Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics

What is nano?

Nano is decentralised, sustainable, and secure digital money focused on addressing the inefficiencies present in existing financial systems.

Uniquely designed to provide simple peer-to-peer transfer of value, nano empowers individuals with the most efficient and accessible digital money possible, connecting them to the global economy with minimal impact.

Nano provides an intuitive experience that feels like digital currency should - no fuss, no fees, no waiting. It's what accessible and easy-to-use digital money should feel like.

Where can I get nano?

You can exchange nano for almost any globally recognised fiat currency and digital currencies. There are various ways to add nano to your wallet. Visit the Nano Hub Trading page for a complete list of exchanges and swap services within your region.

Where can I get nano for free?

If you would like to test nano out for free, there are various ways to do so. The most popular method is via faucets, which allows you to get a small payout after entering your nano address. There are also ways to earn nano without paying. Various apps and websites hosted by community members will distribute tiny payouts of nano for completing simple tasks, gaming or watching advertisements.

You can explore all the ways to earn nano via the Try Nano page.

Where can I find nano wallets?

The nano ecosystem has a wide range of third-party wallets, with each providing a unique balance between functionality and security.

External developers and third-party companies create all wallets within the nano ecosystem. Don't hesitate to get in touch with them directly for any issues you may experience.

Browse through the list of wallets on Nano Hub Wallets page.

How was nano distributed? Did nano have an Initial Coin Offering?

Nano utilises a novel CAPTCHA faucet system intended to distribute nano as fairly and organically as possible.

Opened on October 1, 2015, the faucet required users to complete complex CAPTCHA tests to earn coins. Anyone with a computer could contribute time and attention instead of the less sustainable mining associated with other projects.

This choice to distribute by faucet allowed nano to be more accessible to those who could not buy mining hardware or invest in an ICO.

This unique approach was a great way to distribute nano to people who had never used it before and helped spread nano more broadly across the world.

Learn more about the Nano Faucet.

Where can I find proof of my transaction on the nano ledger?

You can access your transaction history via various websites often referred to as block explorers. Block Explorers host an entire account history of the nano ledger. They are also a great place to check up on the nano network's health or analyse the status of your transactions.

Check out various block explorers on the Nano Hub.

What are the units of nano?

1 raw is the smallest possible division, and nano is the standard division used in most wallets and exchanges (1 nano = 10^30 raw).

More details on the units can be found here.

The Network

What is ORV?

The Open Representative Voting (ORV) consensus mechanism expands on other designs by providing security with extreme efficiency using delegated, weight-based voting, allowing consensus to be achieved with minimal resource usage.

These improvements result in low costs for handling transactions at volume and thus remove the need to incentivise participation with on-chain rewards. No on-chain rewards equal no transaction fees and mean the fully distributed supply, completed in 2017, is ideal for the network design. Instead, participants on the nano network are driven by external incentives, such as helping maintain an instant payment network they can use without fees.

This combination of design decisions - providing lightweight consensus and removing on-chain incentives - avoids other networks' competitive, energy-intensive activities. The end result is a fast and energy-efficient nano network.

How is the nano network throttled?

There are two requirements used to throttle the nano network. First, a lightweight Proof-of-Work value is required for every transaction. This establishes a minimum amount of computational resources needed for a transaction to be added to the ledger.

Before a transaction is confirmed, it must have an election started for it and be voted on by the network. This is where the second throttle is put in place to limit how often elections are started on an account. The algorithm for managing this considers network capacity, voting activity, balance on accounts, the status of confirmation of previous blocks on the account and other details to the scheduled elections.

The result is a better quality of service for lower-use and higher-balance accounts when network usage is near capacity.

Why does the network require very little energy?

There are three main reasons nano is fast and energy-efficient compared to other decentralised currencies: the distribution method, the lack of transaction fees, and the ledger's design and consensus mechanism for securing transactions.

Due to the single blockchain design of other decentralised currencies, they must rely on a process called mining to provide security for their chain. Mining is a competitive process that incentivises massive computational resources and energy usage to win the rewards of newly created supply or transaction fees.

This design requires slow payment times and causes a constant feedback loop, increasing resource usage needed to win the rewards. Over time the energy wasted can surpass that of entire countries, and without this resource usage, the system becomes insecure.

By providing a novel ledger design, called the block-lattice, nano avoids the bottleneck of the single blockchain design. Meaning competitive activities like mining are not required to build the ledger.

Running Nodes

Who can run a representative node, and what are the requirements to be a node operator?

Running a node is a crucial way to help decentralise the network and provide a network access point for systems built on top of nano. Anyone can set up a representative and gain voting weight by delegating their nano to the representative. They can also vote on behalf of others who entrust them as their representative.

Follow recommended specifications of the nodes in our guide on Running a Node.

How can I choose my representative?

Choosing a representative with good uptime, that is also a unique entity (to prevent Sybil attacks) helps maintain high nano network security.

You can change your representative on every good nano wallet. Go to the app or account settings and look for the representative option. Some wallets help provide a curated list of representatives to choose from, while nearly all allow you to paste in the address of a trusted one directly. If you cannot find this option, contact the wallet support team for help.

Core Development

How can I stay informed on all technical updates and discussions?

Technical updates are discussed regularly in the forum, and you can also consider subscribing to the technical mailing list.

Where can I access more information on the nano roadmap?

The Roadmap project is the primary resource for seeing what is coming for improvements to nano. Details of how the board is organised and maintained can be found in the related README file.

When it comes to tracking more minor features and changes, the most impactful enhancements are grouped via GitHub Issues where appropriate.

The nano roadmap repository is dedicated to handling some of these roadmap items that would otherwise clutter or be unsuitable in the main node repository.

Discussions about their implementation will be addressed in community channels such as the forum and the Discord #development channel.


What are the different ways to get involved with nano?

There are various ways to contribute to nano for both technical and non-technical skill sets. Find out more about the Nano Community Program to get involved.

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