One of the most common complaints about Bitcoin and other proof of work cryptocurrencies are that they're slow to transact and use immense amounts of electricity. Not only do users rack up fees, but the energy expended in processing has become a bit of an environmental concern. Thankfully, this is a problem many in the development sphere are well aware of, and solutions are being formulated to combat the problem.
Nano is a digital protocol that attempts to remove friction in transactions across crypto networks, but it’s not available on common exchanges like Coinbase and Robinhood. Keep reading to find out how Nano works and where investors can invest in Nano.
What is Nano?
Nano is a digital currency that uses a blockchain known as Block Lattice. Unlike other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Nano allows each account to possess its own personal blockchain. Block Lattice enables each user to upload their transactions individually for verification, which greatly enhances processing speed. Since all transactions involve two parties, both the sender and receiver would be adding blocks to their personal chain, allowing for easy verification.
Claiming itself to be “accessible and lightweight,” Nano reduces the amount of energy needed to process transactions. In theory, this has two benefits:
- Reduction of fees needed to process transactions
- Reduction in energy consumed to maintain the network
One of the biggest complaints of Bitcoin and Ethereum are the energy expenditures required to mine it and the gas fees required to complete transactions on the network. Nano’s goal is to solve both of these problems while allowing the network to be infinitely scalable.
Nano is secured by delegated proof of stake (DPoS), which is thought to be more efficient than the proof of work (PoW) system used to secure Bitcoin. DPoS doesn’t rely on computational power but votes from “delegates” to secure the network. A nefarious actor would need to control 51% of all Nano in existence to hack a DPoS system.
Brief History of Nano
Nano wasn’t called Nano in its original iteration. Constructed by a former AMD programmer in 2014, Nano was originally called Raiblocks and used the Block Lattice chain in order to cut costs, energy and process transactions regardless of speed or girth. With a promise of no transaction fees, the newly rebranded Nano quickly gained steam during the 2017 crypto rally.
If you thought Bitcoin had a meteoric rise in 2017, check out Nano. After spending most of the year hovering around 1 penny, Nano began to rise and reached $0.16 by Thanksgiving. A 16-bagger isn’t a bad trade, right? Now here’s where things went really crazy. From Thanksgiving 2017 to January 2018, Nano saw an astronomical run that created unspeakable wealth and then took it nearly all back.
On New Year's Day 2018, Nano topped the $37 mark. You read that correctly — not $0.37 but $37. If you had invested $100 in Nano just months prior, you had $370,000 on New Year’s Day. Not a bad way to ring in 2018, huh? Of course, the gains were short-lived and the cost of Nano was under $10 by the 1st week of February. By Thanksgiving 2018, Nano was back under $1 and it would stay under a buck until the tail end of 2020.
Nano was hacked in February 2018 through the Italian exchange BitGrail. Over $170 million worth of Nano was stolen from the exchange and most of it has never been recovered. The hack deterred users from investing in Nano, although recent events have police now pointing the finger at the operator of the exchange himself.
Nano has potential as a low energy, flexible cryptocurrency, but questions remain due to the hack and its extreme volatility. Still interested in investing in Nano? Here’s how to get started.
How to Buy Nano
- Open an online account.
You’ll need to open an account with an exchange or broker that supports Nano. Popular apps like Coinbase and Gemini, unfortunately, don’t have Nano available to trade, so you might need to look toward other cryptocurrency exchanges like Kraken and Crypto.com. Crypto exchanges like Crypto.com have a wider array of offerings but also different fee structures (which are lower than major exchanges like Coinbase). Be sure to understand how you’ll be charged fees and what taxes you’ll pay before purchasing Nano with a company based outside of the U.S. Changelly, Wirex and Binance.US also have Nano available for purchase.
- Buy a wallet (optional).
Buying a cryptocurrency wallet provides an extra layer of security and accessibility since your digital assets will be in your sole possession, not sitting in your account with your broker or exchange. Cryptocurrencies as well as non=fungible tokens (NFTs) can be held in wallets, so it’s a worthwhile investment to procure one. Many software wallets are free to download too.
- Make your purchase.
Once you’ve established an account and set up your wallet (if you choose), you’re ready to purchase some Nano. Determine how much of your capital you’re willing to devote to a Nano position, but remember not to go too heavy on a single coin. Even Bitcoin and Ethereum are volatile and altcoins can make even more drastic moves. Depending on your broker, you can usually buy Nano with a credit card, bank account or with another cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Uniswap.
Best Crypto Exchanges
Best Crypto Wallets
Here are the best software and hardware wallets for Nano.
Best Hardware Wallet: Ledger
A hardware wallet is a digital storage device for cryptocurrencies that can be disconnected from the internet to completely prevent hacking and theft. A hardware wallet can be connected to a computer and generates a personal key for transfers, but once disconnected, it’s like having cash in your actual wallet — someone would need to physically steal it to access it.
Ledger is one of the best hardware wallets on the market to date thanks to its history of innovation and accessibility to many different cryptocurrencies. There’s also a robust online community for troubleshooting too. Ledger Nano X is the newest and most highly recommended model.
Best Software Wallet: Trust Wallet
Coinbase is probably the easiest and most efficient software wallet to use, but you can’t hold your Nano coins in it. You’ll need either a dedicated Nano wallet or an alternative. We like Trust Wallet because it can hold other digital assets besides Nano, has an easy onboarding and setup process, and allows you to earn great rates on staked coins. Trust Wallet is available for both iOS and Android smartphones, too.
Trade or Sell Your Cryptocurrency
How you trade and sell your Nano depends on where you have it stored. If you hold your Nano in a software wallet, you’ll likely need to convert it to a more common crypto like Ethereum in order to cash out.
Likewise, some brokers will allow you to buy Nano through normal means but selling it will require a transfer through a different digital currency like Uniswap. Nano is a little more difficult to move around since it isn’t listed on the most popular crypto apps like Coinbase and Gemini. Be cautious of fees and transaction costs when trading and selling Nano.
Current Crypto Prices
Trading cryptocurrency can be a rollercoaster thanks to the 24/7 trading schedule and unrelenting volatility, especially among newer and less established coins. Here’s how Nano currently compares to the rest of the major crypto offerings.
Nano has Potential, but has a Checkered Past
Nano earns points for tackling the biggest problems facing cryptocurrencies today. Environmental concerns regarding computing power and mining are sure to become more prominent over time as cryptocurrency gains mainstream acceptance. And if you’ve tried to send someone an NFT lately, you know that gas fees are getting excessive.
However, Nano has some sordid history to contend with. Its dramatic rise and fall in 2017-2018 resembled a giant pump and dump and the BitGrail hack remains fresh on the minds of many investors. Like any digital currency, Nano involves unique risks — be sure to understand them before purchasing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nano crypto a good investment?
Nano has lots of potential because it seeks to remedy two of the biggest problems posed by currency cryptos — high fees and energy usage. If Nano can successfully prove its potential while bringing down these costs, it could be poised for more huge gains.
Is Nano better than Bitcoin?
It depends on what you’re looking for. Nano has outperformed Bitcoin at certain points, but Bitcoin has a much larger market cap and is less prone to extreme volatility. If you want to risk capital for large gains, Nano could work. But if you’d rather be more conservative with crypto, stick with Bitcoin and Ethereum.
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