Interview: NANO Lead Dev Talks Zero-Fee Transactions, $170 Million BitGrail Theft

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CCN spoke with NANO lead developer Colin LeMahieu right before a live-streamed Q&A carried out earlier today. LeMahieu told CCN that the presentation would be an introduction to NANO as well as himself, and said he was looking forward to it very much, saying “I’ll be highlighting what makes Nano unique and what our team envisions for Nano as we move into the future.”

While different cryptocurrencies are focusing on different use cases (cross-border payments, long-term stores of value), NANO is in the camp of day-to-day currency. Value transfer is and feeless, making it one of the crypto coins that may have a use case as a currency suitable for microtransactions and regular purchases.

“Nano focuses on instant and free transactions. Unlike most cryptocurrencies, Nano is a DAG (directed acyclic graph) and we call its structure a block lattice. Nano utilizes a DPOS form of consensus where users can delegate their votes to trusted nodes.

This results in no mining, the total supply of Nano has been distributed. Our mission is to make Nano a global currency with instantaneous transactions and zero fees over a secure, decentralized network.”

Shortly after rebranding from RaiBlocks to NANO, the project made headlines when 170 million worth of NANO was lost through the BitGrail exchange. BitGrail CEO Francesco Firano claimed that the funds were stolen, and suggested that developers fork the currency to replace the missing funds.

The situation had the NANO (then known as XRB) community in an uproar, negatively impacting the price and sending shockwaves through the cryptocurrency community in general by fostering widespread distrust of smaller exchanges. Many users had been trying to withdraw their funds for weeks before the incident and found that there were only periodic opportunities to do so, leading people to cry fraud when the funds were eventually stolen from the hot wallet of the exchange.

The NANO team cut off contact with Firano and contacted the Italian police to help deal with the issue. Firano claimed that NANO timestamp technology was responsible and that there were transactions missing from the ledger, and those claims were later proved to be false – BitGrail and Firano may yet be held criminally responsible for the alleged theft. The exchange opened for a total of three hours last week or the first time since the incident before being shut down by authorities.

When asked about this, LeMahieu told CCN:

“While the BitGrail situation is extremely unfortunate, it has not impeded the project. We allocated significant resources towards both determining what exactly happened, as well as investigating legal options, but as far as protocol development and overall project milestones are concerned we have continued to move forward.

Our team has been focused on the development and release of wallets as well as the implementation of a new block type, Universal Blocks, which will replace the existing send, receive, change and open block.”

Finally, we asked LeMahieu about the future of the cryptocurrency space and the role that NANO is destined to play in it. LeMahieu expressed the belief that the future of the cryptocurrency space will be very different, and that “we certainly don’t need thousands” of cryptocurrencies.

“I think there’s going to be a large consolidation as the market narrows in on precisely what problems cryptocurrency solves. I feel like Nano is strongly positioned, offering instantaneous and fee-less transactions, something that will always be in demand.”

LeMahieu gave a live-streamed presentation today at the Seoul Blockchain online event, and his Q&A can be seen on the here..

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Conor is a cryptocurrency journalist and an ICO writing consultant at The Written Craft content service. He's an advocate of decentralized public control of finance, an off-grid enthusiast, and really fun at parties too. Follow him on Twitter @iWriteCrypto to hear him roar.