Over the past few weeks, the Bitcoin webwallet provider Blockchain.info has had numerous security issues. One such issue occurred when they made a problematic edit to their code, which resulted in insecure wallet generation. Fortunately, a user gained access to these wallets and returned the bitcoins to Blockchain.info. This recent security issue, as well as others, has prompted redditors to complain that Blockchain.info’s name is confused by Bitcoin newbies as being the actual Bitcoin block chain.
All over /r/Bitcoin on reddit, whenever a user writes about Blockchain.info but calls it just ‘Blockchain’, they are quickly told by numerous other Bitcoiners that the bitcoin block chain should not be confused with Blockchain.info. One such example sums it up well: when a redditor wrote that “blockchains reputation is really going to start getting hit hard,” another Bitcoiner responded:
I am NOT trying to be that pedantic guy, but it IS really important that we start saying “blockchain.info” or BCI….or more and more people will think that THE Blockchain is having security issues.
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Another user agreed, adding:
At this point, it’s perfect timing for Blockchain.info to change their name. I think it’s absolutely irresponsible of them, and childish.
This is a common sentiment on /r/Bitcoin. Many users have shared their thoughts that new users confuse Blockchain.info with the real block chain, which could be confusing to them. In a post titled “I wish blockchain.info just changed their name. Not a great association to the highly secure bitcoin block chain,” which amassed 178 upvotes, one user wrote:
Raise your hand if you ever thought blockchain.info was an “official” bitcoin service. (I will admit, I used to).
Also read: Bitcoin for Mere Mortals: Blocks
Other Confusing Similarities
Blockchain.info isn’t the only Bitcoin company creating confusion; Coinbase.com, another Bitcoin wallet service, contains the same name as the transaction process through which new bitcoins (the block reward) and transaction fees are given to miners who have discovered blocks. When a user sees that they received Bitcoins from “coinbase”, and not an address, they could be very confused. Some users wrote that they didn’t mind as much about Coinbase.com’s name because it is rare to discuss coinbase transactions. On the other hand, the block chain is a commonly-used term, both in regards to the website and the Bitcoin transaction database.
Blockchain or Block Chain?
Bitcoiners spell Bitcoin’s transaction database two different ways, and it is likely that you will see both used: the blockchain (one word) or the block chain (two words). When discussing Bitcoin’s transaction database, they both mean the same thing. There isn’t an official term because there is no official Bitcoin dictionary. However, Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, called it the block chain on multiple occasions. Also, the most popular Bitcoin wiki, bitcoin.it, calls it the block chain. For these reasons, block chain is considered to be more correct, however blockchain is often used colloquially.
At the end of the day, it’s Blockchain.info’s decision whether or not they change their name. It is incredibly unlikely that they do so as they legally own the domain blockchain.info, and it’s strategical branding for them to be known as such a vital part of Bitcoin.
What do you think? Do you use blockchain or block chain? Comment your opinion below!
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