Folding@Home contributors can opt to fold via the Banano network, earning “free” cryptocurrency. Though it’s a robust cryptocurrency, under the hood, the Banano ecosystem as a whole is a much bigger phenomenon that requires a deep dive to fully comprehend its abilities.
Airtune—Developer, Banano community
The Banano processing power is solving the world’s problems by F@H (simulating protein dynamics to help scientists by giving them more data) research into COVID-19, Alzheimer’s, cancers, and so on. Apart from building a better world, they are also working on exciting new stuff.
#1. Tell us why Banano still relies mostly on free distributions of the coin? How have you made this economically feasible, and do you think more ecosystems should be doing this?
I’m not sure what you mean by economically feasible. Distribution projects rely on community volunteers who try to keep it fun and fair. There’s no fixed formula so the Banano team can respond to exploits and stop rewarding them. The yellow formula is also kept secret and changed up occasionally to reward people who contribute to contribute and reduce rewards to those who try to game the system.
#2. How much of Nano’s infrastructure is still part of Banano? Have you guys been able to improve on the core promises of Nano in the Banano system, apart from the addition of Proof of Work/mining?
The Banano node technology is not different from Nano. A Banano team member called Coranos has even made a script to convert Nano code into Banano code so we can make use of the most recent updates to Nano.
#3. Tell us more about the on-chain messaging feature of the Banano ecosystem.
Banano actually has two different on-chain messaging features, MonkeyTalks and DagChat.
There are very different opinions on what should be on-chain and what shouldn’t. Nano is intentionally designed to only support transactions without any additional functionality. However, it is still possible to encode some data into the ledger even if it isn’t designed for it.
Data being in a distributed ledger offers a few traits like being publicly available, immutable and is reached consensus upon.
Immutable means that you can’t go back in history and change something.
Consensus means that everybody agrees on history.
Both chats have these properties but they are quite different.
DagChat is end-to-end encrypted and is between two accounts.
MonkeyTalks is a public unencrypted message wall.
#4. The July-August period was very good for Banano’s market value. What do you think were the driving reasons behind that?
I’m not sure what’s driving Banano’s market value. I just like it for being one of the most useful and fun projects out there.
#5. Banano is much more than just a cryptocurrency. You guys actively run multiple successful community education and awareness projects. The amount of time and effort that goes into this must be remarkable. What are these projects, why do you care so much, and how does your team ensure efficiency in running all these separate operations?
Speaking on behalf of them, I think they still – to this day – care about educating people about managing their own crypto funds so this doesn’t keep happening to people.
Educational content from Banano includes official announcements, Banano lore like SOOK from when Anemone lost the seed to his 500k Banano, conversations in the public Discord chat rooms, and in-person events like teaching in classrooms and at onboarding events.
#6. I guess an imminent follow-up question would be what is the main focus of Banano? Let’s assume you had a limited time to pitch Banano to the uninitiated and you could talk of only one thing that would define the ecosystem. Which feature or aspect will you choose to talk about?
It’s actually usable in the way you would expect a currency to be. You would not even have to mention it. You very quickly start taking fast and fee-less transactions for granted.
If they are new to cryptocurrency you would have them set up a Kalium wallet and educate them on keeping their recovery phrase secure.
Usually, I end up telling them about how it’s distributed mainly to F@H contributors and send them a little bit of Banano to play around with.
#7. What are some exciting things happening in the Banano ecosystem as we speak? Any new features or updates to look out for?
I’m working on a metaprotocol for Banano NFTs without modifying any of the Nano or Banano core node code.
It has been in the works since April 2021 and is slowly coming together.
The NFTs will be smart contract-less, so you can’t accidentally wipe your wallet by trying to send, burn, or trade a random NFT.
They will also be feeless, like Banano, and would rely on community tipping for creators instead of forcing attempts at enforcing royalties.
You do have to open an account first so you could use one of the many faucets available in the Banano community. Once you have an open account, you can start minting, receiving, and sending NFTs without having to go through an exchange first.
#8. You have a thriving and active community, especially on Discord, with a bunch of events always lined up throughout the month. What kind of an experience has it been growing the community and reaching up until this point? Do you have any tips for other developers working hard on their own ecosystems, aiming to build a similarly active community?
Since Banano is given away it’s usually what draws people in initially. They quickly find out that it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme and we have the people who stick around anyway.
It’s my impression that these people who stick around either start caring about the events and other community members or have some ideological overlap with things like the fair distribution or having feeless transactions.
#9. Folding@Home isn’t something many hobbyist miners seek out. Though there are legitimate reasons for that because most mining-specific rigs of 3-4 GPUs very likely don’t have sufficient RAM and processor power as cryptocurrency mining doesn’t care about those, do you think there are more reasons beyond this? Should more people be getting into F@H by spending their electricity, even if they are not incentivized by a mediator such as Banano in the process?
In the past, mining on Ethereum was simply the most profitable.
Banano distribution to F@H is great for hobbyists and if you care about Banano but I don’t think it’s the best way of making money if you’re doing business.
That being said, the Banano team on F@H has been the top contributor since April 2021.
Even without the Banano rewards, F@H still contributes to medical science with research on COVID-19, Alzheimer’s, and cancers toward a new world we will probably all prefer living in.