Identicons 2.0 (identicon NFTs)

I’ve heard many people talk about how the identicons don’t seem mature or seem childish. While I think they are cool and remind me of anime I think at some point it would be appropriate for the team or community to update them. (I know this is probably very low priority with everything else going on.) my suggestion is to leave current identicons but also make some more mature/less cartoon like identicons. I think it would be really awesome and a great use case to make something similar to Zilliqa NFTs where artist could create identicons and sell them on the blockchain. (Not sure if this would even be possible or work)


It is something that I’ve been thinking about a lot as well.

However I’m not sure there’s an easy solution to the “maturity” problem. I don’t think we should make any major changes to the current set we have now as they work well already, even if they are a little goofy. While I think it would be fairly trivial to create a ‘parallel’ set of identicons that are more mature I don’t think it’s an appropriate solution. I myself have thought about creating a library that allows for such a set of identicons based on Heraldry.

However, there were a couple of issues that I ran into:

  • Heraldry is euro-centric: ideally, we need a set that is universal. European iconography might not be intuitive to other cultures. Identicons need to be distinct at a glance so it might fail such standards amongst certain groups. Producing different sets for each culture makes things even worse. However I can’t think of any set of symbols that would be both universal and memorable.

  • Keywords lose their effectiveness: using the identicon description to confirm an address becomes difficult when they either 1) don’t correspond to the actual identicon (in cases where other identicon sets just reuse the orginal’s), or 2) a person expects the use of the descriptors of one set while the other party assumes the use of another (in the case of each identicon set having their own unique descriptors).
    It’s rather messy and unintuitive. As such, we really need to stick to just one identicon style.

  • Losing the human element: there is something really memorable about faces that would simply be lost if we shifted away from them. They are much more intuitive than patterns or heraldry. Sure, their facial features are exaggerated and goofy-looking but this only helps with memorability. If the identicons were more human-like, some people might falsely assume that the identicon is supposed to look like the address owner. This is not an assumption we want the user to make.

As such, I think it’s fine to keep them as is. It just makes more sense, especially for human-to-human interactions. Yes, it would be weird to send money to some ruthless mega-corp address that is an orange blob with whiskers but I guess in such a case it would be more appropriate for such a company to display their actual company logo instead of the generated identicon.

Perhaps an easy solution to this is to have a selector in the wallet to turn the identicons on/off?

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