This walkthrough assumes you have a Nano wallet already set up using the web wallet NanoWallet.io, the desktop wallets from Nano Wallet Company, or NanoVault wallet designed for the Ledger Nano S. You must also have a non-zero balance for each Nano account address you wish to “change representative” for, so have a friend send you some Nano or withdraw some Nano from an exchange before proceeding with this tutorial.
But first of all, what is a Nano representative? It’s best explained by comparing how Bitcoin and Nano function.
To add transactions to Bitcoin’s proof-of-work ledger, one must invest in powerful computer hardware to generate cryptographically valid “blocks” that will be accepted by Bitcoin’s SHA256 hashing algorithm, hence become a “miner.” The upfront investment + electrical power required to “mine” a block makes it uneconomic to cheat the system by creating blocks that “double spend” transactions and create coins out of thin air, protecting Bitcoin’s fixed supply.
In Nano, there are no miners because Nano is a proof-of-stake coin. You, the users have a direct stake in the network. Each Nano you own counts towards 1 vote for the true and legitimate copy of the ledger, but your computer needs to be online to exercise your votes. As the theory goes, users who own a significant amount of Nano are incentivized to vote down illegitimate transactions such as “double spends”, as they would dilute the value of their own stake.
Most of us don’t have our computers powered on 24/7 so Nano has a solution for that — representative nodes. A representative is an always-on computer you elect to vote on your behalf, when your desktop wallet isn’t open. You should choose a node operated by a well-known member of the Nano community, or somebody you personally trust.
What if you don’t know anybody who runs a Nano node? Well the good news is, there’s a public list of Nano nodes with over 95% uptime – it’s recommended to choose a node with as high of an uptime as possible to ensure your votes are counted.
Before you begin, visit https://nanonode.ninja and select a node from the list. Copy the node address to your clipboard, which is the Nano address beginning with “xrb” or “nano” identifying the node you have chosen.
Instructions for NanoWallet.io (Web Wallet)
1. If you use the NanoWallet.io web wallet, open a new tab in your browser and navigate to the wallet. Then click sign in, and enter your Wallet Identifier and Password.
2. Click the blue “Change” button under “Your Nano, Anywhere” text.
3. Select the Nano address (also known as Account) for which you want to change the representative from the dropdown menu.
4. Paste the rep node address you wish to change to, and click “Change Account Representative” to confirm. Repeat the same process for each account you want to change the representative for.
5. The wallet will broadcast a “change” block to the network, after which your preference will take effect immediately. You can confirm by typing your Nano address into the official block explorer, Nanode.co, and checking the rep address listed at the bottom of the page.
Instructions for Nano Wallet Company (Desktop Wallet)
1. Open the Nano Wallet Desktop from your Start Menu, Applications pane, or launcher.
2. Enter the passphrase you specified when creating your wallet, and click “Unlock Wallet” to decrypt your wallet and proceed.
3. Once inside the wallet, click “Settings” in the upper right hand corner.
4. In the modal window that pops up, paste the address of the rep node you selected into the textbox marked by “Representative.” Click “Change representative” to confirm the change. In the desktop wallet, this change applies universally to all account addresses generated from your seed.
5. The wallet will broadcast a “change” block to the network, after which your preference will take effect immediately. You can confirm by typing your Nano address into a block explorer such as Nanode.co and checking the rep address listed at the bottom of the page.
Instructions for Ledger Nano S with NanoVault (Hardware Wallet)
1. Plug in the Ledger Nano S to your computer using the supplied USB cable, and enter your numerical passcode using the hardware buttons on the device.
2. Visit NanoVault.io in your browser and click the “Import Existing Wallet” tab.
3. In the drop-down menu, the import type you should select is “Ledger Nano S.” Then click “Refresh Ledger Status” to connect NanoVault to your hardware dongle.
4. Now in the left sidebar, click “Settings” then “Representatives” in the sub-menu which appears.
5. From the list you can see which representatives your Nano address(es) are currently delegated to. From the drop down menu, select “All Accounts” or the specific addresses for which you wish to modify the representative.
6. Then paste the rep node address you wish to change to in the text box that appears and click “Confirm.” Pick up your Nano Ledger S device and confirm the representative address on the LED display matches with the node you are changing to.
7. Like with the other wallets, NanoVault will broadcast a “change” block to the network, after which your preference will take effect immediately. You can confirm by typing your Nano address into a block explorer such as Nanode.co and checking the rep address listed at the bottom of the page.