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Author Topic: The term "mining" has got to go  (Read 4019 times)
bullox
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April 04, 2011, 07:41:30 AM
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Simply put, the term "mining", when used to describe an activity being done on a computer, sounds like either part of a game, or not a serious thing.

But in essence, our "miners" out there are the transaction processers who help validate the integrity of the currency and relay that information to all the users.  While the basic part of BTC is P2P, it is the "miners" acting as work servers whom keep the ball rolling.

What can be a better term than "mining"?   Every time I think of it, I think it is childish and game-oriented.  I know that there are real world miners out there, and that is not childish in the least bit, but when you attach the term to an activity done on a computer, it just sounds so juvenile.


A few simple suggestions to replace the term "Miner:

Transaction Server
Crypto Server
Hashing Farm

...seriously, anything but miner.   In the short-term, servers make their money by the 50BTC bounty on a block, but they will in the future be making the majority of their money off of transaction fees that they collected while encrypting those transactions.
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April 04, 2011, 07:42:45 AM
 #2

What can be a better term than "mining"?   Every time I think of it, I think it is childish and game-oriented.  I know that there are real world miners out there, and that is not childish in the least bit, but when you attach the term to an activity done on a computer, it just sounds so juvenile.

Maybe it's just you.

bullox
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April 04, 2011, 07:50:10 AM
 #3

Maybe it's just you.
Yes, it might just be me.  But i'm looking for a more substantive reply than 4 words to assuage my concerns about BTC ever becoming a fully valid currency, accepted all over the internet.  it doesn't feel "legit" when a layman hears that a person "sets their computer afk to mine for the coins".   It would feel more legit if someone were to say "lets my computer analyze and encrypt the networks traffic for a fee".
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April 04, 2011, 08:01:48 AM
 #4

The Bitcoin distribution method is designed to be like mining for precious metals. The term reflects this important aspect of the system. Even when BTC distribution ends in 130 years, the hashing process will still be analogous to mining in that you search for a long time to find something very valuable.

encrypting those transactions.

There is no encryption in Bitcoin.

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April 04, 2011, 08:08:05 AM
 #5

The term also allows new users to understand just how bitcoins come into creation. I bet most people think that their money cant just be printed.

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April 04, 2011, 08:09:40 AM
 #6

I like the term mining but I do understand the need for a more descriptive name for the process that makes it easy for people new to bitcoin to understand what is actually being done. Mining to the uneducated sounds like pulling money out of nothing. Making it simpler to understand the reason for this process would make bitcoin less of a "techno-geek" thing to people who think the Internet is Google, Facebook, and Ebay.

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Alex Beckenham
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April 04, 2011, 08:42:41 AM
 #7

Bullox, how do you feel about the term 'data mining'.

That is most definitely a major operation, done on computers, and not a childish thing.

You could call the miners 'transaction processors'.

Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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April 04, 2011, 02:36:47 PM
 #8

I think hashing is alright.
I personally wouldn't change mining though.

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April 04, 2011, 03:27:22 PM
 #9

I must agree, "mining" isn't good term at all. Miners are not mining anything, they do the hashing and they accept bitcoins from the network for this job. Every time I explained it using "mining" term, I failed because it really sounds like game. I'm using "signing transactions", it sound more "enterprise" and gives me higher success rate Wink.

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April 04, 2011, 03:29:58 PM
 #10

minting  Grin

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gpg fingerprint:DD1AB28F8043D0837C86A4CA7D6367953C6FE9DC

Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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April 04, 2011, 03:47:53 PM
 #11

minting  Grin

Minting might be worse haha, sounds like mining with less effort.

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April 04, 2011, 04:03:44 PM
 #12

While I like the term mining myself because that is what it feels like to me, it would be better from a 'marketing standpoint' to use other terms. 

The most boring kind of term would probably be the best from that standpoint (promoting bitcoin) as it would not make it seem as if miners are 'striking it rich' and benefiting unfairly from the processes.  I personally do not believe this to be true but others might.  They might say "why should I pay for bitcoins or sell things for them when this other guy is just having them magically appear in his wallet".

So I say:

"block chain transaction processing" or "hash processing" as the term to explain.  Most people understand the idea of paying for processing fees, in this case they are paying a fee to the people doing to work of securing the network.  They are paying the processors to find more transaction space as the bitcoin economy grows.

The reason why this is good is that they are paying such a little amount overall for this processes, and it goes into the bitcoin economy vs banks that would just be sucking the money out of the economy.  Could Visa/MC/Amex run on $6600 a day or so?

Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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April 04, 2011, 04:22:10 PM
 #13

I agree that if you understand it as well as most of us do then "mining" isn't bad and I like to picture the GPU's sorting through a bunch of dirt to find their nugget and for me it's a cool image.
I'm on the make it as appealing to new users as possible team though.  I'm sure the term mining will stick around even if it's not official though.

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April 04, 2011, 05:33:30 PM
 #14

Simply put, the term "mining", when used to describe an activity being done on a computer, sounds like either part of a game, or not a serious thing.

Have you never heard of data mining? It's a branch of computer science.
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April 04, 2011, 05:51:22 PM
 #15

I actually agree that "mining" is not the best term to use and that "minting" is even worse.

It scares off libertarians and economists who believe in sound money.

When I'm describing BitCoin to people for the first time, I often refer to them as "transaction processors" or "distributed transaction processors".

Long name, but easier to understand for most people I'm talking to, and far, far less scary.

Just my two cents.
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April 04, 2011, 06:37:14 PM
 #16

I like the term "mining" ...I think the OP's concerns are over stated.

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Pieter Wuille
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April 04, 2011, 06:41:47 PM
 #17

"Getting a share of the initial distribution of the currency, in return for securing the network by processing transactions"... maybe a bit too long

aka sipa, core dev team

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April 04, 2011, 06:48:23 PM
 #18

I must agree, "mining" isn't good term at all. Miners are not mining anything, they do the hashing and they accept bitcoins from the network for this job. Every time I explained it using "mining" term, I failed because it really sounds like game. I'm using "signing transactions", it sound more "enterprise" and gives me higher success rate Wink.

I describe mining as "transaction verification and distribution"


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April 04, 2011, 07:36:34 PM
 #19

Sounds like someone's been playing too much Minecraft. Grin

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Hal
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April 04, 2011, 07:39:34 PM
 #20

One of the influences on Bitcoin was Nick Szabo's idea of Bit Gold. I kind of wish it had been called Bitgold but that would have caused confusion with Nick's (somewhat different) idea.

Maybe we should call block creation "panning". Smiley

Hal Finney
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