Meet Natricon - A Friendly, Familiar Face for Your Nano Address. Available on Natrium & NanoCrawler

3 Jun, 2020 • 5 min read

Meet Natricon

If you've ever used Nano, or any other cryptocurrency, chances are that you have used an "address." Your address represents your virtual identity on the network - every transaction is tied to an address. If created securely, such as in an app like Natrium, then nobody else will ever have the same address as you. This is because there's 2^256 possible addresses (that's more than the number of atoms in the perceivable universe). You can think of an "address" kinda like a social security number, national insurance number, national ID, etc. But, instead of being tied to a person, an address is tied to a private key.

Unlike your social security number, bank account number, etc. chances are that you will not memorize or easily recognize different Nano addresses. You probably won't be able to look at a list of nano addresses and recognize which ones belong to all of the people and services you transact with easily, if you can recognize them at all. This is because your nano address is represented as a long complex string and each character can be one of 32 different values. Here's what a nano address looks like: nano_3o7uzba8b9e1wqu5ziwpruteyrs3scyqr761x7ke6w1xctohxfh5du75qgaj.

A computer can recognize a Nano address nearly instantly, but humans cannot – our brains simply aren't wired that way. Something you are extremely good at, though, is recognizing faces. Throughout your lifetime, you will meet thousands of people. You will be able to quickly recognize and identify people you've met just by looking at their face without breaking a sweat. The human brain can recognize faces in less than a tenth of a second. With Natricon, your awesome facial-recognition capabilities can now be applied to Nano.

Natricon Gives Your Nano Address a Friendly, Familiar Face

Natricon generates a unique character that provides a visual representation for your Nano address. Your Natricon is easily identifiable while still being different from his/her peers. In fact there are more than 1000000000 * 1000000000 distinct Natricons that exist in the wild. Every person on the planet can create millions of Natricons without having the exact same Natricon as anybody else.

Natricons are easily identifiable while being very simple

Some other "identicon" icon systems typically use a pixel grid with various pixels colored based on a provided address. These systems do create unique icons, but they are not always the easiest to identify and they don't typically represent anything other than random dots or lines. A Natricon, on the other hand, is a character with a body, face, hair, and billions of different color combinations. This makes your Natricon easier to recognize and easy to distinguish from his/her peers.

Natricon is Fast

Natricon is implemented in Go and it's blazing fast

An icon system that is designed to represent an incredibly large amount of nano addresses needs to be fast. That was an important consideration when developing Natricon and it is fast. A fully assembled Natricon is typically just a few kilobytes, additionally, Natricon is implemented in Go and assembles every Natricon completely in-memory, eliminating any potential bottlenecks with filesystem I/O. With just a couple of CPUs, thousands of Natricons can be generated per second, it's fast enough to keep up with even the most demanding Nano services.

How Natricon Works

Your Nano address + Math = Natricon

Here's how your Natricon is created:

  1. Natricon takes your Nano address as an input and derives its public key
  2. Your public key is hashed with a secret
  3. All 32-bytes of the hash are used as seeds for several Mersenne-Twister pseudo-random number generators
  4. Some of these pseudo-random number generators are combined with sophisticated color-choosing algorithms to pick beautiful, unique colors that complement each other.
  5. The rest of these pseudo-random number generators are used to choose the body, hair, and accessories that make your Natricon unique.

To put it simply, we take your nano address, do a bunch of math, and create your Natricon.

Natricon is Already Available for Tens of Thousands of Nano Users

Natricon is already available on two of the most widely used Nano services. Natrium and Nanocrawler.

Natricon is available in Natrium v2.3
Natricon is now available on Nanocrawler

You can also see the Natricon for any nano address on the Natricon website.

If you'd like to see Natricon added to your other favorite Nano services, you can reach out to the service provider with a link to the Natricon integration guide.

A Special Natricon for Special Addresses

Some Nano addresses deserve their own special distinction. Natricon has "badges" to distinguish the addresses. Exchanges, principal representatives, Nano services, and Natricon donors receive a badge on their Natricon which makes it easy to recognize which category an address falls into.

With badges, you can easily identify the category of an address

You can donate to Natricon on the website, donations of 2 Nano will receive the donor badge for 30 days. We utilize Nano's precision to identify your transaction on the website, but the excess will be refunded to you after you make your donation. So when you use the QR code or link to send 2.001000~ Nano with Natrium, the 0.00100~ Nano will be refunded to you.

If you'd like to register an exchange or service address with Natricon, you can create a request on GitHub. Principal representatives will receive the badge automatically if they have 0.1% or more of the total online voting weight.

Interested in Implementing Natricon Yourself?

Implementing Natricon couldn't be any simpler, there's a single API with numerous options. Check out the integration guide for details. A WebAssembly implementation is also provided on GitHub for those who wish to generate a natricon completely offline.

Free & Open Source

Natricon is free of charge, open source, and MIT licensed. The natricon website is built using Nuxt.js while the natricon backend is written in Go.

If you'd like to support natricon and earn yourself a badge, you can do so easily on the website.

Donate 2 or more Nano and get a badge!

Thanks for reading!

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