Quick protocol question

Hi all!

I recently came across NANO and currently reading up... I'm wondering why I have never heard about it before - seems to be a nice piece of tech!

I have a couple of quick questions, maybe someone can give me a hint:

  1. Is it possible to attach a short string (message) to a transaction? Basically to pass over a small piece of information to the receiver?

  2. Where is the time of a block coming from? Is this the local time of a client initiating the transaction, or some kind of synchronized time of the network? Basically asking if a transaction can be used to timestamp/sequence events happening in the network?

  3. Are there any (vague/concrete) plans to implement some kind of privacy features? I've read about a proposal in another post and probably the answer to this question is not easy - however is there an active investigation towards this direction?

  4. As voting is part of your consensus protocol - Are there any plans to implement individual voting (weighted by the account balance) to decide on features/questions etc.?

Are those topics from above valid use-cases? Or is NANO exclusively focused on payments?

Thanks in advance for taking the time and your support!

Have a good day!


Welcome and thanks for asking questions!

Biggest reason you likely haven’t heard about it is lack of coordinated marketing and outreach. The team is busy improving the protocol and working with exchanges and other services but not as focused on publicity.

  1. No message in the protocol. It’s designed to be as light weight as possible. The URI format supports a message that point-of-sale and wallet providers could use to coordinate sharing and storing information locally but it’s external to the protocol. URI and QR Standards

  2. Time is only local, since it’s all asynchronous, nodes will confirm blocks at slightly different times even though they’ll be within seconds or milliseconds of each other typically.

  3. The nano foundation team has been open to privacy but it hasn’t been a focus and there is nothing on the roadmap. I think it’s more wait and see how privacy unfolds at the moment. There have been some interesting papers and proposed implementation in the past for privacy so should be interesting to keep an eye on.

  4. I have not seen any suggestions, ideas or proposals for governance related to voting. I think as nano matures that’s something worth pursuing though.

Nano is designed to be the best form of secure value transfer so it’s fast and lightweight. This prevents some use cases that need messages or scripting built into the protocol but enables it to be the fastest form of value transfer that exists currently.


Thank you, Srayman for your quick response!
I see and tend to agree keeping the protocol light weight. I guess there is already enough spam data in the network which comes as a downside of free TX? You probably don't want NANO being misused as a new free "Whatsapp" on DLT and store everybody's nonsense data.
I think about using the lower 26 digits of a raw NANO to encode a message. I may get about 13 characters of modified ASCII text - this is probably enough for my use case. Is this something the community would support? You said, NANO's focus is transfer of value so I understand it shouldn't be targeted for anything else?

Are there also plans to maybe offer both, either a small TX fee OR a small POW? Or will NANO stay POW only? Or switch to TX fee only over time? Something like: Offer 10TX within a minute for free, if more TX are issued, one must pay a fee or has to slow down otherwise TX is rejected - this would be great imo. Guess the issue is to have a synced/common network time base?

Apologies for my unsorted brainstorming and asking so many questions. The huge benefit of NANO is it's instant confirmations and it can scale much better than classical blockchains. I think the "free" aspect can be dangerous in context of spam attacks, even though is is great for normal users.

Thanks again!

Only PoW for now with higher PoW blocks getting priority for confirmations. I wouldn’t call it “free” since it’s still a cost.

The network is decentralized so anyone can use it how they want. Here’s an interesting implementation similar to what you described https://nanoo.tools/steganography

No plans I’ve seen to switch to fees. Many in the community are here specifically because of the feeless transactions which enable many micro transaction use cases.

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Thank you!

Cool - This is exactly what I thought of.