Bitcoin's big invention is that miners are economically incentivized to work in the best interest of the network.Nano throws that away and says people will invest to protect the network just because.
Genius? Nah, it's just dumb.
"Nano has a unique consensus mechanism called Open Representative Voting (ORV). Every account can freely choose a Representative at any time to vote on their behalf, even when the delegating account itself is offline. These Representative accounts are configured on nodes that remain online and vote on the validity of transactions they see on the network. Their voting weight is the sum of balances for accounts delegating to them, and if they have enough voting weight they become a Principal Representative. The votes these Principal Representatives send out will subsequently be rebroadcasted by other nodes.As these votes are shared and rebroadcasted between nodes, they are tallied up and compared against the online voting weight available. Once a node sees a block get enough votes to reach quorum, that block is confirmed. Due to the lightweight nature of blocks and votes, the network is able to reach confirmation for transaction ultrafast, often in under a couple seconds. Also note that delegation of voting weight does not mean staking of any funds - the account delegating can still spend all their available funds at any time without restrictions.
Because Nano accounts can freely delegate their voting weight to representatives at any time, the users have more control over who has power with consensus and how decentralized the network is. This is a key advantage to the design of Open Representative Voting (ORV). With no direct monetary incentive for nodes, this removes emergent centralization forces for longer-term trending toward decentralization of the network."