Bram Cohen, CEO of Chia Network Inc, has published a blog post regarding the new terminology Chia is using to describe their Chia Asset Tokens (CATs). Its not his usual serious fare, and is written quite whimsically. But even though it is pretty clear about what a CAT is, and isn’t, the Twitter thread announcing the blog post is full of additional questions that make it clear folks do not really understand what the differences is between a CAT and the other coins launched by Chia Network, like XCH.
First off, a CAT is not a replacement for XCH. It will not be a farming reward, and it will not, itself, be tradeable. A CAT is the Chia equivalent of an ERC20 token in Ethereum – a standard format for on-chain tokens that can be used for all sorts of Layer 2 activity.
From the beginning Chia Network has been evangelizing their coloured coin support and the advanced smart contract features they will be able to enable because of it. According to the blog post, the loaded connotation for calling things “coloured” in some parts of the world (including mine) was part of the decision to rebrand. I agree with that decision, using the term “coloured” to literally just mean different has some baggage and would likely preclude adoption in some areas.
I really like the informal presentation here, even though the post is just a glossary of terms it ends up as a good read. This is actually pretty funny:
CAT token – a term which doesn’t specify which CAT standard is being followed. Also used if you’re being more informal or are just too lazy to type the 1. If you’re being really informal or lazy you can use the lowercase cat. You can also just call it a CAT since ‘CAT token’ is short for ‘chia asset token token’ which is valid but sounds weird.Bram Cohen, Chia Blog
I think more communication like this where they aren’t taking themselves too seriously is a good thing. It makes it seem like Chia Network is starting to become more self-confident about their identity as a company, which is a great outcome of the current growth phase if true.
The one criticism I would like to levy towards them for their blog, and it is a big like tossing stones from a glass house because I haven’t solved this problem either, is that they offer multiple languages in the top right hand but that functionality seems broken on the blog posts, with a strange permalink and 404 error. This is something I would fix up, as my feeling is that Bram’s posts are something people are very interested in translations of.