Nano currency
In 2016, a new cryptocurrency called RaiBlocks was introduced by Colin LeMahieu to solve the biggest issues of other digital currencies.1 Rebranded to Nano later on,2 this currency has gained a lot of traction in the crypto community. What was once a coin developed by one man has evolved into an ecosystem backed by a growing and dedicated community.3 In this article, I want to present the core features of Nano in a comprehensive way and also take a closer look at its surrounding ecosystem.

Nano is most commonly known for being faster than other cryptocurrencies, because transactions in the network are completed within seconds. It also has a competitive edge by executing its transactions without a transaction fee.4 Speaking about its underlying infrastructure, Nano runs on a block-lattice architecture, in which each account has its own blockchain.5 This block-lattice enables a high transaction throughput, which is not only existing on a theoretical level, but has also been proven in different stress tests.6,7 Nano achieves consensus in the network via a balance-weighted vote on conflicting transactions.8 In general, with its original whitepaper released in 2014, Nano was one of the first Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) based cryptocurrencies.9
Nano had a pretty unique distribution method. In opposite to more common distribution methods like mining, ICOs or airdrops, Nano was initially distributed via a CAPTCHA-based faucet.10 The faucet was active from February 2016 till October 2017 and distributed 94.7% of the total supply. The other 5.3% (7 million Nano) of Nano’s total supply were added to a development fund. Therefore, Nano’s circulating supply equals its total supply, which is 133,248,289 Nano.11 As of today, February 17, 2019, 24.6% of the supply is on Binance, 3.2% is managed by the BitGrail trustee, 2.9% resides in the developer fund, 1.1% is on KuCoin, 0.8% is on Mercatox and 0.4% is on Huobi. In general, 38161 addresses have a balance bigger than 100 Nano and 8297 addresses have a balance above 1000 Nano.12
A currency, that wouldn’t be accepted as a payment method by any merchant would only have a speculative value, but no real utility. Therefore, the Nano team and community have been actively pursuing adoption for Nano as a currency to give it multiple utilities. Three of those utilities are especially significant. First of all, Nano is one of the accepted currencies on Travala’s platform, which means you can book 550k+ hotels worldwide and pay with Nano.13 Adding to that, you can use Nano for donations to Twitch streamers.14 Furthermore, Nano got recently added to the list of cryptocurrencies supported by the Wirex Visa payment card.15 In general, Nano is currently accepted as a payment method by 120 merchants all over the world.16 Merchant adoption is further facilitated by Nano’s integration with Coingate.17
Nano started out as a currency, but thanks to tremendous community dedication is now shifting to become a whole ecosystem. Several wallets have been implemented for the currency in addition to the official wallet, with each of them developing unique features and user interfaces.18,19,20 Adding to that, different block explorers have been created as well.21,22 Other than these core cryptocurrency features, the Nano ecosystem has been expanded by several other products: BrainBlocks is the first project that allowed merchants to easily integrate accepting Nano into their online stores;23 Nanex is an exchange that uses Nano as a base pair;24 Jolt is an upcoming hardware wallet for Nano and other cryptocurrencies25 and @NanoTipBot enables users to tip Nano to each other on Twitter.26

To bring even more community projects to life within Nano’s ecosystem, the Nano Center was founded, that aims to promote Nano to a wider audience with high-quality community funded projects.27 Nano Quake is one of those projects developed by the Nano Center. It is a modified version of first person shooter Quake 2, where you can get rewarded with Nano depending on your in-game success.28 Another project the Nano Center has been actively pursuing is to achieve adoption for Nano in Venezuela and to establish the currency as an alternative payment system.29
Nano has a competitive edge over other cryptocurrencies because its transfers are executed within seconds and don’t require a transaction fee. It runs on a block-lattice, which makes the currency scalable and therefore enables it to perform thousands of transactions per second. Nano was initially distributed via a faucet. Currently, around 40k addresses have a balance of above 100 Nano. The core team and a dedicated community are actively pursuing adoption for Nano as a payment method, with Travala, Twitch and the Wirex Visa Card being the most prominent adopters as of right now. Once just a currency, Nano is now shifting to become a whole ecosystem backed by multiple products and community developments.

