Temperature Check Proposal – Rename IC to "DFINITY Network"

This proposal is meant to serve as a community temperature check for a proposal to officially rename the Internet Computer to the DFINITY Network.

The authors of this proposal believe that such a renaming would provide benefits to the current Internet Computer community and clear the path for long term growth. Key points for consideration:

  1. The Internet Computer is a generic name. In our modern context, the words “internet” and “computer” are very commonplace and commodities in parlance. Feedback from the broader crypto community has generally been poor and has not received the name well.
  2. Seed investors invested in an idea named “DFINITY”. Similarly to the Ethereum project, it is a more simple path to leave no distinction between the parent organization and the network that it exists to represent. The current status quo is that the “DFINITY Foundation supports the Internet Computer Protocol” creating two separate hierarchies and causing general confusion and poor understanding. Since the Ethereum Foundation and the DFINITY Foundation are both Stiftungs based in Switzerland, the precedence already exists for this coupling between network and foundation.
  3. DFINITY is a unique, globally recognized brand and the network itself should benefit from this brand awareness. Indeed many web3 community members colloquially refer to the Internet Computer as “DFINITY” as it is easier, more comfortable and conveys the same meaning.

Network rebranding is not unprecedented in the Web3 ecosystem, in fact it is fairly commonplace. A major example was the rebranding of the Polygon network away from its original moniker the Matic network.

In this instance, we can take learnings from the Polygon rebranding exercise. The network and associated web properties can be rebranded to the DFINITY Network, while the token ticker can remain the same: ICP.

This proposal does not seek to implement these changes immediately, but rather to spur the community to discuss whether or not this could be a worthwhile investment of time and resources.

If this proposal passes with the YES, we ask that the DFINITY Foundation draft a proposal for rebranding / renaming the Internet Computer network to the DFINITY Network along with estimated timelines for completion and put that proposal up for vote to the NNS community no later than June 1, 2022.

Sincerely,

SeedDao

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Thanks for making this proposal. It is well reasoned and an interesting idea. It helps that you clearly defined scope boundaries and timeline. I’m not sure how I will vote on it yet, but will give it consideration. In the meantime, I have a few questions…

  1. Is there a reason you chose to submit the NNS proposal and start this forum governance topic for deliberation at the same time? Most other proposals have followed a pattern of posting on the forum for deliberation for 1-2 weeks before making the proposal. I’m curious if there is a strategy behind making the proposal and running the deliberation simultaneously.

  2. Who is SeedDAO? Do you have a website or social media presence where the community can learn more? I’m glad to see an organization that represents seed investors.

  3. Why did you exclude renaming the token ticker in this proposal. If the name changes to DFINITY network, then why not change the ticker to DFX?

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Thanks for the feedback:

  1. Our mistake. We weren’t aware that 2 weeks was the norm. No strategy was intended.

  2. We’re a small (less than 20 currently), loose group of seed investors who connect via Telegram and monitor the development of the IC. We think the IC will play a very important role in the future of the industry and want to provide productive feedback based on insights we might have about the industry. We haven’t had deep discussions about whether we would expand our social media presence, but needed an identity to post on the forums.

  3. Changing a token ticker impacts downstream users and service providers and can be too disruptive for little advantage. Coinbase, Binance, Coinmarketcap, et al. have APIs and tools which they provide to the developer community, all of which have the ICP ticker configured. By changing the ticker all the downstream tools, APIs and have to also update their configurations. This is an undue burden on the developer tooling community.

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+1 renaming to “DFINITY Network”, but token to a single letter “D” for simplicity / elegance. “N” would be another nice candidate representing Network / subNets / iNfinity. etc.

I have always thought the internet computer should be called " Dfinity". I always get the confused look from people I try to get to try out the protocol. Branding and marketing matter a lot in crypto. People like cool names. There are reasons companies spend a considerable amount of time to come up with names for their products. Beyond just being the best and most advanced, product names need to resonate with people. I have never met anyone who thought the Internet Computer was something they resonate with until I explain what the meaning behind it is. I fully support this proposal to at least start the conversation about branding.

I prefer “DFINITY” or “DFINITY blockchain” to “DFINITY network”

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Just “Dfinity” works.

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I’m not sure how I’ll vote, but I did just pick up a couple of domain names just in case. :slight_smile:

It does bring up an interesting question for the foundation around copyright and trademark. ICDevs.org doesn’t make much sense if there is no IC. DfintiyDevs.org is great, but will the foundation allow third parties to use the trademark? “Internet Computer” is so generic that the community has used it liberally without really asking permission. We’ve got ICDogs, ICCats, ICDinos, and IC Just about everything. I’m doubting that DFINITYDogs is going to get the same leeway with trademarks.

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The “Internet Computer” is an ambitious and bold name. Why apologise for your ambition? Embrace it and laser focus toward achieving it

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Back to 2017-2018, as I remember, it was named Dfinity Network with abbrevation DFN. Why it was changed to Internet Computer Protocol (ICP), we need to hear the directly from Dfinity Foundation or @dominicwilliams the rationale behind it.

But personally, I love current name is Internet Computer Protocol (ICP) compare to DFN. Use ‘generic name’ has its own advantage from the side of L1 technology awareness, since ICP is intended to integrate all other blockchain, so an agnostic / generic name as L1 is more explainatory to its purpose.

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Support renaming to “DFINITY Network”

What’s the point of the renaming? Shame about the original name?

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“Internet Computer” is cool and pretty good, why change back to the original? Really not agree with the reason provided! Love “Internet Computer” more!

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“Internet Computer” is cool and pretty good, why change back to the original? Really not agree with the reason provided! Love “Internet Computer” more!

Internet Computer is for all of us, and dfinity just one of the team that work on it, it seems that you (the proposal provider) did not understand this?

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I think Internet Computer is a good name, its made of 2 words almost every human being knows and it gives an idea of what the project does, my only complain would the the token’s ticker (ICP), in my opinion ICT (Internet Computer Token) would have been a better choice.

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I’m a big fan of this project since 2018. But in May when they decided to launch with the ticker ICP instead of DFN everyone was
giphy

But now after almost 1 year since launch everyone is asking about IC or ICP and mostly aren’t aware of Dfinity. All the websites were rebranded to internet computer. So this change coupled with the current negativity around it, will throw the project back into the stone age.

Let’s be honest, I think we’re pretty safe to stick with this name as long as we have projects like shiba inu or doge. When you say those you don’t think of a dog breed. Just my 2 cents

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Imo Internet Computer sounds generic and open to everyone. It’s just a matter of time until IC goes mainstream because the tech is strong and it feels inevitable. Also signal is more secure, no? Im just getting dystopian vibes from the name “SeedDao” tbh

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Here are a few Twitter posts from people at dfinity that give insight to why the internet computer name was chosen.

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So I have been involved in much of the dfinity branding over the years but I was not involved at all in the name change. As a design professional I would suggest the best approach is to form a small marketing and design team to look a various options on naming and any rebranding that would be needed and for them to explore the various pros and cons of any changes.
It could be the end result is to stick with internet computer , but other options are worth exploring. I don’t think brand names and designs should be chosen by committee, though they can have an input in the process.

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I like the rebranding to Dfinity. Keeping the ticker ICP is fine. Similar to how ADA is Cardano or XLM to Stellar or XRP to Ripple. I sense the IC name has been dragged through the mud. Plus the name is easy to overlook. Bitcoin isn’t called “Blockchain” and Ethereum isn’t called “Smart Contracts.” It doesn’t have to be so literal. I think rebranding early on is a good call. Dfinity I sense has a better brand than Internet Computer