Nano Foundation — Q and A with Atomic Wallet

Andy Johnson
Mar 23 · 12 min read

On March 18th Nano Founder Colin LeMahieu and Nano Foundation Communications Manager Andy Johnson spent an hour talking Nano with the Atomic Wallet Telegram community. With almost 2000 members present in the channel, the questions from the community came thick and fast, so we have brought them all together here for your convenience.


There are many projects purporting to be the best solution to payments, why is Nano unique?

Nano is purpose-built to be the fastest and most decentralized currency around. Our transactions settle in less than 1 second and it’s all done on a network with no fees, and a tiny environmental footprint.

Decentralization is an essential focus for us, many other cryptocurrencies can get fast or low cost, but they can’t also maintain decentralization which I think we do very well. — Colin

How is Nano able to provide all of this, and still claim to be more sustainable than other solutions?

Well the sustainability comes from 2 main parts. We have a laser sharp focus on being the most efficient currency. This means our development stays focused and eventually the amount of things going in to the code base will trend downward; once we’ve achieved the goal we just have to make things more efficient.

The second part of sustainability is our Open Representative Voting which is our replacement for PoW mining. We saw the energy expenditure as something that would come in conflict with any system that would attain high adoption so our goal was to get the same or better decentralization benefits and also have a low energy footprint. We think we achieved that goal as our representatives are all over the world under many different organizations. A healthy decentralized representative set is good for long term sustainability. — Colin

What remains as the hurdles to adoption?

Throughout 2019 we were able to make significant progress in helping some of the more well-established cryptocurrency services such as exchanges, fiat gateways, payment platforms, and wallets- like Atomic 😄, to understand and integrate Nano. This proliferation of Nano across the space has ensured that it is increasingly more convenient for users and merchants to access and begin using Nano for payments.

We are happy to be sitting in a position where we can help with the more substantial hurdles to adoption; User and merchant education, regulatory clarity and helping interested and progressive mainstream businesses to identify the benefits of Nano, in comparison to other less suitable payment-focused cryptocurrencies and in some cases traditional fiat money. — Andy

Why would $Nano be used as the cash version of crypto. Why would I want to buy a beer with Nano if I’m going to pay 6% more or less for the next one.
Can my grandma use the tech. If it’s not easy to use it’s not going to be used. What’s the strategy to make NANO easy to use>

Volatility is a focus with all cryptocurrencies and it comes from low volume, it’s not intrinsic to cryptocurrency itself. To cure low volume our focus is integrating it in to parts of the economy where it solves a problem, rather than just emulating credit cards etc.

Not having fees in the network puts us in a very good position for buying beer, for example. Typically credit card providers will charge 2–5% for a purchase, maybe even more, and it tight margin businesses that make 2–5% profit anyway, this is huge.

And on simplicity, nano is probably one of the easiest cryptocurrencies to use. There are no fees to calculate, the UX impact of entering a fee is greatly understated. How much should the fee be? Does my grandma know what network load is? What does it mean with respect to fee?

Nano simply has accounts and balances, you send and it lands in their wallet in less than a second, nothing can be simpler. — Colin

What’s your favorite way to show people the usability of NANO ?

A quick hands-on Nano experience can be found on https://nanospeed.live/

Push the button and it will send a real transaction form one side of the world to the other! — Andy

What is the role of COINIFY to NANO ecosystem?

Is this partnership is the stepping stone for the exploration of DeFi?

We integrated with Coinify because our goal is to maximize the on/off ramps for Nano. They have a huge merchant network and getting added as one of their payment options opens up a lot more people to being able to pay with Nano.

We’re not looking to expand in to defi right now. I have some reservations about it’s viability. One thing I’ve noticed in my many years of seeing technology evolution is to not try and change 2 things at once. We don’t want to simultaneously change the currency people use and also change how finances are done. First change the currency, then change the finances. — Colin

What do you think about an extension of privacy into the nano system. are there any efforts in the future?

Privacy is an attractive proposition to users of digital money for obvious reasons, it can be very important. Our position towards privacy is more conservative as we have seen many more hurdles to mainstream adoption being put in front of privacy-based projects.

With that being said, there are eyes towards the technical implications of introducing privacy, but it is extremely difficult to do this without incurring slowdowns to settlement times. — Andy

With the emergence of many blockchain projects, especially payment projects with the latest technology, scalability, efficiency, even without transaction fees. Does NANO feel the pressure from this on the race of global blockchain payment solutions?

Of course, there is a lot of competition in the space, especially around payment solutions, and we have not stopped improving the protocol.

We certainly feel that Nano possesses far and away the best fundamentals, democratic approach to decentralization, and user experience.

Being fully distributed and operating on mainnet since 2015 is also very important, and puts Nano way ahead of many other projects making bold claims about future potential.

