What is Nano, crypto’s new eco-friendly altcoin?

Nano is getting attention as an eco, cheap and highly scalable altcoin. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Nano currency?

It’s not tiny coins, I’m afraid. Nano is a form of cryptocurrency and​it was founded by software engineer Colin LeMahieu on 4th October 2015, making it the coin’s sixth birthday this week. (happy birthday, Nano!).

What’s the difference between Nano and other crypto coins?

Nano uses blockchain technology in a completely different way to most crypto coins, including the big and popular ones, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Every account is given its own blockchain and nobody else can update it. When the account updates itself and is seen as legit, other accounts update their record of what that blockchain’s account balance is. The Nano Foundation calls this tech a block lattice”, and the individual blockchains are called account chains.

Most coins (including Bitcoin and Ethereum) have a bidding process that takes place for miners to solve the crypto puzzle that lets them add new data into a block.

Usually, it’s a case of the fastest, most powerful or whoever has the most money in the crypto. With Nano, nodes” (which transmit the data from one block to another) vote on who gets to create blocks, which means there’s zero financial incentive involved and less energy used. When an account updates its information, and the transaction is considered legit, the ledger is updated (which means it’s noted across every other account).

What’s so good about Nano?

It’s free to trade. No transaction fees are always good (unless it’s a scam, ofc) – and deposits money instantly. Both of these features help it push the ethos that it’s accessible and useful for everyone.

This is achieved because of the unique way of using blockchain. Transaction fees are minimal because instead of financial incentives, the aim of the blockchain is to encourage as many people as possible to use it, given that it’s fast and cheap. And if everyone’s using it, others become redundant, the value goes up, etcetera. Nano was also designed to be very scalable, so it can accommodate huge masses of transactions without running into speed issues, in theory.

How good is it for the planet, though?

For starters, it’s a pretty eco-friendly cryptocoin, which might sound like an oxymoron but isn’t. Nano is a digital coin that isn’t reliant on printing or minting, and, unlike most crypto coins, it also doesn’t involve mining. Bitcoin has always had a bit of a bad rap for the energy output caused by mining, and while Ethereum has improved its carbon footprint with Ether 2.0, there’s still some mining involved, which is worse than not mining.

Of course, there’s always the debate that given we have fiat currency already, adding other forms is bad for the planet. Whatever side of that boat you’re on, Nano is pretty eco-focussed, compared to other currencies.

What can I use it for?

The usual: trading, hodling, buying things. You’ll find Nano on a bunch of exchange services such as Kraken and Binance. The founder also seems to be pushing for businesses around the world to accept Nano as a form of payment. Ultimately, Nano wants to become an everyday coin. You can use Nano’s blockchain to build nodes, which allow people to store and transmit data securely and anonymously, along with other software solutions.

So, tell me: is it worth investing in Nano currency?

As with all crypto, that’s hard to call (plus I’m not a financial advisor). But the coin is gaining traction and has mass appeal at the core. So it’s not impossible that as developing countries look to use crypto as official currencies, Nano could become a little more of a forerunner in the altcoin scene, maybe beyond. But honestly, nobody knows for sure. Crypto is always volatile and always risky.

This article contains reportage, not financial advice. Always do your own research before investing. Also, cryptocurrencies are a volatile and high-risk asset. As with all investments, you should never invest money that you can’t afford to potentially lose.

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