Nano (cryptocurrency)

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Nano logo.svg
Official Nano branding logo
Ticker symbolNANO (formerly XRB)
Original author(s)Colin LeMahieu
White paper
Initial releaseOctober 2015; 4 years ago (2015-10)
Latest releaseV20.0 / November 13, 2019; 3 months ago (2019-11-13)
Development statusActive
Written inC++
Developer(s)Nano Foundation
Source modelOpen Source
Hash functionBlake2
Issuance scheduleCaptcha faucet (ended)
Circulating supply133,248,297
Supply limit133,248,297

Nano (NANO), formerly RaiBlocks (XRB), is a decentralized, open-source, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, based on directed acyclic graph (DAG) technology, and released under the FreeBSD License. It facilitates feeless transactions that achieve full confirmation in 1-10 seconds,[1][2][3] without intermediaries and by utilizing a distributed ledger.[4]

Officially announced in October 2015 by Colin LeMahieu,[5][6] Nano's goal is to address the scalability limitations of other cryptocurrencies[7], which can result in restrictive fees and increased transaction confirmation times when under load.[8]



Development of Nano began in 2014 by Colin LeMahieu, under its original name of RaiBlocks[9], and was publicly announced in October 2015.[5] Distribution of Nano began in October 2015 via a free public captcha-faucet that ended in October 2017, by which point 126,248,297 NANO out of the total supply of (2¹²⁸ - 1) / 10³⁰ NANO had been distributed.

The Nano Foundation, a non-profit software development company, started by Colin LeMahieu, reserved 7 million Nano dedicated to the continued development of the protocol. The remaining undistributed supply of 207,034,069 NANO was removed from the supply and sent to a burn address without the possibility of recovery. As a result, the maximum supply of Nano is 133,248,297 NANO.

On January 31, 2018, Raiblocks rebranded to ‘Nano’ to better resonate with the public and mainstream audience, as well as remove any confusion around the pronunciation of Raiblocks.[10]

BitGrail Exchange Hack[edit]

On February 9, 2018, BitGrail, an Italian cryptocurrency exchange, announced its shutdown, reporting unaccounted losses of 17 million NANO from its wallets, preventing users from accessing assets stored on the platform.[11]

Victims of the exchange hack sought recoupment through the Italian court system, and supported by the Nano Foundation, launched a class-action suit against the BitGrail exchange owner, Francesco Firano. In January 2019, the Court of Florence found Francesco Firano liable for the losses after discovering that the exchange had failed to implement any meaningful safeguards to ensure the safety of their customers’ funds and failed to report losses from as early as July 2017.[12] As of December 2019, bankruptcy proceedings are underway.

Other notable events[edit]

On June 19, 2019, Kappture Labs announced they would be integrating Nano into their customer-facing payment terminals, publishing a whitepaper alongside explaining their rationale for choosing Nano over other cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.[13][14][15][16]


Block Lattice[edit]

Instead of using a single, monolithic blockchain, Nano uses a block-lattice data structure, where every account has its own blockchain (i.e. transaction and balance history).[17] This is a unique implementation of a directed acyclic graph (DAG), where a "block" is just one transaction, and each transaction contains the account's current balance.[18][19][20] Furthermore, account-chains can only be updated by the account owner, which allows the account-chain to be updated immediately and asynchronously from the rest of the block-lattice, resulting in quick transactions.

Open Representative Voting (ORV)[edit]

To prevent double spending and Sybil attacks, Nano uses a voting-based consensus algorithm called Open Representative Voting (ORV).[21][22] In ORV, every account can choose a representative to vote on their behalf, and these representatives remain online to vote on the validity of transactions they see on the network. Unlike delegated-Proof of Stake, anyone can be a representative, no funds are staked or locked up, users can remotely re-delegate their voting weight to anyone at any time, representatives do not earn transaction fees, blocks are not built or chosen, and representatives cannot censor or reverse transactions. All Nano transactions are individually and asynchronously voted on by user-selected representative nodes before being immutably and irreversibly confirmed.[4][23]

The novel block-lattice DAG architecture's ability to scale was stress-tested in January 2018. Nano developers achieved a sustained 105.75 transactions per second (tps) on the main Nano network, with a brief peak of 306 tps.[24]