Nano is here today, and works as one would expect digital money would! — Andy

Many cryptocurrencies have turned to wasteful energy designs to protect their networks. $NANO is cleverly designed to address this problem by not relying on mining for your safety as it uses a lightweight and efficient consensus (ORV). Can you tell me about this green strategy that $NANO uses?

The approach to creating Nano was to remove the inefficiencies that are clearly present in other protocols. The sustainability, rather than being a specific “green strategy”, is just a natural benefit of building something efficient from the ground up. — Andy

Who is the team behind Nano?

You can get to know the team a little better here: https://nano.org/foundation#team — Andy

What is the difference between Nano and other Digital Money?

We think people prefer to not pay fees or wait for transactions to settle. People should use Nano if they value these features. — Andy

And lastly, what is your opinion of Libra, and why do you think that Nano should attempt to compete with it in the same markets when Facebook is going to have a clear advantage from the beginning (given it’s wealth and already existing reach)?

I think Libra suffers from a market mis-assesment. Essentially what they’re claiming is be a multi-currency bank account for every facebook user. Getting users electronic bank accounts isn’t a technology problem, it’s a regulatory and logistics problem. Since Facebook is essentially being a bank for people, they’re going to be required to comply with KYC requirements. Sending/receiving isn’t going to be open as it is in cryptocurrency because of AML requirements. People are not going to have access to the system in remote areas because how do they deposit or more importantly withdraw local currency from their Libra accounts.

I think privacy is a big concern with our transactions and credit card purchases and it’s only getting worse. Letting Facebook/Libra know all your purchase history I think is a huge mistake.

I think it also doesn’t fundamentally solve the central banking problem where they can print more money and inflate the currency supply. I see this behavior as a fundamentally unethical thing that cryptocurrency solves and Libra is taking a huge step back on that.

I don’t see anything compelling about it and I don’t see long term viability. — Colin

What is different between a verified account(by My Nano Ninja) and non-verified accounts on Nano Wallet? Why does a wallet of decentralized wallet of decentralized digital money project as NaNo need verification?

https://mynano.ninja/ Is a service that helps representative owners provide additional information about themselves and their node to help users make more informed decisions about where to delegate their wallets. It is not a requirement, but very helpful for people to make a decision. — Andy

How do you evaluate the postponement of the CoinfestUK 2020 conference in Manchester, England, because of the Covid-19 danger? It was an important event to present the plans of the nano ecosystem. Is there any information on when this event will take place? Will the Nano foundation make plans for new activities?

We were sorely disappointed that the event was canceled but it was clearly the correct decision. The unique challenge facing the world takes precedent, but at the earliest opportunity, we will be looking to get out there and show Nano to the wider community. — Andy

What would happen, hypothetically, if one or some of the biggest votes in terms of voting power (i.e. the biggest delegates/representatives) would broadcast contradictory votes to different parts of the network. Or would not broadcast a vote at all.

The security parameters assume >50% of the network are good actors. Getting consensus on a particular election requires >50% of the voters approve a transaction before it’s confirmed so unless >50% of the network is a malicious, it can’t be confirmed. The network is designed to stall in case of partitioning, nodes would wait for a confirmation quorum that never arrives. — Colin

Nano coin supply available is 133 Million / 133 Million. Does this mean that Nano supplay is unlimited?

The Nano supply max is 133 Million and won’t change — Colin

According to your website “Nano utilized a novel CAPTCHA faucet system with the goal of distributing Nano as fairly and organically as possible”. What does a novel CAPTCHA faucet system means and how is it different from the regular ICOs?

Rather than selling Nano via an ICO or distributing it out via mining rewards, we allowed anyone to collect Nano for free by completing those familiar security checks designed to sperate humans from bots.

This method of distribution has led to the growth of great Nano communities all around the world, following their participation in the CAPTCHA faucet.

Full details are here: https://medium.com/nanocurrency/the-nano-faucet-c99e18ae1202 — Andy

With CAPTCHA faucet system Nano won popularity among countries in south America like Brasil and Venezuela years ago. How strong is this market for Nano now?are they still as active in the platform as they were back then?

The faucet did indeed seed Nano’s amazing international communities, and the contributions from around the world to the project have been unbelievable over that last 2.5 years. Communities are still active, engaged and building 💪 — Andy

What has been the results for Nano since Atomic wallet is one of its third party wallets?

The effects of Nano being added to the Atomic Wallet (and other multi-currency wallets) is two fold. It increases the accessibility and convenience of storing Nano alongside other coins and also helps to disperse voting weight across a wider spread of representatives — increasing decentralization! — Andy

I’d like to ask about multi-account opening spam with 1 raw — do you see this as a problem for the nano protocol (i.e. Ledger bloat) and can you see any potential solutions?