Articles, that may interest you:
“Why RaiBlocks? No fees: The RaiBlocks network has no notion of fees. Low latency: Transactions are natively processed instantly giving a responsive experience. Scalability: Micropayments require a system capable of significant scalability. Simplicity: Users have a simple experience without technical jargon.”
Colin LeMahieu; Bitcointalk; RaiBlocks Announcement Channel; 29.02.2016
“The Core Team wanted a name that represented the simplicity and speed of the project, and Nano does just that. The new logo uses several nodes, playing on the block-lattice design of the network, that connect to form an “N.” All social media accounts will be updated to reflect the name and logo changes. The new website is”
Nano; Medium; Nano Rebrand Announcement; 31.01.2018
“As we’ve reflected on this last year we’ve noticed a common thread through all the Reddit posts, code commits, Discord chats, forum updates, critical discussions and other materials — the Nano community and technology is constantly and consistently maturing. It wasn’t much more than a year ago that Colin LeMahieu switched to working full-time on the Nano protocol, and just over 9 months since the Nano Foundation was established.”
Nano; Medium; Nano 2018 Year in Review; 31.12.2018
“Digital currency for the real world – the fast and free way to pay for everything in life. Instant transactions – Zero fees – Infinitely scalable”
Nano; Official Website; Frontpage; 17.02.2019
“Here we introduce Nano, a cryptocurrency with a novel block-lattice architecture where each account has its own blockchain, delivering near instantaneous transaction speed and unlimited scalability. Each user has their own blockchain, allowing them to update it asynchronously to the rest of the network, resulting in fast transactions with minimal overhead. Transactions keep track of account balances rather than transaction amounts, allowing aggressive database pruning without compromising security.”
Colin LeMahieu; Nano Whitepaper; Nano: A Feeless Distributed Cryptocurrency Network; 2018
“In this experiment we showed that the RaiBlocks’ network can handle at least a sustained 33 TPS, while individual nodes were processing a minimum peak of 120 TPS. These results were limitations of this experiment and the node I was publishing from; I am quite confident in the network’s ability to handle a much greater transaction rate. Future work is to perform a multi-node publishing stress test or to find bottlenecks in my current stress test code.”
Brian Pugh; Medium; Stress Testing the RaiBlocks Network: Part I; 22.01.2018
“The test results are as follows: Number of Transactions: 5000; Broadcast Length: 47.28 Seconds; Average Broadcast TPS: 105.75 TPS; Remote Peak TPS (1S Average): 306 TPS; RaiBlocks.Club Peak TPS (5S Average): 172.8TPS”
Brian Pugh; Medium; Stress Testing the RaiBlocks Network: Part II; 26.01.2018
“These DAG-based cryptocurrencies broke the blockchain mold, improving system performance and security. Byteball achieves consensus by relying on a “main-chain” comprised of honest, reputable and user-trusted “witnesses”, while IOTA achieves consensus via the cumulative PoW of stacked transactions. Nano achieves consensus via a balance-weighted vote on conflicting transactions. This consensus system provides quicker, more deterministic transactions while still maintaining a strong, decentralized system.”
Colin LeMahieu; Nano Whitepaper; Nano: A Feeless Distributed Cryptocurrency Network; 2018
“The original RaiBlocks paper and first beta implementation were published in December, 2014, making it one of the first Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) based cryptocurrencies. Soon after, other DAG cryptocurrencies began to develop, most notably DagCoin/Byteball and IOTA.”
