Bitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos recently spoke at Barcelona’s FabLab with his “thoughts on the future of money,” as his speech was aptly titled. Interestingly, the author of “Mastering Bitcoin,” admitted that he dislikes the name Bitcoin and would rename it if he got the chance.
Bitcoin’s Name ‘Just Sucks’
Speaking in front of Barcelona’s Bitcoin community on March 24, Antonopoulos admitted that the name of the world’s first “network-centric” currency is “terrible” and unappealing to the general public.
“I really like the idea of network-centric money,” he said. “In fact, in my opinion, the word ‘Bitcoin’ is a terrible name. It just sucks.”
Bitcoin’s public image has of course suffered due to negative headlines in the press, resulting in many people associating it with cyber crime and the black market. But is Antonopoulos making a valid point in that the name is also a problem? Since it not only sounds like something a computer geek would come up with, but also doesn’t capture the true essence of this groundbreaking technology.
“If you’re a designer, think about it for a second,” he continued. “’Bits,’ which either means small or it means the person who just said that is a geek. None of which is appealing to the general population; and ‘coin’ — a physical token of money used to describe the least physical form of money we’ve ever designed.”
It’s certainly true that upon hearing the word “Bitcoin,” your first thoughts are not about decentralized, peer-to-peer commerce, the “first ever neutrality-exhibiting financial network,” as Antonopoulos himself puts it, or including billions of unbanked people in the global economy. So what name would a talented marketing team come up with if they got a chance to rename Bitcoin? Antonopoulos shared his choice with the audience:
If I could rename it, I’d rename it ‘TrustNet’ because that’s what Bitcoin is. It’s a network that allows you to replace trust and institutions, trust in hierarchies, with trust on the network. The network acting as a massively diffuse arbiter of truth, resolving any disagreements about transactions and security in a way where no one has control.
Indeed, something that better captures the functionality of the technology could gain more traction with the general public. Though ever since the name “Bitcoin” was coined by its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, in 2008, there have been hundreds of other cryptocurrencies appearing in its wake all attempting to build on its success. Cryptocurrencies such as NXT, Dash (rebranded from Darkcoin), Stellar, and Monero are just some of the few examples of companies and communities going their own way as far as names are concerned.
But Bitcoin has all but become a household name already, for better or for worse. It is undoubtedly the most recognizable cryptocurrency today, and chances are it will stick around for years to come. Meanwhile, thousands, if not millions of new cryptocurrencies will emerge in the future under more marketable names, offering something new and even better than the originator. But by that time, the name “Bitcoin” will probably be perceived a whole lot differently than it does today.
You can watch the full talk below:
Would you rename ‘Bitcoin’? What would you rename it to? Let us know in the comments sections below!
Images courtesy of Exmo.com, bitcoinbarcelona.cat
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