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NANO: A Complete Project Overview | Notum

By Notum

Jul 28, 20225 min read


Nano is a blockchain with an acyclic structure and, thus, high throughput. Developer Colin LeMahieu launched the project in 2014, and it was initially called RaiBlocks, but in 2018 it became NANO. The project's main goal was to initiate a massive adoption of NANO everywhere as a paying method without using smart contracts and dApps built upon them. The team wanted to get rid of other blockchains' drawbacks.   

The project aims to solve the problems of scaling the majority of blockchains. Bitcoin is an example of an old-school blockchain that's getting slower and on the top, having quite high fees. Nano's currency was the first to use a so-called Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) data structure in which individual accounts each control their own blockchain instead of using a single blockchain for the entire network. This hugely boosts transaction speeds, making Nano's crypto transactions execution way quicker than most cryptocurrencies. With the DAG, the activities order is shown by a graph and visually presented as a set of circles. Each one represents an activity, some connected by lines representing the flow from one activity to another.

The scaling problem is solved by utilizing a block-lattice. Each wallet in a particular blockchain has a separate chain that includes a balance and a transaction history. All the changes can be added there only by an owner. An interesting point here is that all the transactions are performed asynchronously towards the rest of the block-lattice and, by doing so, a net’s load work is becoming much lower. All the transactions are checked through the genesis block balance, which is fixed. The balance of the genesis block is spread among wallets, and its sum can't go upper than a pre-arranged limit. While each account has its own blockchain, to which only the owner can add blocks, nodes store everyone’s blockchain so that they can verify transactions. The account keeps working. Completed transactions are saved in a sender's and receiver's blocks. This approach increases transaction speed, eliminates fees, and frees users from downloading. 

Nano's structures include four crucial components:

  • Public/private key

A public key is linked to a private one and can be used to check that the signature is correct, and the second one is only for a user to ‘sign’ a transaction within the block lattice. One user can create several accounts, but every account will have only one address.

  • Pass the block

The blocks are signed with a user's encrypted key. Each Nano transaction consists of two operations — withdrawing from one account and sending to another one. 

  • Ledger 

It is a separate chain for each user within the Nano network.

  • Node 

It is a part of the software that's working from a user's computer. Depending on the type, they can store the whole Ledger or only its part, containing the last several blocks of each account.

What Makes Nano Secure?

Nano has a few built-in shields that protect the network from hack attacks, and one of them asks to calculate PoW, so users' computers have to do a bit of work for making a transaction. Thus, every block within Nano has a small Proof-of-Work (PoW) portion to stop spam and guarantee everyone can use the Nano network.

Additionally, Nano uses a voting-based system to prevent 51% attacks. This secures the network and allows Nano to reach consensus without the need for mining or staking.

Nano’s Currency

Nano has a native cryptocurrency with a ticker XNO.  It can be used for making daily payments between people or companies without transaction fees. It has many practical use cases, such as integration into shopping sites, video games, charities, and Chrome Extensions.

The Nano's emission is limited, and all launched tokens are circulated. After launching all the tokens, the founders announced that they would develop the marketing field and broader promotion of Nano. 

There are some evident advantages XNO has, let’s have a quick look at them:

  • Ecological — Nano uses an energy-saving consensus mechanism called Open Representative Voting. 
  • 0 Fees – It’s definitely not like Bitcoin or Ethereum in terms of fees, 
  • Lightning-fast – The block-lattice system used by Nano allows users can pay for goods online or in-store without waiting for approval from the bank or credit card network. 
  • Decentralized – The platform is free from mining or staking XNO for rewards. That makes the platform genuinely decentralized. 

Nano has a strong community that believes in Nano's growth perspectives. That's because cryptocurrency solves one of the most sensitive issues — the transaction speed issue. Nano’s transaction throughput increases with better hardware and bandwidth for nodes. As the nodes in the network become faster, Nano has the potential to scale to thousands of transactions per second. 

Why Is Nano Eco-Friendly?

A nano transaction is a more than 15 million times less energy-consuming than a Bitcoin transaction. In fact, the entire nano network can run at hundreds of transactions per second using the power of only 1 wind turbine!

Nano was built to perform without mining, considered an energy-intensive mechanism for processing transactions. Instead, Nano uses an innovative Open Representative Voting protocol to decrease energy use and efficiency.

Closing Thoughts

To sum it up, let’s highlight Nano’s strong points once again. Nano stands out for the following reasons:

  • No Fees
    NANO has a unique fee-less model. Users don’t pay transaction fees no matter the size and frequency of their transactions. The network spreads its costs across the hardware and broadband of its providers to make it possible. The pricing of hardware and bandwidth, boosts network capacity and increases the total operating cost.
  • Environmental-friendly
    NANO is believed to be an eco-friendly blockchain. The system utilizes a staking mechanism to verify the state of the network rather than miners. As stakers don’t need to compete against each other, keeping these platforms secure consumes way less electricity. 
  • Scalability
    The NANO blockchain provides true scalability, so it literally takes less than a second for a transaction to complete the operation.