Colin LeMahieu; RaiBlocks Whitepaper; Nano: A Feeless Distributed Cryptocurrency Network; 2017
“Instead, Nano implemented a novel faucet system with the goal of distributing Nano as fairly and organically as possible. Users faced complex CAPTCHA tests and upon completion were rewarded a percent of the allotted coins based on the amount of CAPTCHA’s solved. The CAPTCHA faucet allowed anyone with a computer to participate, similar to Proof-of-Work mining, though instead of hashing power, users earned coins through contributing a different resource: time and effort.”
Nano; Medium; The Nano Faucet – Looking Back One Year Later; 26.10.2018
“In early October 2017, after much discussion within the community, it was decided that it was in the projects best interest for the faucet to be shut down so more time could be focused on the development of the protocol. Once the decision was made, a short period was allowed to allow users to access any remaining claims before distribution officially stopped on October 20, 2017. Upon closure of the faucet, the CAPTCHA faucet had distributed 39% of the initially planned supply, 126,248,289 Nano and a development fund was created with 7,000,000 Nano, leaving 133,248,289 Nano in circulation. The remaining 207,034,069 undistributed Nano was sent an inaccessible burn address in 3 transactions, one each from the Landing, Faucet and Genesis accounts.”
Nano; Medium; The Nano Faucet – Looking Back One Year Later; 26.10.2018
Source of the distribution statistics is the Nano Rich List on
NANO FAUCET; Official Website; Rich List; 17.02.2018
“You can now book 550,000+ hotels worldwide with $NANO using the built in crypto payment gateway. Travel to 82,000+ destinations with your favourite #crypto #NANO”
Travala; Twitter; 03.02.2019
“ is a brand new service for Twitch streamers and their viewers. It allows streamers to accept Nano donations on their Twitch streams, and tie it into your existing stream notifications.”; Official Website; Frontpage; 17.02.2019
“Here at Wirex, we’re always looking for exciting projects that will offer our customers something different, to help us cater to every type of crypto-user. That’s why we’re so pleased to introduce the latest coin to the Wirex family, Nano (NANO). It joins Bitcoin, Litecoin, XRP, Ether, WAVES, Wollo and DAI as the latest cryptocurrency that Wirex users in the EEA can buy, store, convert and spend, quickly and simply.”
Wirex; Official Blog; Small, but perfectly formed; 12.02.2019
121 merchants were listed at at the time of writing.
Use Nano; Official Website; Join the Nano Revolution!; 17.02.2019
“Accept Nano Payments – Let your customers pay with Nano. Get Euro payouts or convert to Bitcoin.”
Coingate; Official Website; Accept Altcoins -> Accept Nano; 17.02.2019
“Designed by /u/ngyekta and developed by me, Natrium aims to be an intuitive, fun, robust, and secure storage for NANO. As well as the usual stuff like – fast, free, and open source.”
u/bbedward; Nano Subreddit; Introducing Natrium (BETA) for Android – Fast, Secure, Robust NANO Wallet; 23.09.2018
“Use Canoe to manage your Nano, an instant & feeless cryptocurrency. Canoe is a fully open source & cross-platform wallet to manage your Nano in a safe and secure way.”
Canoe; Official Website; Frontpage; 17.02.2019
“This week I got to chat with Lucas, better known as “Inkeliz”, the developer of Nanollet! Nanollet is a bit different than other wallets in the Nano eco-system, as it does not require a back-end server. Lucas has continued to add unique, interesting features and I was excited to talk with him more in depth about his project and what he has in store for the future.”
Nano; Medium; Community Spotlight: Nanollet – A Serverless Wallet for Nano; 31.10.2018
“My Nano Ninja – The Ninja shows you verified representatives, statistics and more for the Nano cryptocurrency!”
