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Author Topic: How many units of Bitcoins will there be in total  (Read 3311 times)
The_Infinite
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December 03, 2010, 09:30:11 PM
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Please bear with me with this as I am by no means an expert.

If there are only to be a set amount of Bitcoins produced to stop inflation, then presumably instead of mining more bitcoins, people will start using up all of the 8 decimals i.e. breaking up bitcoins into ever smaller chunks and renaming them

This seems to me to have the same result as inflation, does it matter if we call 0.001BTC a bitcoin or 1BTC a bitcoin, its only a name? Is there a way so safegurd against this or is it even a big deal?

And if we were to break down all bitcoins all the way, how would the total amount of units compare to the total units of say the dollar or euro?

 
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kiba
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December 03, 2010, 09:31:16 PM
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Your bitcoin are worth more, and it can purchase more.

It's different from the result of inflation.

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December 03, 2010, 09:51:13 PM
 #3

Please bear with me with this as I am by no means an expert.

If there are only to be a set amount of Bitcoins produced to stop inflation, then presumably instead of mining more bitcoins, people will start using up all of the 8 decimals i.e. breaking up bitcoins into ever smaller chunks and renaming them

This seems to me to have the same result as inflation, does it matter if we call 0.001BTC a bitcoin or 1BTC a bitcoin, its only a name? Is there a way so safegurd against this or is it even a big deal?

And if we were to break down all bitcoins all the way, how would the total amount of units compare to the total units of say the dollar or euro?

 
Intrigued and bewildered.



Has anyone ever succeeded in selling you 1g of coffee for the price of 1kg ??


More seriuosly, bitcoin is nothing but a unit of measure.  At some point, well talk about centibitcoins, microbitcoins and "coins" (the smallest unit, which is 10 nanobitcoin).

Here is a summary :

MegaBitcoin :   1 MBTC = 10^6 BTC
KiloBitcoin :   1 kBTC = 10^3 BTC
centiBitcoin:   1 cBTC = 10^-2 BTC
milliBitcoin:   1 mBTC = 10^-3 BTC
microBitcoin:   1 µBTC = 10^-6 BTC
coin:      1 COIN = 10 nBTC = 10^-8 BTC

"coin" is a exception to the naming convention because it's how Satoshi call it in the source code.
Cryptoman
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December 03, 2010, 10:02:40 PM
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And if we were to break down all bitcoins all the way, how would the total amount of units compare to the total units of say the dollar or euro?
I thought a bit about this.  The only real consideration is if there is enough granularity in the currency.  The total world GDP is around USD 1e14 (100 trillion) today.  The finest granularity we need for payment transactions is USD 1e-2 (one cent).  That's 16 orders of magnitude.  When Bitcoin has 2.1e7 coins in circulation, that will give a little over 15 orders of magnitude difference between the entire economy and the smallest transaction (1e-8).  So this is definitely something we need to keep our eye on as Bitcoin begins to take over the entire world economy.  Wink 

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history." --Gandhi
grondilu
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December 03, 2010, 10:14:18 PM
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So this is definitely something we need to keep our eye on as Bitcoin begins to take over the entire world economy.  Wink 

We're not here yet Wink  Anyway I believe granularity could be increase without too many difficulties, whether by a change in the code, or by the use of 128-bit processors.

Also, other cryptocurrencies could be used for small transactions, same as silver and copper were used during gold standard.
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December 03, 2010, 11:05:17 PM
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Starbucks just raised the price of my venti cup from $2.20 to 220 cents. I'm going to go cry in my coffee now.

What you call it doesn't matter except for convenience. How it's created does.

I know that deflationary currencies are alien to most people. It's going to take some getting used to being paid for producing before you consume instead of the opposite.

Play Bitcoin Poker at sealswithclubs.eu. We're active and open to everyone.
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December 04, 2010, 01:49:01 AM
 #7

And if we were to break down all bitcoins all the way, how would the total amount of units compare to the total units of say the dollar or euro?
I thought a bit about this.  The only real consideration is if there is enough granularity in the currency.  The total world GDP is around USD 1e14 (100 trillion) today.  The finest granularity we need for payment transactions is USD 1e-2 (one cent).  That's 16 orders of magnitude.  When Bitcoin has 2.1e7 coins in circulation, that will give a little over 15 orders of magnitude difference between the entire economy and the smallest transaction (1e-8).  So this is definitely something we need to keep our eye on as Bitcoin begins to take over the entire world economy.  Wink 

There have been plenty of discussions about how to add extra digits onto the right of the decimal point if we ever had the dire need to get that accomplished.  The basic conclusion was that in the 50-100 years it will take for that to become an issue and the number of people who will be involved with Bitcoins when that becomes a major issue, the data structures necessary to make the extra digits work can be found.  There are a whole bunch of extensible data structures that could expand the number of digits that in theory could be used to number the elementary particles in the whole universe and last people using Bitcoins billions of years.

This is a problem that would be nice to have, where Bitcoins has grown so much so fast that we have to use the full granularity of the protocol as it currently exists.

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grondilu
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December 04, 2010, 01:56:28 AM
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This is a problem that would be nice to have, where Bitcoins has grown so much so fast that we have to use the full granularity of the protocol as it currently exists.

So true Smiley
chaord
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December 06, 2010, 04:38:13 AM
 #9

I'm looking forward to this problem.  If we can get there, not only will bitcoin have been successful, but the vast majority of the socio-economic problems in the world (eg, government/central-bank caused) would probably cease to exist since they would be unable to fund themselves Wink
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December 06, 2010, 06:09:26 AM
 #10

I know that deflationary currencies are alien to most people. It's going to take some getting used to being paid for producing before you consume instead of the opposite.
Well said!
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