Direct quote from the first shitposter Reddit User Anemonean
“I can give some history.
It was a cold and dreary February. February 2018 to be exact. Nano had just been rekt by one of its two major exchanges, Bitgrail, which was hacked and shut down (at the time only 2 exchanges listed Raiblocks which had recently been rebranded to Nano) . Nano’s price went in the dumpster, many people lost everything regardless of the price. Around the same time the 2018 bear market had just started after a major crash in January, the whole market was a sea of red.
Many users who had lost it all in Bitgrail took to the Nano discord to figure out what was going on and to commiserate with fellow rekt users. I was one of those users.
But then something started to happen. Instead of wallowing in sadness many users started to make memes to process their grief… and other users started to tip them Nano for their effort. Nano tips flowed like water in those days, and I found that by making memes I could slowly rebuild the Nano I had lost. It was that culture of humor and giving in the face of being completely and totally rekt that the banano usecase began to nebulously form.
A few weeks later I made a meme that imagined a fake meme currency named Banano. I spent abt 5 minutes drawing up a logo (two bananas 69ing into the shape of a Nano ‘N’) and came up with a couple punchy slogans like ‘Not a shitcoin until digested.’ It received a positive reaction from the community.
A few days later a fellow user from the Discord, Ceefs (chocolatefudcake), got in touch with me asking where the meme came from and If I had made it. I said yes. Ceefs told me they were toying around with the idea of forking Nano with another user, RQ, who had built a bunch of Nano tools and asked if I’d be down to let them use the name and logo for their freshly minted forked coins. Ceefs had apparently asked RQ if he knew how to fork nano and RQ had jokingly asked him ‘are you about to make Banano?’ Anyway, They seemed pretty serious and understood the protocol in a way that was mind boggling to me- so I said sure, the logo is all yours, and what’s more, I’ll be your ‘chief shitposting officer’. Ceefs and RQ did the work of forking, copying Nano’s open source code on GitHub, changing max supply to be higher, lowering proof of work threshold slightly, changing prefixes to Ban and a bunch of other small changes that would make the coin unique but close enough to the source code to easily allow adding future nano updates to our own network. We deployed that code on our own nodes and the network was born
Within a few weeks we were successfully running a testnet and making the earliest memes. We got a small group of nano users to come test it out. By April of 2018 we felt sufficiently ready to switch to mainnet and we announced the birth of the coin on April 1st 2018 (Reverse April fools).
The rest, as they say, is history. Various people joined the team and committed their skills and talents to the community, 2 users built Kalium from the ground up(later forked to Natrium to give back to nano) and designed the MonKeys, in a fit of creative genius we set up the website banano.co.in which would eventually be replaced by banano.cc and gave it the classic particles.js background that every shitcoin uses. One user came up with a novel game distribution method called Banano Runner which ran during those early months. Another pioneered early ledger integrations. Between artists and programmers and shitposters we had built the core of what is the banano community today.
From the very start we tried to foster that same tipping culture we had seen back on the Nano discord in those weeks after the Bitgrail hack. Microtipping for meme content seemed an appropriate usecase for a feeless and instant coin and we wanted that culture of generosity to define our coin. During those days when every shitcoin was doing an ICO we thought it would be ironic to do the opposite, give it away for free. Irony was always very important to us, the subversion of expectation is the ultimate shitpost. So while we were a ‘shitcoin’ and referred to ourselves as such we wanted to have the best possible wallet experience we could create, to rival these billion dollar projects. And we wanted to buck the trends of the crypto space, giving rather than lambos, free distribution rather than ICOs.
And don’t get me wrong we WERE a shitcoin back in those days, hell we still are now. The whole distribution process has been pretty centralized. But because of that centralized process, and because we weren’t afraid to be called a shitcoin it allowed us to be super creative about the ways we could distribute the coin. By not being beholden to serious investors we were more free to create a coin that wasn’t just about generating value but was about building community.
3 years on id say it’s mission success so far. Very excited to see how far we can go. I don’t want to take the credit though, nor do I think anyone on the team could have made banano what it is today alone. Banano is what it is today because of the community that grew around it, from the lowliest shitposters to the artists, the shills, the whales, the community devs and faucetmasters, everyone has an equal stake in Banano’s ongoing success.”
What a lovely story.