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Re: Branding and messaging


On Wed, Sep 06, 2017 at 08:12:46AM +0000, Casey Rodarmor wrote:
> I'll bite!
> Naming
> ======
> 1. I think that MimbleWimble is more in the transaction type category,
> instead of the blockchain type category.
> Perhaps it's a silly distinction, but one of the things that I like so much
> about Grin is that, if you squint a bit, it's just a good ol' blockchain in
> terms of proof of work, mining, and transaction propagation.
> So I might say that Grin is a bitcoin-style blockchain with mimblewimble
> transactions, which have privacy and scaling benefits. (And, obviously,
> turn the whole thing into quite the weird mutant, but don't require a
> different, untested, and much weaker security model, like proof of stake.)

+1 to this. It is true that Mimblewimble changes some aspects of how the chain
works, but I've gotten a lot of questions from the public along the lines of
"does MW use PoS/scrypt/ghost/whatever" and the answer is always "MW is totally
agnostic to that stuff".
> 2. I think Grin is a great name. Does it have a Harry Potter connection? I
> always assumed that it was from Gellert Grindelwald's name. Another really
> apt connection is to the grin of the Cheshire Cat in Alice's Adventures in
> Wonderland. After all, it's all that's left after the rest of the beast has
> disappeared.

Igno said somewhere that it comes from "gringotts" the wizarding bank. I like
the Chesire Cat connection :P.

> 3. May I suggest the galleon, the sickle and the knut[0]? The galleon would
> be ether, the knut would be wei, and the sickle would be somewhere in the
> middle. If there's no utility to the sickle it could be left out, but it
> might be good to have an intermediate unit, in case the price increases to
> the point where galleons are too big, but knuts are still too small.
> I think ethereum goes overboard with naming subunits[1], but three might be
> the sweet spot.

I'm a little worried about drawing the ire of Rowling or her lawyers. She's
historically been very friendly toward fan projects but a monetary system might
be viewed as being in a different category. To the best of my knowledge she has
never commented publicly or privately about Mimblewimble.

> Messaging
> =========
> I think that above and beyond formulating a coherent value proposition,
> it's important to use terminology and framing which helps people understand
> the advantages that a normal person would get from using Grin, and avoids
> the impression that a privacy focused cryptocurrency only has illicit uses.
> Zcashes messaging is good here, for example the "upholding confidentiality"
> section on their home page[2].
> Words like "obfuscate", "anonymous", and "secret" aren't good, since they
> have negative connotations and conjure images of illicit activities.
> However, words like "privacy" and "security" have positive connotations
> that people can understand and relate to, and I think it'll be an ongoing
> but important challenge to keep the messaging consistent and on point here.
> [0] http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Wizarding_currency
> [1] https://etherconverter.online
> [2] https://z.cash

We're not making private transactions possible, there are already a million ways
to move wealth around the world covertly. We're making privacy *cheap* and

People doing illicit things can afford privacy because there's an immediate and
direct cost to them if they lose it (and likely a direct reward for maintaining
it, depending on the nature of their industry). Ordinary people who are being
surveilled or censored cannot afford this, because the costs are indirect and
invisible and they don't get rewarded in any way. They're just trying to pay
their rent and buy groceries without having advertisers targeting and manipulating
them, and to live their lives and support causes they want to without anybody
throwing rocks through their windows or breaking down their doors.

These are the people we care about. They're the ones who lose their privacy when
their banks and governments make it expensive or confusing or unavailable. Criminals
don't give a shit.

Andrew Poelstra
Mathematics Department, Blockstream
Email: apoelstra at wpsoftware.net
Web:   https://www.wpsoftware.net/andrew

"A goose alone, I suppose, can know the loneliness of geese
 who can never find their peace,
 whether north or south or west or east"
       --Joanna Newsom

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