Weekly Spotlight: NanoVault

The “No Strings Attached” Open Source Wallet for Nano

For this week’s Spotlight, I’m joined by Andrew Steele, known in the Nano community as Cronoh, the developer of NanoVault. As the creator of one of the first and most popular wallets built for Nano, it was exciting to hear about the origins of NanoVault, as well as his thoughts on the Nano project as a whole. I hope you enjoy!

Hi Andrew, thanks for joining me today. Could you give the readers some background on yourself and what drew you into cryptocurrency and Nano?

Absolutely, I have been fascinated by the internet since I was around 12 or so — initially through playing video games (and still do) and then I got into writing a little bit of code here and there. I got a job as a web developer and slowly worked my way up, learning more and more about not just software development, but business, money, and other interesting topics.
Fast forward to the middle of 2017, and after seeing the success of Ethereum, along with Bitcoin gaining lots of momentum, I decided to look a bit closer. As the year went on I slowly was investing slightly more money and becoming more involved, which lead to me hearing about Nano in early December. I was drawn in by its incredible claims and after reading the white paper and doing some testing with the wallet, I was sold!

NanoVault is one of the first wallets launched for Nano. What led you to spend time developing the project?

When using the original desktop wallet, it was clear that the tech was great — but the UI felt like it was not quite doing it justice. I saw the RPC functionality available on the nodes and decided right around the new year to create a wallet as a side project. Over the next few weeks, I decided to change the idea from a desktop app that connects to a full node to a light wallet that was mainly over the web.
The incredible feedback I was receiving from the Nano community hooked me and allowed me to continue to build out NanoVault into what it is today. I am continually renewed when I interact with members of the Nano community and hear how they enjoy using the wallet. I simply followed along with their suggestions, which made it easy to know what features to add and continue spending time working on it.

The wallet is probably best known for its support for the Nano Ledger S, what features are you the proudest of in the wallet?

Adding support for Ledger devices was definitely a huge moment (major props to Roosma as well). The main vision was to make a truly secure client-side wallet that is dead simple to use. The Ledger is perfect for that because it removes the seed/private key security from NanoVault and lets the wallet be as light as possible while removing any room for attackers.
There are a lot of things I am proud of, but if I had to pick out one, it would be that I feel like I have been able to live up to my security expectations. Making a wallet was a little bit different from any standard side project because you are dealing with real money in an environment where mistakes can be irreversible. So I am incredibly happy that since inception, around 10 months now, no one has reported to me that they have lost any of their Nano.

What can users look forward to in the future with NanoVault? Are there any improvements or features you are looking to add?

There are a few features that are still in the pipeline, though I consider most of the main functionality to be complete. One of the main things I have been spending time on is getting Ledger support working on the desktop version of NanoVault, which is now really close to being released (this turned out to be much harder than I ever anticipated :D).
A few of the smaller features coming are some more advanced account controls (so you are not locked in to account 0–19), support for private keys (for use without a seed, ie; vanity accounts), support for using your own node, and some general UI tweaking (themes maybe). Combining those features with desktop Ledger support, the goal is for you to be able to have a wallet software that is not reliant on any central server.

You’ve now been involved in and around the Nano project for a year, in your opinion, where do you think the project can be improve?

Nano’s benefits are all already there at its core — so it kind of puts the onus on solutions around Nano to really push adoption in the world. I personally think that in this current climate of crypto, it is going to be harder to convince end users (retail buyers) of the main benefits (saving x% on fees, or having it show up 5–30 minutes sooner). There is a huge opportunity for developers to build systems that sit on top of Nano, without expressing Nano as the form of currency to the end user necessarily.
Outside of that, I think the best thing we can do is continue to build a really strong and active community. In the end, without the force of a military to back any currency, its value is mainly based on everyone's faith in it — and that is something everyone is able to affect. Organic enthusiasm is a hard thing to replicate, and that is all based on the core of idea — we just need to continue to spread the news.
Lastly, I would just like to say thanks to everyone who has used, provided feedback for, and helped contribute to NanoVault. If you have any new feature requests, feedback, or run into any problems, you can get in touch on our GitHub page or our Discord server. Finally, thank you for the highlight and all of the incredible work by the core team to bring Nano to the world!

Thanks again to Andrew for joining me today, for more information on NanoVault, be sure to head over to https://nanovault.io/.

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