I think disk usage is going to be a low concern long term. The goal with Nano is to be a widely used commercial grade currency so the representatives will be banks and other financial institutions, universities, and tech companies. Considering how much Youtube, Instagram, and other social media data is created each day, I don’t think the ledger size will be a long-term limiting factor. — Colin

Has Nano really been applied to the real world? What will convince users and businesses to use Nano for payment instead of conventional solutions?

We are seeing some strong interest in bringing Nano into the real world, beyond the familiar crypto payment platforms, and into more mainstream settings.

Electronic point of sale device providers Kappture are a great example of this. Check out their presentation at from last summers meetup on why they think Nano is the most convincing solution for users and businesses outside of the crypto space. https://youtu.be/hr4U4wCByRQ — Andy

I care about incentivization, what incentives are NANO having for us the members and what’s the reason why I and other Angel investors should use Invest with Nano?

Nano’s value is being the fastest, most efficient currency around. Entreprenuers make use of natural market incentives / natural efficiencies to make money on a business.

Cryptocurrency has distorted that term a bit with something more closely resembling subsidies. The transaction fees and block rewards are subsidizing the security parameter and processing prioritization. PoW chains need this subsidy because their security parameter costs a lot. Additionally we’ve seen miners work to limit the network’s throughput in order to rent-seek on the limited transaction space.

The people we’re looking for are the entreprenuers that know how to make use of a faster, lower cost currency. — Colin

I understand that the $NANO network can offer transactions without commissions, what parameters does the $NANO network take to not charge users commissions on their transactions?

We use a small proof-of-work to prioritize a transaction on the network. It requires a certain difficulty otherwise it’ll be rejected, and higher difficulty nonces get processing priority. The proof of work is small and can be generated realistically on normal computer hardware. — Colin

What is the main algorithm behind the transactions settle in less than one second and How do you manage the transaction fees to zero?

It’s a metastable bandwagon voting algorithm. Nodes announce their votes and change their own to match the winner. In this way eventually, everyone collapses on to a single result. — Colin

Why is it good that Nano is limited to 133 million Nano? Doesn’t that limit future possibilities, or is there something I don’t understand? It helps to maintain the prices of the currency that?

Yes, having a fixed supply is an essential component of currency. If people can add more currency to the system, they’re taking value away from everyone else in that process. It’s unfair and unethical.

1 Nano actually can be divided down very small so there’s no risk of not having enough coins. — Colin

NANO uses DPoS consensus, recently there was an attack by Centralized exchanges on Steemit which has DPoS. Can you tell us what makes NANO resistant to similar attacks that are the same?

One major difference with Nano consensus is: having more Nano does not get you more Nano, there are no rewards for holding Nano. Holding nano doesn’t give people voting privileges on network changes, or any other centralizing component associated with holding.

Another big difference is voting in nano does not produce blocks, it chooses between conflicting blocks that a user publishes. If you don’t attempt to double-spend, your transactions cannot be voted against. — Colin

How confident are you about dynamic PoW working as a spam solution long-term? From what I know of the stress tests on the beta network there’s a marked increase in transaction time during times of high traffic; how do you see that resolving as time goes on? And how confident are you that in the future a solution can be developed that maintains everything Nano is today while also being able to embrace spam and avoid the ledger becoming too bloated?

I’m very confident we’ll smooth that out in time. The whole system is a very complex flow-control and Quality of Service problem. It’s tough but there’s nothing revolutionary about doing this, it just takes time and engineering. — Colin

Do you think Nano settlement could be under 100ms?

Confirmation speed is limited by the speed of communication so there are some fundamental physical lower limits, specifically internet latency between all the principle reps. While it can get lower than 100ms it’s not going to be under 10 ever. — Colin

Why was it decided to make commission-free transactions? Are there any planned promotional campaigns to popularize the coin in the future, because despite the obvious advantages, the project has a lot to move on?

Well starting off there are some technical problems with this. While we can roughly detect how much effort / cost went in to PoW mining, we can’t detect how much cost went in to disk, memory, bandwidth, developer time, or any of the other numerous things that go in to making a currency work. We believe the notion that cryptocurrencies pay incentives to those doing validation work is false.

Since we can’t accuratly compensate those who are paying the most, we can either compensate some, not compensate them enough, or eliminate the entire UX problem of calculating a fee and eliminate the fee entirely, we chose the latter.

We think it’s too tempting for the organization developing a currency to be in control of how it’s distributed, minted, and which direction the system will go at a high level. If people start to think there’s an organization controlling the currency, that’s one step removed from being able to issue new coins or other things we want to avoid while getting away from central banks. — Colin


We would like to give a big thanks to the team at Atomic Wallet for hosting the Q and A session, and the crypto community for submitting a great selection of questions. If you want to find out more about Nano then check out the website and join our forums!

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