Becoming Unbanked Part 3: Receiving Payments in Nano

Vini Barbosa

This article is written by a community contributor and does not represent the views of the Nano Foundation.

Now things start to get more interesting!

In Becoming Unbanked: a journey towards individual monetary sovereignty, I explained what this project is all about. In Becoming unbanked part 2: A matter of survivability, I talked about history and some justifications that motivated this project beginning. But enough with theory. It's time to start talking about practical things that can be applied in everyday life.

To become unbanked, I need to use decentralised peer-to-peer money. To use this type of money, I first need to acquire it .

How to acquire Nano and other decentralised currencies

Most cryptocurrencies can be acquired in four ways:

  1. Receiving new coins through the initial distribution, which can occur in different ways:
    a. Mining (for proof-of-work coins);
    b. Staking (for proof-of-stake coins);
    c. Airdrops/Faucets from the foundation's treasury or genesis block;

  2. Monetary exchange, through purchase or swap using another currency as a pair on centralised exchanges, decentralised exchanges, swap platforms, or directly with some user in peer-to-peer format;

  3. Receiving as a donation or tip from users, for any reason;

  4. Receiving as payment for products and services that you can offer.

Since nano was completely distributed in 2017, (1) is no longer possible, which may be very positive from an economic fundamentals perspective for XNO.

(2) and (3) may be the most common and currently used ways, and the article The beginner's guide to cryptocurrency and nano covers some of these points.

We'll talk about (4).

Receiving Nano payments for products and services

In 2022, approximately 98.3% of all my financial revenue came through the Brazilian currency, the real (BRL). About 1.4% was received in bitcoin (BTC), and the remaining 0.3% in nano (XNO).

Now in 2023, with the first quarter coming to an end, the numbers have changed a lot, as you can see in the following infographic.


By the time of writing, 74.9% of my income comes from Fiat Money (BRL and USD), 24% comes from XNO and a small share in USDT.

I’m still not sure if I should consider USDT and USD in the same category, for management purposes, because my main focus with unbanking is for sovereignty and self-custody. I can’t self-custody digital USD or BRL, but I can do that with USDT – I might change this in the future.

How am I increasing the payments received in nano?

It is very important to say that I have been designing my personal and professional life to achieve this goal. I have made many difficult decisions that have completely changed my journey, and all of them have present and future consequences – things didn't just happen suddenly, but are the result of conscious choices. For better or for worse.

Being in the right place, with the right people

The first point was to position myself within the crypto industry – where I thought I would find more people willing to use (to send or receive) the technology they are working on.

I must admit that I was frustrated when I realised that a large part of those involved in this industry are not really looking for utility. And surprisingly, the vast majority of “crypto companies” are not willing to receive or make payments in crypto. We are still very early in the adoption curve.

But I started to adapt my plans and surround myself with those who are looking for the same thing as me. Gradually, I built a network of contacts, mainly within the Nano Community, of people passionate about the complex change that lies ahead – and I also found a similar passion in other communities such as Monero, Bitcoin Cash, ZCash, DeFi in Ethereum, and a small portion of the Bitcoin Community.

The right incentives in a win-win scenario

In addition to offering my services to the right people, I have developed a pricing model that rewards service takers who pay me through offering them better conditions.

For example, I offer cumulative discounts for payments made in better terms and also for payments made in Nano or other cryptocurrencies. The more advantageous the conditions are for my business, the better the final prices – as is the case with a larger discount for payments in XNO.


Using the table above, if a customer chose to pay for my services 48 hours after approving my delivery and uses XNO for that, the customer will receive a 15% discount on the final price.

From a business point of view, the discount offered in nano is advantageous because I gain from:

  1. Lack of fees, which allow me to move the received value freely without extra costs – significantly increasing my profit margin;
  2. Speed of settlement, confirmation, and deterministic finality for receipt and whenever funds need to be moved – reducing my exposure to volatility and ensuring greater security that the received values will be truly irreversible.

Both (1) and (2) make a huge difference when considering that payments will need to be moved with some frequency to:

  1. Achieve greater privacy on my balances;
  2. Pay partners, suppliers, and collaborators in a circular economy;
  3. Use for purchasing services and products;
  4. Sell or exchange for other currencies for hedging and risk management.

Each of these items should gain a specific article within this series, as they are also of great importance to the ‘unbanking journey’. So keep following the publications in the coming months.

Before I finish, here is an illustration of the advantages in my current payment structure:


In the time it took for this payment to be processed I delivered another four jobs for p2p clients. Three of them were paid in nano and one in USDT. The nano payments took less than 24 hours to be sent after delivery and settled in under a second. No fees were charged and I received 100% of the value sent. 

This is a powerful example of how crypto can be used right now to solve real world problems. 

In Part 4 of “Becoming Unbanked,” I will explain how I have been pricing my services and how I define the exchange rate for future payments, along with my debtors.

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