance and no fees to open a nano account means that anyone in the world can open a nano account. Everyone has the opportunity to participate in the digital financial world and everyone can receive digital transactions from people all over the world. A great way to see this concept in action is WeNano. With WeNano, people can create ‘spots’. These are locations containing a certain amount of nano. It’s a donation from whoever made the spot. Then other users can go to these locations and receive some of the nano in these spots. For example, you can walk through the city and receive a portion of nano during a walk at various spots. Try it out and walk through Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Groningen! I’ve filled these cities with nano spots for everyone to try. It’s completely free, and with a tour of the city you’ll have enough nano to buy a beer.

This WeNano app is of course fun for us Dutch, but it is also great for worldwide donations. So you can also make these kinds of spots in countries such as Nigeria, Venezuela, India, etc. All over the world. This allows you to donate money effectively and almost instantaneously, where necessary, without paying any transaction costs. No limits, no friction!

Charities are also starting to use the WeNano app. For example, SOS Children Villages has several WeNano donation spots and also New Story Charity, a charity that builds houses for people without shelter, accepts donations in nano through WeNano.

Trust (or lack of it)

“How do I know that the nano network is secure?”

Everything runs on code that can be viewed and verified by anyone, and cannot be changed unless the majority agrees. The network runs on hundreds of different computers around the world. These computers process the transactions for free, within a second. For example, the network does not belong to a company or a government, but to everyone. If someone tries to change the code, it is immediately considered wrong and cannot join the network unless the code on that transaction processing computer has been corrected again.

So there is no need to rely on the government or on the banks. Also, the amount of nano is fixed and cannot be changed. So there is no inflation like with the euro or dollar, and no hyperinflation is possible that, for example, recently caused the economy in Venezuela to collapse.

If you think that governments in Europe are much more sensible and that that would never happen here, it is perhaps startling to think that this happened in Europe less than 100 years ago. See, for example, Germany in the last century.

This worldwide network of computers, based on code, makes it virtually impossible to shut down the network. If one of the computers goes down, that’s no problem, all the other computers continue to work. Also, because these computers are scattered all over the world, it’s impossible to break the network if the Internet goes down, if the power goes out, or if a government tries to ban it. This is in contrast to a bank, which you could see as 1 large computer that 1 company has control over. And if that one company has a problem, the entire network is immediately down.

“But where’s the money then?”

In a sense, nano can be compared to cash, but digitally. Just like you have cash in your wallet, or in a piggy bank, you have nano in a digital wallet. This is often referred to as a ‘wallet’. If you can’t wait to try it out, you can quickly follow these steps (you’ll have nano in 1 minute!).

1. Go to (

2. Click on ‘configure wallet’, click on ‘new wallet’ and set a password

3. Write the list of 24 words, called the secret recovery mnemonic, somewhere only you can find it. (This will allow you to access your nano anytime. It’s like your bank account+pin so make sure it’s only you and no one else!)

Now you have a nano wallet! To receive your first nano you can click on receive, select your account and copy the address. It looks something like this:


Paste this address into, solve the captcha and you have your first nano! In subsequent articles I will explain more about accepting and sending nano payments.

Price fluctuation

One reason why some business owners are less willing to accept a currency other than the euro is because the price of a new currency can fluctuate a lot. This is a very logical concern, but fortunately also an easily combatable problem. Nano can be converted directly into euros in various ways when it is accepted. There is often a small percentage of costs associated with this, but it is nonetheless cheaper than accepting debit card payments. So cheaper transactions without the downside of price fluctuations.

However, the direct exchange from nano to euro will nullify a lot of other advantages of the nano. Because when you exchange for euro, you will encounter the problems with trust and inflation again.

Fortunately, the price swings will resolve themselves over time as more companies adopt nano. The more accepted and used the currency is, the less the price will fluctuate.

The future

In the coming years, more and more companies will accept nano as a means of payment, and the euro and nano will live side by side.

The Netherlands runs on efficiency, it is part of our national identity and is one of the reasons why we are still strong players on the world stage. Like nano, the Netherlands is small but strong because of its efficiency. And that’s why nano can lead us to an economically healthy and growing future.

Do you want to know more about nano? See for more information. You can also find more places to spend, use or obtain nano at Do you accept nano in your company yourself? Feel free to contact me by sending an email to



Forest Horsman

Articles about the economy, cryptocurrency and nano!