Bitcoin core developer Gregory Maxwell criticized Nano's Sybil attack protection[25][unreliable source?], but the protocol uses a balance-weighted vote by account holders to prevent Sybil attacks. In order to attack the network this way, >50% of the online voting weight must be delegated to an attacker.[21][22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A Comparative Analysis of DAG-Based Blockchain Architectures, IEEE, 2018-12-19, doi:10.1109/ICOSST.2018.8632193, retrieved 2019-12-18
  2. ^ Williams, Sean (2018-02-01). "3 Cryptocurrencies Processing 1,500 (or More) Transactions Per Second". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  3. ^ A Survey of Distributed Consensus Protocols for Blockchain Networks (PDF), IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials, 2020-01-29, retrieved 2020-02-01
  4. ^ a b Distributed Ledger Technology: Blockchain Compared to Directed Acyclic Graph (PDF), University of Zagreb, 2018-04-26, doi:10.1109/ICDCS.2018.00171, retrieved 2019-12-17
  5. ^ a b Live Faucet is active, 2015-10-13, retrieved 2019-12-18
  6. ^ LeMahieu, Colin. "Nano: A Feeless Distributed Cryptocurrency Network". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  7. ^ Scalability of the Bitcoin and Nano protocols: a comparative analysis (PDF), Blekinge Institute of Technology, 2018, retrieved 2019-12-18
  8. ^ "From Mining to Markets: The Evolution of Bitcoin Transaction Fees", Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), 2017-10-19, retrieved 2019-12-17
  9. ^ A Web of Blocks, arXiv, 2018-06-18, retrieved 2020-01-03
  10. ^ RaiBlocks Rebrands To 'Nano' -- XRB Price Has Surged 41% In 24 Hours, With 20% Bull Run This Morning, Forbes, 2018-01-31, retrieved 2019-12-17
  11. ^ Cryptocurrency Worth $170 Million Missing From Italian Exchange, The Wall Street Journal, 2018-02-10, retrieved 2019-12-18
  12. ^ Italian court forces BitGrail CEO to repay $170M in ‘lost’ cryptocurrency, TNW, 2019-02-28, retrieved 2019-12-18
  13. ^ "Neil Haran announces Kappture's inclusion of Nano". Twitter. 2019-06-18. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  14. ^ Whittaker, Ben (2019-10-15). "First POS to accept Cryptocurrency". The Digital Line. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  15. ^ "Thomond Park Stadium announces EPOS Innovation partnership". ALSD International. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  16. ^ Haran, Neil (2019-06-29). "Accepting cryptocurrency at the point-of-sale" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-12-19.
  17. ^ Nano: Might Sound Small, But Does It Have A Big Future?, Nasdaq, 2018-12-13, retrieved 2019-12-18
  18. ^ Shahaab, A.; Lidgey, B.; Hewage, C.; Khan, I. (2019). "Applicability and Appropriateness of Distributed Ledgers Consensus Protocols in Public and Private Sectors: A Systematic Review". IEEE Access. 7: 43622–43636. doi:10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2904181. ISSN 2169-3536.
  19. ^ "On the Applicability of Distributed Ledger Architectures to Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading Framework". IEEE. 2018-06-12. doi:10.1109/EEEIC.2018.8494446. Retrieved 2020-01-03. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  20. ^ Pavlovic, Matej; Guerraoui, Rachid (2019-09-06). "Scaling Byzantine Fault Tolerance". Lausanne, EPFL. doi:10.5075/epfl-thesis-9605. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  21. ^ a b A tool for implementing privacy in Nano, IEEE, retrieved 2019-12-18
  22. ^ a b Blockchain Consensuses Algorithms: A Survey (PDF), arXiv, 2020-01-20, retrieved 2020-02-01
  23. ^ LeMahieu, Colin (2018). "Nano: A feeless distributed cryptocurrency network".
  24. ^ Pugh, Brian. "Stress Testing The RaiBlocks Network: Part II". Medium. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  25. ^ Maxwell, Gregory. "Re: Block lattice" Check |url= value (help). BitcoinTalk. Retrieved 2020-02-10.

External links[edit]

Official Website


Category:Cryptocurrencies Category:Alternative currencies Category:Application layer protocols Category:2015 software Category:Computer-related introductions in 2015 Category:Private currencies