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Re: Branding and messaging


Hi all,

I am happy to see that "branding" is something already being considered. I know that I have only contributed a few lines of code thus far, but I am happy to give my two satoshi if that's okay.

I would like to second Yeastplume's suggestion of "ingot" but also share additional rationale for why the name makes sense for the Grin "coin". Obviously, "Grin" + "ingot" = "Gringotts", but more importantly an ingot is "a piece of relatively pure material, usually metal, that is cast into a shape suitable for further processing". [1] In other words, it is sort of the raw, fungible unit of a metal before it is refined for whatever purpose it will be used. When a metal is then recycled, it often is then returned to this form before further processing. It is actually with this further processing in mind that ingots are used. This seems very analogous to the way Mimblewimble outputs function, and so I think the name "ingot" serves both to strengthen the homage to Ms. Rowling and convey a certain amount of the coin's actual property. As a side note, an inspiration for a suitable symbol or icon for the project might then be found in "Tinne", the 8th letter of the Old Irish alphabet Ogham, meaning "ingot". [2]

As for "message", I think there are obvious parallels between this project and both Monero and Zcash. With privacy-enhancing cryptocurrencies, many tradeoffs are made between things such as soundness of money, strength of cryptographic assumptions, data size and scalability, computational cost, privacy/fungibility/unlinkability/untraceability, and anonymity, to name a few. Zcash trades stronger cryptographic assumptions, higher computational costs, and issues with soundness of money for very strong privacy and small blockchain footprint. Monero trades large transaction sizes, tougher scalability, and smaller circles of plausible deniability (though still private statistically) for weaker cryptographic assumptions, better soundness of money, and lower computational costs. I think it is important to consider the tradeoffs the Grin makes, and then frame them against these other protocols. For example, weaker protection against linkability and traceability for large improvements in scalability, weak cryptographic assumptions, and strong soundness of money.

Mischief managed,
Seamus Finnigan

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingot
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinne

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> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: [Mimblewimble] Branding and messaging
> Local Time: September 6, 2017 5:22 AM
> UTC Time: September 6, 2017 5:22 AM
> From: igno.peverell@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> To: mimblewimble@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mimblewimble@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Hi all,
> We're getting closer and closer to a testnet [1] and it may be a good idea to start thinking of outward communication. We want to have enough time to prepare so when the time comes, we don't get confused with the thousands of other projects in this noisy space, and have a chance to voice our strengths and differences. Messaging can also take time to refine. Now, as I know words like "narratives" (yeastplume used it first, not me :P) can make some developers' eyes glaze over, I'll start with something more fun and friendly: naming [2].
> We need names for a few things:
> - Our blockchain type. I'm happy to keep using MimbleWimble here. I know that technically, the Grin blockchain will have quite a bit more than just what's in the Jedusor white paper, but I think at a high level it's a good approximation. Some people are also already familiar with it and heard the name.
> - Our implementation. I'm not unhappy with grin but I'm not opposed to renaming if too many folks are strongly against it.
> - Our coin. We have nothing so far here so we need to find a name. My first inclination would be to accept propositions for names as replies to this email, and then run a poll online. Sounds good as a process? We likely need another name for smallest denominations too.
> To draw a parallel, in the Ethereum world 1) is Ethereum, 2) is Parity or geth, 3) is Ether/Wei.
> Now for the messaging and narratives. In my experience (which is a lot more shallow in that domain), we want to outline our strengths and differences to formulate a value proposition. From there we can distill messages of various lengths, adapted to different support (one-liner title, one paragraph article intro, full website, etc). And ideally, we'd have opportunities to try these messages in various environments to see how they work and incrementally improve them.
> So I'll start with a mixed bag of strengths and differences in no particular order and maybe we can figure out a way to go from there. If some people have more experience in how to go about this and a good process to get there, by all means please chime in.
> - Strong anonymity provided by obfuscating amounts, sources and destinations and removing data over time.
> - Great scalability as most blockchain data gets removed, without compromising security (the magic part).
> - A diverse community of developers and cryptographers (no control from a single entity).
> - A brand new, clean (relatively) and modern blockchain implementation with few fundamental primitives.
> - A Harry Potter theme that, while quirky, has personality (obviously, I may be biased).
> - No ICO, pre-mine or funny business. We may still need to find a way to get funding but hopefully it'll be reasonable and in line with other funded open source projects/foundations.
> - The person who started the project has a cool name and uses parentheses a little too much (it's a side effect of the cloak).
> For others involved in this project, I'd love to hear what it means to you as well.
> - Igno
> [1] I know it's taking some time but I decided to include the UTXO sum tree in that milestone, which created a bit more work than I expected.
> [2] Throwing a Wikipedia article your way: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_name#In_cryptography