My Nano Ninja; Official Website; Frontpage; 17.02.2019
“As many of you know, my network explorer has been a hobby project of mine for awhile now. I first started it to learn how Nano works and to see how easy it was to build services on top of the node RPC. Now that it’s become established in the community, one of the things that’s bugged me is that it never had a very official title. It’s been referred to as “the meltingice explorer” or simply “”. While great for my ego, it wasn’t very professional and lacked consistency. This is why I’ve decided to rebrand the site to something that’s both simple and memorable. Going forward, the site is going to be known as the NanoCrawler and will be available at”
u/meltingice; Nano Subreddit; is now known as the NanoCrawler!; 04.09.2018
“Every Wednesday I’m going to be highlighting a 3rd party project or organization built around Nano. I figured what better place to start than with Brainblocks, the first project that allowed merchants to easily integrate accepting Nano into their online stores. … BrainBlocks started in January by Daniel as fun weekend project. He found that Nano, then Raiblocks, was great for sending back and forth between two people but that there really wasn’t any way to process online sales that was convenient for both the customer and the merchant. Daniel set out to build a system that would be easy for merchants to implement and created temporary accounts on the fly where the funds could be verified and seamlessly sent on to the merchants account.”
u/troyretz; Nano Subreddit; Weekly Project Highlight #1: BrainBlocks; 20.06.2018
“The premier trading platform for Nano – Nano is the future of cryptocurrency trading, and Nanex is at the forefront of that future. Buy and sell your cryptocurrencies for Nano instead of Bitcoin. Deposit and withdraw your Nano instantly with zero fees.”
Nanex; Official Website; Frontpage; 17.02.2019
“It’s been a long time coming, but today we’re thrilled to announce the official launch of Jolt, a brand new hardware wallet for managing your crypto! … Jolt is fully open source and currently provides integration with Nano, a fast and scalable currency designed for payments and the kind of community who has been very supportive of our efforts. But of course we‘re not planning to stop there which is why we’ve already begun discussions to integrate with additional currencies as well.”
Jolt Wallet; Medium; Jolt: A new wallet for your crypto; 31.05.2018
“For this week’s spotlight, I sat down with Andrew Mitchell, developer of the Nano Tip Bot for Twitter. It’s a great tool for rewarding people for great content or introducing new users to Nano and I was excited to chat with him about how he became involved in Nano and what led to him creating this project. … The Nano Team is a huge fan of your project, we’ve used it on multiple occasions to tip users on Twitter.”
Nano; Medium; Community Spotlight: Nano Tip Bot by Andrew Mitchell – An easy way to reward and introduce people to Nano; 19.09.2018
“We are pleased to introduce The Nano Center, a community born collective with the express aim of promoting Nano and its virtues to as wider audience as possible. Through carefully selected and community funded projects we intend to foster adoption and integration of this revolutionary technology into the modern cryptocurrency space and beyond. We are very passionate about the qualities of this pure cryptocurrency as it can create a greener economy, bring stability to areas of economic volatility and provide people without access to conventional banking a way of controlling their money. Nano will empower the people of the world to take back control of their money. The Nano Center was created by the community, for the community and we invite all that share our ambitions to join us and help in the effort. Everybody can contribute in their unique way to this mission, whether it be through a donation of time, funds, skills or ideas. We welcome all.”
u/TheNanoCenter; Nano Subreddit; Introducing The Nano Center; 15.06.2018
“The server which hosts the game has its own Nano account and each player pays into this account (currently set to a 0.1 Nano buy-in). For each kill you gain a reward of Nano and at the end of the round 3rd place gets 10%, 2nd place gets 30% and 1st place gets the rest.”
The Nano Center; Official Website; NanoQuake; 17.02.2019
“In Venezuela there is currently a hyperinflationary economy, the national currency — bolívares — becomes devalued in a matter of days. It’s difficult to get cash, most times banks won’t even have any, and credit card systems often collapse due to the amount of people paying for goods. I decided to start this project because I believe Nano can actually solve these problems and I can see the long-term potential. Our organization will be focused on building a durable ecosystem for Nano, we want to market Nano as an alternative payment system where people can transact without waiting for the payments to settle.”
Nano; Medium; Community Spotlight: The Venezuela Project – Highlighting Efforts to Increase Adoption in Developing countries; 29.08.2018