Nano (formerly called RaiBlocks) is a decentralized digital currency focused on fast and fee-less transactions. Using an efficient and lightweight design coupled with community wallets Nano aims to allow anyone to access cryptocurrencies.
Nano uses a unique Block Lattice data structure in which all accounts each have their own blockchain, rather than competing with others on a central chain. The goal of this design is to provide more scalability while also offering users the ability to send funds when the recipient is offline.
For consensus, Nano uses Open Representative Voting. In this system accounts can freely choose their representative at any time by updating their account chain, providing more control for users to decide who validates transactions. In addition to securing the network, this consensus mechanism uses less energy compared to other popular blockchains.
Each component of the protocol was created with the long term goal of decentralization in mind. By creating a system where representatives are not paid to operate, the incentive to participate in the network is shifted to be indirect, operational cost savings.