Posts in the rebranding category

Bisq becomes bisq

We announced a while ago that we started rebranding as a result of trademark conflicts.

That was unfortunate as Bisq is well established and we all like it. But there is no way around it.
We have chosen to replace Bisq with bisq.

Thoughts on the old name

The brand Bisq is good but not perfect.
Too many projects in the space are using “bit” in their brand so it got quite overused.
The “square” in Bisq was originally inspired by Satoshi Square, a term describing a place where a face-to-face bitcoin exchange is carried out. Most people did not know that association (square as a market place) but interpreted it as geometrical square, which does not have real meaning in our context.

The hunt for the new name

Rebranding an established brand is challenging. To get the best result we tried different approaches:
One was to reach out to our community to help us with their suggestions and inspiration. The response was overwhelming – over 2000 suggestions from 266 contributors, but unfortunately there was none which was sufficiently outstanding to convince us to select it for the new brand.
We also worked with a professional agency to find a new name, but we did neither find a winning candidate that way.

At the end it was a long and time-consuming process and we maintained an internal list of more than 200 names which we discussed, voted on within an extended group of about 20 contributors.
There have been several favorites and it was not easy to select a single one among those. But finally we are convinced that one name stood above all – bisq.

What makes up a good brand name?

We think a brand name should be unique, easy to remember, easy to pronounce, short and produce some positive association or emotions. Furthermore I think that many of the good brand names are made-up and non-descriptive. Google did not choose “SuperFastSearchEngine” and Reddit did not choose “CommunicationHotspot” or the like.

We got a lot of suggestions like OpenExchange, PeerMarket,… but I think even if those names help to associate quickly what the project is about, they are not the best for establishing a unique brand.
It is a bit like calling your kid “Little Boy” instead of giving him a unique real name. A unique name represents identity, a descriptive name refers to one of many possible identities.

Another important factor was that we favoured names which somehow referenced to the original name Bisq. The anchor letters: B, S, Q are easily identifiable with Bisq. We tried to use that advantage for the new name.

However, as a result of trademark (TM) laws it is not possible to use anything which even sounds similar to “square”, so anything like Bitskware is a no-go.

Even if the new name makes no reference to “square”, we have no guarantee that we will not face a conflict again, but at least we can reduce the risk by cross-checking the new name with a TM lawyer – as we have done already. Luckily, at a first glance there are no potential conflicts from a trademark perspective with the name bisq. A google search does not show any competing or relevant projects or companies and none of the existing TM registrations seem to represent a critical risk.

What made bisq stand out?

– Short (consists of just 1 syllable)
– Easy to pronounce
– Has only 4 letters (those are the hardest to find)
– Is odd enough to be remembered
– Has the anchor letters B, S, Q which are a reference to Bisq
– One can read it as a very short form of Bisq or abbreviation of Bit (BI) and square (SQ)
– It is a non-descriptive name and a unique non-dictionary word

bisq – all lowercase

We want to emphasize that the brand is displayed in all lowercase letters, even at the beginning of a sentence. The reason for this choice is simple. bisq stands for equality, no central party, no unit above the rest. So no capital letters either. Feedback from brand experts and English language teachers confirms that this is ok, since it is a brand name and not a normal word.

When will the new name come into effect?

We are working on a big release which includes the DAO model. That should be ready in 1-2 months.

We try to schedule the whole rebranding before that release. There might be some time where both brands overlap but we will try to do the best to keep risk for confusion low.
Please help us to spread the word to make it easier for people to know that Bisq becomes bisq.

Until the rebranding has officially started, we are still Bisq 🙂


Bisq is rebranding

Bisq has always been proud to say it is not a startup or a company, but a free open-source community project. It is being developed without venture capital or any other form of external funding, but with personal savings and donations from the community it serves.

To protect the values of this community and to build a stronger image there came the need to register the Bisq brand. The team recently initiated brand registration, but as it often happens, the name was opposed. It turns out, though to no one’s surprise, our project is not the first one to come up with the term “square” in its name.

To try and preserve the name we all came to know and love, the team sought professional legal advice from two independent lawyers. These consultations did not bring much hope though, as we learned that the odds are stacked against us.

Although the community has grown attached to the name “Bisq”, we’d rather focus our limited resources towards building stronger code. To avoid a lengthy and expensive legal process, we will have to find another name.

That doesn’t sound like good news… until we take a step back. Since it’s conception 3 years ago Bisq has undergone a significant transformation. The project has recently entered in a new stage. Bisq’s distributed governance and funding model is now under full development. Trade volume and liquidity have grown significantly. New members have joined the team. So although finding a new name is inevitable, rebranding right now might not be a bad idea after all.

The project is now seeking a new brand name that will firmly establish its presence in the cryptocurrency space. In the search for a new name, a team brainstorm produced a number of candidates. We are now turning to the community for additional proposals. To avoid bias, though, our list will likely not be shown.

Manfred, Bisq’s founder and lead dev, is offering a bounty of 0.5 bitcoin for the person whose proposed name ends up being selected by the team. You can find the details of the bounty in our forum post.