Renaming FIO Address to Minimize Market Confusion

FIO <X> and How to Communicate the FIO Product

A revised summary

TL;DR: I am proposing that we, as a DAC have sufficient evidence, cause and support to confidently rename a FIO Address to a [FIO] Crypto Handle. 

The Problem:

Since the inception of FIO, we’ve continued to experience a high degree of confusion in the market when using the terminology “FIO Address”. Contest after contest where we ask people to provide us with their FIO Address, we receive an overwhelming percentage of people who reply with their FIO Public Key instead.  To address this, we have spent the last six months testing a more educational approach in the market where each time we are asking or describing a “FIO Address” we couple this with a demonstrated example “username@domain” or something similar.  In spite of this educational approach where we are clearly outlaying what we are looking for from respondents in the market, we are still receiving a fail rate often exceeding 50% of the total responses. This is a problem – a big problem.


Previous Market Research:

We have attempted to ask the market what nomenclature makes the most sense to them which resulted in more than half of responses indicating “FIO Address” was the most sensible label – this steered FIO into a very wrong direction as we have witnessed a high degree of confusion over the last six months where the fail rate is still an extremely high percentage.


A “FIO Address” is the product. Knowing how to best communicate the FIO product could very well be the difference between succeeding and failing on the whole.

Why it’s tricky to research the “right” product label for replacing FIO Address

  1. A FIO Address / Crypto Handle are new concepts in the last couple of years and are foreign to many people already exposed to crypto, and almost certainly entirely foreign to anyone not exposed to crypto.

  2. The market. The cryptocurrency market today is predominantly comprised of Millennial and Gen-Z men. With the rise in popularity and where we have a fair degree of confidence cryptocurrency is going (mainstream), this market will change rapidly before us. It’s predicted by Luke (see ) (to which I agree with his assessment) that FIO’s market, AKA the cryptocurrency market, in the coming 3-5 years is made up of people who aren’t even exposed to crypto at all today. In order to avoid potential future renaming issues, it would be in FIO’s best interest to be ready for the market when the market arrives, meaning, position ourselves as a friendly, joyful and perhaps dare I say even familiar, solution so that when the market arrives, it’s a natural fit for them, versus something that is confusing, new and requiring a great deal of education (which is by far one of the most expensive words in market positioning/branding/advertising).

Because of these reasons, it’s not reasonable to conclude that market research is a reliable approach for determining how we name and communicate the FIO Protocol’s product.

So, how do we determine the “right” product label for replacing FIO Address?

First, we evaluate each of the possible best fit terms and weigh the pros and cons of each.

Labels we have evaluated include:

  • FIO

  • FIO Handle

  • FIO Name

  • FIO Wallet Handle

  • FIO ID

  • FIO Tag

  • FIO Account

  • FIO Username / FIO Wallet Username

  • FIO Crypto Handle


Second, are there examples in the market today which most closely describe what a FIO Address is, and how is this supported? Ultimately, no matter what FIO decides, the market is the market is the market.  That said, we will of course want to choose a term that is going to be well-received and accepted by the market – meaning, it cannot be confusing.


Making the evidence-based case for renaming FIO Address to FIO Crypto Handle

  1. Who is the FIO Market? People who are most readily accepting of cryptocurrency as a new form of currency skew younger. More than half of all people between the ages of 18-34, and close to half of all people ages 35-44 are likely to buy Bitcoin in the next five years, with these percentages rising significantly year-over-year.

  2. FIO is social by nature, designed to be a viable and joyful solution for peer-to-peer cryptocurrency interaction

  3. “Handle” is the term used to describe an online alias, nickname or pseudonym on social media and the common acceptance of handle being one’s self-prescribed pseudonym dates back to the 1970’s in radio and possibly as early as the 19th century.

  4. Over 1 billion users on Instagram have adopted the term handle. Of these users, 56% of them are between the ages of 18-34 (prime crypto market). That’s >560million young people who not only know and understand handle but adopt and accept the term to mean a public pseudonym in a social setting (of which crypto very much is).

  5. On Twitter, there are 321million active monthly users who also adopt and accept the term handle to describe their online public pseudonym in a social setting. The cryptocurrency market heavily utilizes Twitter.

  6. On Telegram, there are 500 million active monthly users who also adopt and accept the term handle to describe their online public pseudonym.  The cryptocurrency market heavily utilizes Telegram.

  7. On Liquid Global’s own volition, they described a FIO Address as a FIO Handle when communicating publicly on social media and in their email and blogs.

  8. CoinMarketCap, the most visited website in cryptocurrency globally by far, and seen as a dominant leading force in the cryptocurrency industry, used the term “Wallet Handle” in the headline of their article to describe what problem the FIO Protocol solves. The significance of this cannot be understated.

  9. Marketing agencies adopt the term handle to describe a public alias, nickname or pseudonym.

A “social handle” is more than a simple moniker; it’s a communication tool – and this is exactly what I understand the FIO product to be – social + a communication tool for all blockchains

Looking at the bigger picture, FIO has a blue ocean opportunity to lead the industry with the term “crypto handle” to describe a FIO Address. This makes even greater sense if FIO were to enable the Simple Send concept. Using a broader term to describe what FIO is doing puts FIO into a leadership position in this arena (IMO) and establish a stronger “offense” in the competitive landscape, versus permitting another project or company to take this spot and then render FIO to clamor to capture market share noise.

The Foundation owns the twitter handle @wallethandle as well as the website Kaitie Zhee has registered the twitter handle @cryptohandle for the Foundation’s use as well.


Potential confusion to call a FIO Address a FIO Crypto Handle

In non-english and Asian markets, we do not know if handle is well-translated. On one hand, Twitter and Instagram thrive worldwide. On the other hand, if we have strong FIO advocates in the Asian markets, or elsewhere, I would lean on them to guide and lead us to the best terminology to use in place of FIO Handle when we get to that point – I don’t feel it’s our place as mostly Americans to determine what term to use if those non-english markets choose not to adopt the term Handle.

When communicating internationally with multiple primary languages in business, the default language to communicate in is English. 1.5 billion people speak English, with only 360 millions of them being native English speakers.


Plan for rolling out the FIO name change

  1. Send a letter to all of our integrated partners that we are planning to unveil name change in the next 30 or 60 days. Include screenshots of where the word FIO <X> appears on their UI and a how-to-use guide to making it as easy as possible for them to make the requested changes.

    1. In this letter, it will be important to communicate why we are asking them to update to the term FIO Crypto Handle and the benefit to them to make this change – because we have done the research in the market to know that FIO Address is causing a good bit of confusion and we hold the belief that by establishing a cohesive product name, it will promote increased interoperable usage by their users and new users as well as minimize the potential for confusion and damaging the overall UX.

  2. During this time, I recommend FIO quietly make the change on all documents and websites. I don’t believe we need to make a big deal about this in the market or make an announcement. I recommend breaking the online and living components of FIO into buckets and tackling one bucket at a time or dividing and conquering. i.e.: Medium, Knowledge Base, Website, etc.

  3. At the end of this time, when all integration partners should have updated their UI and documents, FIO’s marketing should unveil a new educational and promotional marketing video that is an exciting and high energy, showcasing and discussing what a FIO Crypto Handle is, the benefits of having and using one, and where to get one.

Internal validation – each team member here has expressed that they are on board with renaming to FIO <X> Handle

  • Luke Stokes

  • Pawel M

  • Eric Butz

  • Adam A

  • Kaitie Zhee

  • James Haft


So far, not on board

  • Casey G