Naming Input on "Stacking"

Hey All,

We recently shared some user research that we’d done to describe what we’ve been calling “Stacking.” We are looking to align on a name by the end of the week, and are interested in your feedback!

If you have naming suggestions, please add them here along with the PBC team. Some background on naming best practices is also available, here.


P.S. If the name you suggest is selected, we’ll give you credit in the PoX Whitepaper, and you’ll get some swag!

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Thanks to all who contributed your amazing name ideas! We did further UserTesting on the following names:

  • Boosting
  • Anchoring
  • Locking
  • Bolting
  • Toasting (for fun!)

The current lead candidates include Stacking, Locking, and Anchoring. We’re currently weighing out the pros and cons of each. At a high level: there are some clear potential brand upsides to Stacking, but it might require a bit more user education up front. Locking provides strong connection between the name and the function, but the name itself might not have the same appeal. Anchoring seemed to have a positive connotation but users were not as great at holding the word anchoring in their minds when describing the mechanism.

Other learnings:

  • It is helpful to refer to “Stacks” as the blockchain and “STX” as the token. Just keeps things a little more conceptually organized.
  • Also introducing “Stacking” and the action “Stack” into the mix further complicates.
  • Anchoring to Bitcoin is a helpful metaphor and “Anchor” can be used as a replacement for “Lock” in many places.
  • “Locking” simplifies all of this because all actions are “lock” and the concept is “locking”

The next phase of this research is for us to further weigh out some of the benefits to each, and gather feedback from the community. We’re interested in your input. Copy examples for how the terms might be used are here in this doc. Please share your thoughts below!

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After reflecting about the different suggested names and my own, looks like that Locking is a very good one as it is the actual action that is done when mining. It is simple to understand and one gets the idea. The Stacking refers more to the result, but locking is the action in order to get rewards, as working to get paid. Congrats for all the study done to loook for the name!

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I like stacking because it sounds like staking but is unique to blockstack (strong brand association to BTC which we are anchoring to as well). It also conveys what it does, and I think the language around it can adjusted. i.e. “to start Stacking you must not forget to signal you’ve committed to hodling your STX in your stacking wallet” . Locking I liked for a second but I get the fear of being “locked” out of my funds, which is the wrong association.

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This is a fascinating process. The connections, links . . between an Anchor and a chain, a blockchain even . hadn’t quite considered that . . also learning that including the word stack is confusing, I didn’t expect that - but in retrospect seems more obvious . . . . . and reading the doc: yes Locking does feel strongest.

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Here are some thoughts after looking over all the amazing data that @jeffd and @Gina have gathered:

If the “mechanism itself is novel and hard to grok” and it’s virtually a toss-up between terms (this is my interpretation of all this data so far), I’d go for Stacking for a few main reasons.

  • Seems like what we’ve learned is that no matter what, it will take some explaining (aka no one term is the silver bullet or gives us such a cognitive headstart that it’s a no-brainer) and there are multiple pros and cons to each term. So, if we have to do the hard work of educating people anyway, I’d go with the term that is the most malleable - to me that’s clearly Stacking - we can work to make it exactly what we want and build clarity over time.
  • In my head at least, Stacking can be associated with ‘building’ and ‘owning’ (key messages for Blockstack) more readily than either Anchoring or Locking could since those are existing words used for a related concept. Further, Stacking can further come to be associated with the idea of growth/wealth creation via our messaging whereas that’ll be harder with Locking and Anchoring which have associated words more along the lines of hold/maintain/secure/keep/etc.
  • Ultimately, what is a valid concern now about the similarity (with Staking, stacking sats, etc.), I can easily see turning into a benefit in the long-run. This is a clear chance to own a term and make a verb that shares the same root as the name of our token. Brand equity in Stacks is a win in my book, assuming of course this isn’t coming at the expense of a clearly better term.

TL;DR: All of our options have a lot to overcome. In that case, I choose the one I can most make my own and has the most potential for big picture brand alignment in the future.


Agree with this. I think “Stacks” in general is becoming an important name in the ecosystem and Stacking seems very consistent with it.

For any confusion with “staking”, I think our expectation can be that yes it’ll get confused and that’s OK e.g., can simply say “yes, it is kind of like staking but you earn Bitcoin”.

+1 to keeping the Stacking name. My guess is it’ll start feeling more natural over time :slight_smile: