Since this site started, one of the most frequent topics in our meta was this site's scope in regard to other cryptocurrencies. In fact, the site had originally been proposed as "Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies" in Area51, but then changed to just "Bitcoin" when the beta started.

Since we will be getting a new design sometime after graduation, I would like to discuss whether we want to take that as an opportunity to make the site's title inclusive of other cryptocurrencies. Previous discussion appears to indicate that people consider such topics to be on-topic:

This topic has also come up in regard in Area51 with other stackexchange proposals:

There also were at least two attempts to start an encompassing "cryptocurrency" stackexchange which at were closed or didn't succeed at least partially because bitcoin.stackexchange.com considers other cryptocurrencies to be on-topic.

To be clear, the site's URL should stay the same. Changing the URL would break all links to our site and cause confusion to infrequent users. This post intends to discuss the name shown in the title and titlebar.


Here are three other examples from the Stackexchange network:

Personal Finance & Money — money.stackexchange.com:

Personal Finance & Money

Seasoned Advice — cooking.stackexchange.com:

Seasoned Advice

Arqade — gaming.stackexchange.com:

Arqade

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    The examples of Seasoned Advice and Arqade need some context: back then, the goal was to come up with a "clever" name that was available as a dotcom-domain (seasonedadvice.com and arqade.com). That is no longer happening, and the site names are expected to explicitly name the site's topic: anything like these two is out of the picture. (It's still true that the name need not be identical to the URL.) – user20707 Oct 10 '17 at 19:53
  • @Desire: Thanks for providing context, I was not aware of that history. I assume that my example with "Personal Finance & Money" stands then, though? – Murch Oct 12 '17 at 12:02
  • Changing the URL is possible without breaking anything, just redirect the old domain to the new one, as was done when programmers changed to softwareengineering. – gerrit Feb 13 at 1:22

I understand that Bitcoin.SE has traditionally been inclusive of other cryptocurrencies, particularly those based off of the Bitcoin Core codebase such as Litecoin. I've always accepted that was the policy here and have not complained about it.

But it would be nice if we could focus on just Bitcoin going forward. If not, I would then suggest that we keep the title as "Bitcoin" alone. It's possible that the next time someone tries starting a generic cryptocurrency SE, they'll succeed, and we won't continue having to scroll through altcoin questions in order to see Bitcoin questions.

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    It's hard to claim that we are all cryptos when Ethereum has their own stack exchange site. By lumping Bitcoin in with everything else, it feels like it diminishes the importance of Bitcoin in the crypto world...which is not at all correct. I honest don't know where alt-coins fit into SE. The proliferation of so many coins has significantly muddied the waters since this site's creation. – Jestin Oct 10 '17 at 21:50
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    Thank you for your reply, I appreciate the perspective. To clarify, could you please elaborate two points: 1. How do you suggest that we handle forkcoins such as segwit2x or Bitcoin Cash? 2. What do you suggest should happen with the altcoin-content that is already part of the site? – Murch Oct 11 '17 at 0:37
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    @Jestin: Also Monero has their own SE now. ;) – Murch Oct 11 '17 at 0:38
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    @Murch (1) I'd suggest that questions about forkcoins are on-topic for Bitcoin.SE until (if) the forkcoin gets an SE of its own. (2) A "grandfather" provision allowing historic altcoin content to stay and continue to be answered/edited until a more appropriate SE graduates that can accept the content in a migration. E.g. we can migrate any ETH content to the now-graduated ETH.SE. Of course, questions about altcoins from a Bitcoin perspective (e.g. "Could Monero's ring signatures be implemented on Bitcoin?") should continue being supported on Bitcoin.SE in perpetuity. – David A. Harding Oct 11 '17 at 9:59
  • Nobody appears to have explored the implications of limiting the scope, so I added a complementary answer for balance. – Highly Irregular Oct 12 '17 at 3:18
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    One problem with any "rules" as to what to accept or not is that they'll be taken advantage of by someone creating an alt or fork right in the grey area, leeching off of the Bitcoin community's work until they get sent off and then whining about censorship. – Jannes Oct 15 '17 at 19:50
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    You can hide tags. – fredsbend Oct 16 '17 at 21:19
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    @DavidA.Harding: Content can only be migrated up to 90 days after the question was asked. That's why we haven't migrated most of the Ethereum content. fredsbend has a good point that might not be clear to everyone. Just like you can favorite a tag, you can also add it to your ignore list (just as a fyi). – Murch Oct 17 '17 at 17:44
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    @Murch I didn't know that, thank you. And thanks to fredsbend for the tip about ignoring tags; I may have to use that. The inability to migrate altcoin content to a later SE dedicated to that altcoin sounds like a further good reason to make altcoin content offtopic on Bitcoin.SE. – David A. Harding Oct 18 '17 at 8:59

