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Changing the term Mixin to something more useful

Best summarized by hyc here:

We discussed this again in today's Dev meeting. I am against using "ring size" because it already has a (different) meaning in the context of RingCT.
I proposed "decoys" on IRC, and I see this has also been suggested here. Some other possibilities:
blinding factor
masking factor
opacity
shells (as in shell game)

originates from reddit thread here

The goal. Mixin implies mixing, which doesn't happen. What else can we call it so people understand the process better?

Replies: 15
Drhiggins edited 4 years ago Replies: 1 | Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

Of all you listed I liked shells the best, it seems to be most accurate at the moment even over the ones I came up with.

Here are few I thought of right off top of my head:

integer, dependents, multipliers, stealth factor, descriptors, privacy merge, trans number (as in transmission), worm holes, tubes, channels, transits, transients, chameleon, cloak, binder,

Out of all I brainstormed i like "cloak"

Reply to: Drhiggins
hyc posted 4 years ago Replies: 1 | Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

Yes, shells also carries a protective connotation, aside from the deception meaning.

Reply to: hyc Drhiggins
Gingeropolous posted 4 years ago Replies: 1 | Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

So would it be referred to as " shell number" or "number of shells" or " shelling factor"

Reply to: Gingeropolous hyc Drhiggins
hyc posted 4 years ago Replies: 1 | Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

Something like "number of shells" sounds most natural to me.

Reply to: hyc Gingeropolous hyc Drhiggins
Gingeropolous posted 4 years ago Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

hrm. upon further thought, shell seems too deceptive to me.

blend? blend factor?

or we just make up a word.

well after many nonsense word generator disappointments, perhaps just "z factor" . That way, its its own thing. The monero z factor is the number of other outputs included in your ring signature to create an input.

kinda has some connotation to "depth" (the z plane in a 3d plot), but its not explicit.

Aiwe posted 4 years ago Replies: 1 | Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

'Privacy level'?

Reply to: Aiwe
nioc posted 4 years ago Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

I was just going to post privacy factor as the purpose of the function is privacy. Privacy level is also good. I guess these also translate to other languages well.

bill edited 4 years ago Replies: 1 | Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

I can't comment on the technical part, but 'mixin' sounds shady because of Bitcoin's mixing. For the same reason I don't like it being replaced with terms like 'masking', 'blinding', 'cloacking' etc. It should be as (politically) neutral and clear is it can be.

What I am trying to say is that privacy is easily confused by trying to cover up for something (like mixin, masking, cloaking, blinding etc may suggest to some people). We should try to prevent this kind of association.

  • Do like 'ring size' but that might be already taken by RingCT. Downside is as well it might require too much knowledge about how Monero actually works form the user. So at least it requires additional explaining to the user in the upcoming GUI.
  • From a non-technical user perspective the suggested 'Privacy Level' might do the trick, I am starting to like it better and better. It suggests it can be increased for more privacy (compared to mixin etc), the word is not really negatively tainted, and does not necessarily require more understanding of the user how Monero actually works.
Reply to: bill
Gingeropolous edited 4 years ago Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

one possibility is to move from the "privacy" angle and towards the fungibility angle. I.e., if you break it down, the fungibility of monero is dependent on its untraceability and unlinkability. So, for each existing transaction on the blockchain that you include in your ring signature, you are increasing the fungibility of that transaction. If you include 2 others transactions, then the strength of that transactions fungibility can be compromised if those 2 transactions are compromised, etc.

For instance, if you compare a transaction with 100 members in the ring signature to one with 2 members in the ring signature, which one theoretically is more fungible?

Granted, due to points raised elsewhere, using a term like "fungibility level" would just create more confusion.

Something with the word "depth" or "width" might work, because when you add members,

ooooh. How about something with embedding. Because when you add ring members, you are really just embedding your transaction in the blockchain. You are weaving. Enmeshing. Meshing.

nioc posted 4 years ago Replies: 1 | Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

Gingeropolous, yes it seems fungibility would bring confusion. I don't know if you have read any threads on bct under bitcoin discussion where fungibility is discussed within the thread. There just seems to be multiple definitions. Google spellcheck doesn't even think it's a word.

You say "the fungibility of monero is dependent on its untraceability and unlinkability". I believe that ring signatures are the untraceable part. So it's only part of Monero's fungability. I believe a while back there were discussions about changing the term mixin in the GUI because it's meaning was not clear. Untraceability was thought to have a negative connotation for some of Monero's use cases and that privacy was a much better term. This was all a while ago and my memory is fuzzy as usual but this discussion must be somewhere and I surprised nobody has brought it up.

Reply to: nioc
Gingeropolous posted 4 years ago Replies: 1 | Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

> I believe a while back there were discussions about changing the term mixin in the GUI because it's meaning was not clear. Untraceability was thought to have a negative connotation for some of Monero's use cases and that privacy was a much better term.

Yeah, thats probably why we see "privacy level" in mymonero, and I think in the previews of the GUI.

Well I guess I'm of the camp that thinks even "privacy level" may have negative connotation. People will be like "why do I want to increase my privacy level?"

Because yeah... its somewhat about privacy, but its also about the strength of monero as money. Hell, in all actuality, the best bet would probably be to set the mixin at at a default minimum of 10, and bury changing it high somewhere in the settings.

Reply to: Gingeropolous nioc
bill posted 4 years ago Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

> Well I guess I'm of the camp that thinks even "privacy level" may have negative connotation. People will be like "why do I want to increase my privacy level?"

I agree, it is not as neutral as I would like it to be. But the term must be self explainable to users not understanding how Monero works. I do hope some more suggestions will popup :)

Even when you bury 'privacy level' deep down in the settings, it will still popup everywhere else (fora, websites, etc).

wedgy2k posted 4 years ago Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

Shuffle - a card analogy for the non technical but shrewd minded

Aiwe posted 4 years ago Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

It should be something simple, that average user will understand from the glimpse when he is sending money.

For now in simpleallet we have

transfer [<mixin_count>] <addr_1> <amount_1> [<addr_2> <amount_2> ... <addr_N> <amount_N>] [payment_id] - Transfer <amount_1>,... <amount_N> to <address_1>,... <address_N>, respectively. <mixin_count> is the number of extra inputs to include for untraceability (from 0 to maximum available)

Apart from privacy only confidentiality came to mind but it is a little bit long, eh?

palexander edited 4 years ago Weight: 0 | Link [ - ]

The way this should work: Community provides input on what the term should be and hopefully we get some sort of consensus. Then somebody builds a pull request with the changes in simplewallet (and whatever other software uses the terminology) and it gets merged.

I think the term "Privacy Level" makes the most sense to current users, and I think it will make the most sense to future users. Also, one of the main pillars of Monero is Private, so it fits neatly within the three pillar framework.

Other people have noted their support for the term Privacy Level, mymonero uses it and there seems to be some consensus on this term. Also, I think the term privacy level makes the most sense in the GUI being currently worked on.

Maybe give the discussion a couple more months then somebody (I can do it even) can submit a pull request for the change on github.