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At one point there was some discussion to change the term "mixin" to something different, such as "ring partner" or "fake out", due to the fact that mixin doesn't do a good job of describing what a ring signature is doing (its passive, whereas mixin seems active) and the fact that the "scale" of the mixin can either be 0-based or 1-based (the confusion between chain radar and other explorers calling mixins different), whereas "ring partner" and "fake out" have implicit 1 based and 0 based scales, respectively.

What are pros and cons of changing the term mixin to something else?

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Pros:

  1. Another name may lead to less confusion about what mixin means
  2. Another term would help avoid confusion with active mixing, such as in Bitcoin CoinJoin transactions

Cons:

  1. Mixin has been the name since the beginning of Monero and is used by all other CryptoNote based coins. For long term users a new name would take some time getting accustomed to.
  2. No clear choice has (yet) been identified as the mixin term replacement (you chose 2 different ones in your question itself)

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