Vote for this answer if you think the Bitcoin Stack Exchange site should keep the existing scope that encourages questions about alternative cryptocurrencies (except those which are more appropriately posted to their own dedicated graduated SE site, such as Ethereum).

There is no other Stack Exchange site relating to cryptocurrency (apart from maybe Ethereum) that is guaranteed to stick around. Proposals in Area 51 (eg the Blockchain Technology one) are of little use to people who want their questions answered until they at least reach public beta. Even sites in public beta (such as the Monero one) may not exist long term.

The choice of name for the graduated Bitcoin site should be made once a choice of scope has been finalised.

ps: If you see further implications of reducing the scope of the site, please edit them in to this answer...

  • To be fair, there's no "guarantees" for any site, but I think you get the general idea. – Highly Irregular Oct 12 '17 at 3:34

I agree with both David's and Jestin's opinions. It is hard though to decide what should happen with all the other cryptocurrency content.

On one hand, having a narrow focus can lead to better questions and answers, since is hard to have people who knows precisely about details concerning every Bitcoin based cryptocurrency that pops up.

On the other hand, some of the questions may share a similar / same answer in other currencies and Bitcoin. Moreover, there should be a place to address such questions, and maybe those currencies are not grown enough to start a SE, and grow a community of people who can provide right answers.

I think that we should just keep the name Bitcoin and restrict the scope to be just Bitcoin.

Regarding hard forked altcoins such as Bitcoin Cash and Segwit2x, I think that we should allow questions about them for a week or two after the fork as people are likely to have questions about them (particularly about splitting coins, replay protection, and wallet support) and then begin classifying them as off topic. This is what Bitcointalk did for the Bitcoin Cash fork and will do again for segwit2x.

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    Would we have to worry about decreased traffic if we restrict the scope? I don't know how SE works in terms of demoting us once we are promoted. – Jestin Oct 12 '17 at 21:03
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    @Jestin If by "promoted" means "graduated", then SE won't demote any graduated sites (relevant meta post: Can a site “degraduate”?) – Andrew T. Oct 16 '17 at 16:50
  • @AndrewT. Thanks. I wasn't sure how that all worked. – Jestin Oct 16 '17 at 16:58

I can't really weigh in about changing scope. My participation here has been minimal.

But the best name is "Bitcoin" simply for the recognition. Even if bitcoin dies and is replaced by something else, the word "Bitcoin" will long stand as the generic name for cryptocurrencies, much like Klenex is ubiquitously used to mean "tissue". And even if I'm wrong, I'm sure SE staff will see the value in a name change if it proved necessary because of industry changes/disruption. It would be in their interest.

If you're hoping for something pithy, like Seasoned Advice has, I'm afraid I'm not that clever at the moment and am not really convinced that's a good idea. The topic is quite technical, so quips and plays on words tend to confuse before they amuse.

I think the distinction is often fuzzy, depending on how concrete the question is.

A question of the form "How do I use software package X to create a multisig address for currency Y" is very specific, and can clearly be about Bitcoin or not. However a question of the form "What are some interesting recent developments in cryptocurrency privacy approaches?" may apply to probably nearly every cryptocurrency.

My preference for focus of this site follows from this: question should be applicable to Bitcoin, but not necessarily about Bitcoin - in the understanding that Bitcoin could evolve to adopt successful technologies that originate elsewhere.

This is only a preference, and I'm quite happy to use and contribute this site if a less strict or stricter focus is chosen.

I propose the name "Bitcoin & Other Cryptocurrencies". It sounds a mouthful but I'm sure the designer could make it look nice, just like with "Personal Finance & Money".

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