Best ways to name your cryptocurrency
Over the last few years, the number of cryptocurrency companies has seen intense growth, from just bitcoin ten years ago to over 1,700 today. Having a great name is one way to differentiate your offering, and inspire confidence in potential investors, users, and customers.
With entrepreneurs and developers clamoring to launch new blockchain-based technology startups, your name is that much more important. You could have the best technology or most unique solution, but if people get a bad first impression from your company name, you may never get to prove your worth.
Many of the same factors in selecting any tech business name apply here as well, and there’s a great guide available online with tons of tips and tools to help get you started. It’s a good starting place, but what about specifically creating a new cryptocurrency name?
Trustworthiness versus disruptiveness
With no central authority controlling the marketplace for cryptocurrency, and very little industry regulation, it has developed a rogue reputation among traditional investors and businesses. Because of that, you want your name to inspire trust and sound well-developed. But what about disruptiveness then? You have to walk a fine line between those two concepts in your name.
Many current companies are already doing a good job of striking a good balance, so let’s start by reviewing a few current ones and their pros/cons.
Bitcoin and the altcoins
The very first cryptocurrency, bitcoin started the trend of having ‘coin’ in the name that has spawned many similar names. While any cryptocurrency that came after bitcoin is technically an ‘altcoin,’ only some use ‘coin’ in the name.
Some examples are Litecoin, Auroracoin, NameCoin, Freicoin, and PrimeCoin. While there are clear advantages to being seen as somehow ‘linked’ to the industry giant, it also keeps you from being unique. That being said, a handful of companies that aren’t even in the cryptocurrency industry saw huge stock gains in 2017 simply by putting bitcoin or blockchain in their name.
That instant recognition is important, as people will not have to guess what your company does. As time goes on, however, the number of word combinations available to pair with coin will dwindle to nothing. Even though it might inspire confidence by being seen as part of a cryptocurrency ‘movement,’ ultimately it may lead to you getting lost in a sea of similar names.
Leaving the ‘coin’ behind
Some of the most successful altcoins started out using variations on the coin name, but found that to really stand out they needed to change their name.
Starting out as OpenCoin, Ripple is one of the most recognizable names in the marketplace and number two in market capitalization. In a creative application of imagery, the name evokes the ripples they are making in the financial industry. It can both be judged as ‘frictionless,’ signifying ease of transferring money, but has a nod to disruptiveness at the same time.
Another key to remember when naming your cryptocurrency is tying graphics back to the name. Ripple does that seamlessly by depicting the transfers in their graphics as waves from point to point, signifying the transfers they specialize in. The company also have ancillary offerings with the same themes, such as xCurrent and xRapid.
You definitely want to avoid negative connotations when choosing a name, and DarkCoin realized that their initial name was a big mistake. Changing to Dash definitely is a huge improvement, since the word ‘dark’ is synonymous to foreboding or ominous.
Omni, formerly Mastercoin, decided to rebrand away from the coin name as well. While it definitely makes them stand out inside the cryptocurrency sphere, it’s a bit confusing globally against the popular Omni Hotels & Resorts. This can really hurt SEO and brand recognition, as well as possibly draw legal action.
Completely original names
Currently number three in market capitalization, and self-described ‘bitcoin 2.0’ is Ethereum. This completely original name does a great job of capturing the ‘blue sky’ thinking in its creation, starting with a clean slate instead of building on prior blockchains. Powered by its currency, Ether, the name sounds modern, trustworthy, elegant, and powerful.
Ethereum has leveraged that name recognition and unique features to attract the attention of such industry giants as IBM and JP Morgan Chase, showing the power of combining a great name with a great product.
Monero is another good example of an original name, because even though you might think it’s limiting to the English word, money, that same word in many different languages starts with ‘mon’ or ‘mo.’ It also is the actual word for Money in the language Esperante, which is a borderless international auxiliary language.
Matching your industry
If your cryptocurrency or blockchain startup is focused on a specific industry, it’s best to integrate something about that industry into your company name. Take the example of OriginTrail, which focuses on supply chain solutions. Its name not only sounds well-developed and thought out, it also tells the story of what problem it’s trying to solve.
Tools of the trade
There are a variety of great tools out there to help you zero in on the perfect name. Many sites offer A/B testing, allowing you to get input from naming and branding experts between two options. If you have a short-list of names, you can put two at a time against each other until there is a clear winner. The participants in these services sign privacy agreements so you don’t have to fear your name being stolen.
Other sites like brandbucket and squadhelp have pre-purchased domain names with full branding and logos available for purchase. They have been created by marketing, naming, and branding experts and are well worth the investment given the level of work already put forth.
In addition to having pre-developed names, both those sites and others like them will also work with you to create a completely unique name and identity.
One great tool to help turn keywords into unique names is wordoid.com, which generates made-up words using some keywords you input.
Many other tools are available to search available domain names, such as leandomainsearch.com or nametumbler.com. You’ll also want to search popular social media platforms to see if the keyword, name, and domains are available across all of the media.
Creativity is key
Now that you have some concepts and some tools, the rest is up to you. Remember, your name is the first impression your company and offering are going to make to potential investors. It will show up on exchanges, and display in users’ cryptocurrency wallet. It’s your digital footprint indefinitely, so make sure you put the right amount of effort and time into getting it right.
You could have the latest cryptocurrency or the best bitcoin alternative, but without the right name you might end up lost in a sea of mediocrity.