I was given the opportunity to talk with u/sraymansmoles, creator of the popular Nano-Faucet.org, an accompanying Nano network visualizer, and veteran beta-tester of the Nano network. I found our chat quite illuminating, and I hope you’ll come to the same conclusion!
How did you get started in cryptocurrency?
Sraymanmoles: I heard about Bitcoin back around late 2011, but was too busy with life and work to think about it until it took off in 2017 and I started hearing about it more. Like quite a few people, I heard about Nano at the end of 2017 but didn’t start digging into the details until early 2018. Around this time, I researched many of the other top cryptocurrencies and tokens.
So what made you interested in creating a Nano faucet initially?
I liked the idea of fast, feeless, and scalable cryptocurrency without artificial limits like block times or fees. The notion sounded almost too good to be true, so I wanted to set up a node and see if it lived up to the hype or if I would find any bugs. Around August 2018, I started building https://nano-faucet.org to discover if I could create a use case and learn in the process! I haven’t looked back since. Nano continues to excite and amaze me in how smooth it is compared to other cryptocurrencies.
What kind of usage do you see on the faucet recently? Where are most of the users located?
There are usually a few hundred users per day, and I see a pretty broad spectrum of users from across the world. The US and Brazil have been consistent sources of traffic, and I see spikes from the UK, Indonesia, and Venezuela on occasion as well. I have posted a couple of times on Reddit, showing the distribution of users across the world and plan to continue doing that periodically to share how widespread Nano has become. Since August 2018, the site has been visited by people from 142 different countries!
I love the Nano Visualizer on your website because it’s simple, it explains what everything is for the user, and it’s fun to watch as the transactions grow. What inspirations did you take when creating it?
The visualizer started with a post on Reddit from Nano Community Manager Json, talking about some projects that had been abandoned, one being nanowat.ch. I remembered it from the Raiblocks days when it was rai.watch and how much I enjoyed the visualization that had been created.
Json had ranked the project as requiring a ‘Skill Level High,’ so I took him up on the challenge to replace a fantastic service and bring aspects of it back to life. Json ended up being an excellent alpha/beta tester and provided most of the feature requests that exist on the visualizer as it is now. I had never used websockets before, so it became a great learning opportunity to learn new tools and create something cool in the end!
Challenge accepted and met it sounds! Do you have anything else you intend to add to the website or the visualizer?
Most recently, I have been building several charts and various tools for assisting in beta testing to capture relevant data and visualize easier. The idea is to help highlight what’s working well and identify any potential bottlenecks. Thankfully, some community members had been doing this manually in previous tests and were able to help me with building a more automated system.
There’s a lot that can be done in terms of beta testing so that’ll probably keep me busy for a while. I’m always open to other ideas though, and if I see a good one that I feel I could do, then there may be a few late nights in my future.
In regards to the visualizer, I would like to create an ‘about’ section that describes more in detail what some of the visualizations mean. For example, two accounts sending Nano back and forth, compared to one account sending to many different accounts. It’s on my to-do list.
You contribute heavily in beta testing the newest Nano node releases; I often see you in the #beta-net channel in the Nano Discord server. Can you speak to your interest in seeing Nano evolve?
As I’ve continued to learn more about Nano and follow its GitHub more closely, it made sense to be more actively involved in beta testing — particularly to have a better idea of the potential impacts for the different sections of my site. I believe in the fundamental concepts of Nano: being fast, feeless, and scalable. I want to help see that dream fulfilled.
I very much approve of the direction Colin has taken to remove any financial incentives from Nano, however with that comes many technical challenges and if there is anything I can do to help solve those I would like to contribute.
Seeing nodes around the world on your Nano node map is fascinating. What have you seen on your map that piques your interest?
The distribution of nodes is about what I would expect, similar to the faucet usage. The one surprise when I first set it up was that there were 0 nodes in China, but lately, there have been five to six nodes consistently online!
What are your favorite things about the Nano protocol?
The fact that there are zero financial incentives to Nano is one of the best features, in my opinion. I also value the simplicity of Nano. It’s incredibly simple for a developer to learn the protocol and build a service around it. The dev team has done an excellent job documenting the RPC protocol while continually improving and expanding it. It makes interacting with the node quite easy.
What’s your biggest hope for Nano in the future?
I would like to see Nano continue to be adopted as a form of payment, but there is a lot of work to get there. That includes additional exchanges being available, more point-of-sale terminals added, and continued improvements to the node software to maintain its robustness and security.
You’ve been an integral addition and contributor to the health of our ecosystem — with special consideration towards your website and your valued assistance in testing the Nano nodes on the beta network. Thanks for all you do.
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