In a bid to gain wider acceptance, the Darkcoin development team, headed by creator Evan Duffield, is presently considering a complete re-branding effort.
The current leading idea per the forums is “Dash,” with no “coin” in the name. The new name is supposed to be short for “digital cash,” while at the same time the name is meant to play on the instant transaction feature implemented in the most recent stable version of Darkcoin. Duffield posted to the Darkcoin community forums yesterday afternoon:
I am very happy with the way development is going. We’ve been able to refine our privacy technology, successfully released InstantX and have developed the Masternode network into a strong and truly decentralized platform. […] Because of this I believe we’re currently approaching a very important phase of the development of Darkcoin.[…] It’s time that we start exploring some of the ways we can become a true competitor to Bitcoin. […] Because of this I no longer feel the name Darkcoin reflects the true essence of the project and have decided to rebrand our product. […] Dash represents the goals that we’re trying to achieve, to be a fast, friendly and scalable online payment system.
Also mentioned in the post was that the Darkcoin network will in the future be able to handle “billions” of transactions per day, a key component of mass market adoption.
Reception by the Darkcoin community was mixed. “Considering how often it comes up, I’ve always assumed a name change was inevitable,” said one user, adding that he didn’t like the proposed new name. “I don’t necessarily mind a rebranding but Dash shouldn’t even be considered,” said another.
The issue was obviously discussed a great deal, and to avoid overwhelming confusion or ill-drawn conclusions, Duffield posted a follow-up early on March 10th:
The name “Dash” was recommended by the community some time ago. We picked up on that and the foundation began investigating the use of it and found a trademark application. The whole reason we’ve acquired the rights, was not because the decision was final, but because we need to challenge that trademark application to even be able to use the name, otherwise it’s a complete non-starter.
We’re absolutely open to everyone’s input and always have been. We would like this process to be 100% transparent as possible. In the community supports it, I would support hiring a firm to handle the rebranding for us. We could allow the firm to engage directly and transparently with the community, then have foundation members vote on the final decision.
Some of the reasons outlined in the post included the misconception that Darkcoin is meant to serve underground marketplaces and that merchants had pushed back against adoption – not because of the privacy and built-in coin tumbling features of Darkcoin, but because of the association with the aforementioned illicit activities.
Price Not Rising With Bitcoin
The recent rebound in the price of Bitcoin, arguably tied to the now publicly-traded hedge fund based on Bitcoin called Bitcoin Investment Trust, has not translated into a simultaneous rise in the price of Darkcoin. In strict dollar-to-satoshi terms, the price has remained relatively stable, at around $3 per coin.
The charts below (courtesy of Cryptsy.com) illustrate the market response to this news. A rebranding effort can translate to starting from scratch, and this could be contributing to somewhat decreased market confidence in the coin’s future viability.
Disclaimer: the author holds Darkcoin.