The deluge of new cryptocurrencies over the last couple of years has left a bitter taste in the mouth for many. With so many new coins appearing on a regular basis, alongside semi-regular reports of exit scams and other shenanigans, enthusiasm for speculating has faded amongst many investors. This increased skepticism has led to an over-zealous application of the old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.
Nano (NANO/BTC) is one of those crypto tokens that on paper seems to have it all. Transactions on the network are virtually instantaneous and there are no fees involved. Mining is performed using a small amount of computational power provided by users as they participate in transactions, resulting in an almost imperceptible cost in terms of energy. Add to this that Nano is fantastically scalable (each Nano represents 1024Raw) and you have the trifecta of a winning formula.
So what can we expect from this promising project over the coming year? On the basis of a strong showing throughout 2018, it seems that the answer is ‘quite a lot’.
2018 has been a mixed year for Nano. Not because of any kind of incompetence on the part of the development team but because of a third party. The now infamous Bitgrail hack has cast a long shadow over everything that has followed.
In brief; a small crypto exchange gave Nano an early home and was instrumental in bringing the value up to ~$30 a coin. However, in what is now widely recognized as unscrupulous and or negligent behavior on the part of the exchange owner, many early adopters lost their holdings while others simply saw the value of theirs plummet.
The Bitgrail debacle prompted the rebranding of the coin from RaiBlocks to Nano. While this has been successful, and the dev team has been thoroughly vindicated, the price of the coin has since floated around the $1-2 mark, at the time of writing it has sunk to $1.04
The Nano Community
But it is important to keep things in perspective. Early investors were definitely scared away from the project in large numbers, but the community has moved from strength to strength since then. A cursory glance at the r/nanocurrency subreddit shows that enthusiasm has remained strong and that, regardless of the coin’s current value, faith in the protocol itself is unshaken.
Elsewhere, support can be seen in the growing number of wallets and other community-driven projects available. These range from faucets to block explorers to websites like The Nano Centre, which continues to serve as a thriving hub of community enthusiasm.
One of the most striking community projects in the whole crypto sphere is Nano’s adoption in Venezuela. A nation suffering economic calamity, while appalling in humanitarian terms, provides the ideal test case for a cryptocurrency. Nano’s instantaneous, low energy, and free-to-use nature have all made it ideal in an economy where inflation has rendered the local fiat currency all but useless.
For the rest of the world, the release of the “Pay with NANO” module at the beginning of the year has meant that Nano is now accepted by a variety of online merchants. While physical paypoints that support Nano are still few and far between, they are also growing in number.
Behind the scenes, iterative upgrades to the network have improved stability and performance. A coordinated attack caused temporary disruption but ultimately led to a potential security flaw being identified and fixed. The long-awaited security audit of the protocol was completed by Red4Sec, revealing only minor issues. Both the consensus algorithm and the node software passed with no critical vulnerabilities found.
Nano in 2019
Despite its relatively meager value in dollar terms, Nano is entering 2019 in a strong position. Top of the developer’s list of priorities is the release of a combined wallet and payment processing module. This will grow rapidly to add a number of useful tools for both merchants and buyers. The ultimate goal is for this module to form the basis of what the developers hope will be the de facto payment processor for the entire world. If any cryptocurrency has a hope of achieving such a goal it is surely Nano.
Beyond this, we can expect to see more upgrades to the network throughout the year. The team has done a great job so far at releasing updates frequently, so expect things to continue to improve in this regard.
The community members behind the ongoing Venezuela project have a roadmap in place for increasing adoption during the first half of the year. Their plans include hosting meet-ups and inviting professional speakers in order to raise awareness and attract the right people to take things to the next level. A social media blitz will also help to spread the word and continue to grow interest.
These are definitely exciting times for Nano. It is unfortunate that so much of the interest in the cryptocurrency market has become focused on the dollar figure attached to each project. By this shallow measure, Nano might not look like much right now. But dig just a little deeper into the merits of the underlying technology, as well as the developers and their ever-loyal community who are determined to make this coin a success, and it’s hard not to be excited by Nano’s potential.