Regardless of how much time I spend on Coindesk and /r/bitcoin, I still find myself lost in a sea of companies whose names are randomly-assembled conglomerates of bit, coin, and pay, with some prepositions thrown in for good measure. ItBit, BitPay, Coinigy, BitFlyer, BitFury, BitNet, BitGo — the names blend together. I’m frustrated by these companies because their gimmicky, confusing names simultaneously dilute their brand and hinder the mass-adoption of Blockchain technology.
And the worst part is, there’s an incredibly easy solution to this seemingly vexing problem: pick distinctive names that aren’t bitcoin puns. It’s really that simple.
I understand where the founders of these companies are coming from. I understand how catchy these names may sound when they stand alone on a business card or website template. I understand how these names just “make sense” to someone in the industry. But what each of these companies fail to comprehend is that, when placed alongside every other bitcoin startup, they all start to sound the same. Regardless of how secure their wallet may be, I‘ll never remember their name long enough to become a customer because they blend into a vast landscape of phonetically similar companies.
It’s time for companies to differentiate themselves.
Bitcoin is poised to revolutionize the world of online payments — that much is clear. And with Blockchain technology, the possibilities are endless. But if these companies are aiming for mass adoption, they need to look at other oligopolistic industries for a glimpse into their own future.
In the spirit of financial services, let’s at credit card company names: There’s Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and (sometimes) Discover, all names that are clean, efficient, and incredibly distinctive from one another.
How about cars? There’s Audi, BMW, Ford, Tesla, Chrysler, among others. Again, each of these names is distinct — it’s nearly impossible to confuse Audi and BMW. You can’t say that for BitFlyer and BitFury, or itBit and BitPay. These names are simply too similar for their own good.
Bitcoin needs to be simple for new users, and these names aren’t helping.
Bitcoin's COO Explains What Bitcoin Is, Conan
Bitcoin may be too much for our puny minds to comprehend; luckily, Conan O’Brien sat down with the COO of Bitcoin to help figure it all out.“What is bitcoin? Well, it’s an open source synergistic flow matrix with e-transference of digital assets.”
If Conan is making fun of us, then it’s quite obvious that we, the bitcoin community, haven’t done quite enough to clearly explain how cryptos work and can be used. Let’s not make that job more difficult for ourselves.
“Acronyms seriously suck. The key test for an acronym is to ask whether it helps or hurts communication.” — Elon Musk
In a company-wide email, Elon railed on the use of acronyms, specifically mentioning the confusion new employees must feel when bombarded with hundreds of acronyms.
We need to ask ourselves the same question that Elon posed to his employees. Do these phonetically similar names make things more efficient, or simply confuse new users? I vote the latter.
I’m still confused as to why this trend has continued. Why are we insisting on making this market & industry difficult to comprehend, when all we pray and work for is mass adoption?
Let’s make bitcoin easy to understand. Leave the bad puns for Twitter.
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