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Author Topic: Bitcoin sticker shock looming?  (Read 3013 times)
Zape
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June 03, 2011, 02:55:27 PM
 #1

It occurs to me that at the current rate of BTC to US $ growth, it could feasibly be 1 BTC = $1,000 USD in 6-7 months time.  I don't know that that will happen, but if it does, wouldn't the sticker shock of paying so much really push people away from joining the bitcoin community?  In the stock market world, a few elite stocks are happy trading in the $1,000+ range, but most try to keep below $100, so the "common man" can choose to buy in.  I realize that "all that has to happen is to move the decimal", but does that need to happen now rather than later?  Perhaps a mechanism to scale terminology automatically based on the number of connected clients?

It seems that we are already at a place were 1 bit-dime (.1 BTC) is perfect for a $1.50 USD micro-transaction, but if things keep up, we will quickly be going out 3 or 4 decimal places for a single small transaction.

In short, it seems like bitcoin's biggest lack(though in some ways a strength) is denominations, so people can more easily trade/spend them until the value stabilizes.

If there are changes in the works, apologies from the newbie Wink.  If not, it seemed like a topic worth discussing.
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stic.man
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June 03, 2011, 03:01:54 PM
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it's a valid topic that has been being discussed on these forums.  I do think mtgox may have now made it that you can buy in denominations of less than 1BTC but I'm not entirely sure.  Perhaps though the prices will be shown in terms of bitcents to alleviate the sticker shock.  Not sure about the psychological barriers about prices but i would think people would get more excited about buying 100 bitcents than 1 BTC
FooDSt4mP
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June 03, 2011, 03:07:05 PM
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It occurs to me that at the current rate of BTC to US $ growth, it could feasibly be 1 BTC = $1,000 USD in 6-7 months time.  I don't know that that will happen, but if it does, wouldn't the sticker shock of paying so much really push people away from joining the bitcoin community?  In the stock market world, a few elite stocks are happy trading in the $1,000+ range, but most try to keep below $100, so the "common man" can choose to buy in.  I realize that "all that has to happen is to move the decimal", but does that need to happen now rather than later?  Perhaps a mechanism to scale terminology automatically based on the number of connected clients?

It seems that we are already at a place were 1 bit-dime (.1 BTC) is perfect for a $1.50 USD micro-transaction, but if things keep up, we will quickly be going out 3 or 4 decimal places for a single small transaction.

In short, it seems like bitcoin's biggest lack(though in some ways a strength) is denominations, so people can more easily trade/spend them until the value stabilizes.

If there are changes in the works, apologies from the newbie Wink.  If not, it seemed like a topic worth discussing.

Stocks are not easily divisible.  Sure, you could set up a company to own the stock or create a contract outlining how to reach consensus to sell the stock and how funds will be disbursed.  But with bitcoin, you can trade 0.00000001 BTC.  MtGox will have to allow trades of less than 1 BTC, and maybe show things with different units, but there is no problem.

As we slide down the banister of life, this is just another splinter in our ass.
barbarousrelic
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June 03, 2011, 03:13:15 PM
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I think we should move the decimal point six places to the right asap. Once that's done, we should measure things in kBTC.

1 old Bitcoin is now 1000 kBTC.

We'll also never have to move the decimal point again.

Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

"Early adopters will profit" is not a sufficient condition to classify something as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. If it was, Apple and Microsoft stock are Ponzi schemes.

There is no such thing as "market manipulation." There is only buying and selling.
Maxxx
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June 03, 2011, 03:28:54 PM
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I think we should move the decimal point six places to the right asap. Once that's done, we should measure things in kBTC.

1 old Bitcoin is now 1000 kBTC.

We'll also never have to move the decimal point again.

Great idea. This would be the likely solution. I believe there is a thread on UBC as well.

Time is money. This means that if you have spare time, you can use it to make money.

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barbarousrelic
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June 03, 2011, 03:30:55 PM
 #6

I think we should move the decimal point six places to the right asap. Once that's done, we should measure things in kBTC.

1 old Bitcoin is now 1000 kBTC.

We'll also never have to move the decimal point again.

Great idea. This would be the likely solution. I believe there is a thread on UBC as well.

edit: Found it here http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=11037.0

Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

"Early adopters will profit" is not a sufficient condition to classify something as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. If it was, Apple and Microsoft stock are Ponzi schemes.

There is no such thing as "market manipulation." There is only buying and selling.
bcpokey
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June 03, 2011, 03:42:35 PM
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Is this a psychological question or a technical one? I ask in seriousness. Because Gold "coins" (for a 1oz coin) sell for > $1000 (still? havent checked in a while) without much issue. And without the benefit of being able to dice the coin into a 1e-8 piece to spend like you can with a bitcoin.

If you are asking about the psychological ramifications for people to think about spend .00000001 whatevers on something I guess that makes sense.
barbarousrelic
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June 03, 2011, 03:46:49 PM
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Is this a psychological question or a technical one? I ask in seriousness. Because Gold "coins" (for a 1oz coin) sell for > $1000 (still? havent checked in a while) without much issue. And without the benefit of being able to dice the coin into a 1e-8 piece to spend like you can with a bitcoin.

If you are asking about the psychological ramifications for people to think about spend .00000001 whatevers on something I guess that makes sense.

Psychological. People can mentally think of values to the left of the decimal point much easier than to the right of the decimal point. It is easier/faster to think about the difference between 10,000 and 100,000 than it is to understand the difference between .0001 and .00001.   

The commas on the left side are only part of the reason.

Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

"Early adopters will profit" is not a sufficient condition to classify something as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme. If it was, Apple and Microsoft stock are Ponzi schemes.

There is no such thing as "market manipulation." There is only buying and selling.
Zape
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June 03, 2011, 03:56:01 PM
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Yes, it's all psychological.  The system as designed now (with the possible excpetion of transaction fees) is set to to scale technically, but people(non-technical people, and even some technical ones) will have a hard time wrapping their head around buying .01 bitcoins for $10 to pay .001 bitcoins for the song they want.  It is much easier to sell them 10 bit cents for $10, and let them spend 1 bitcent for the song.  Even 100 UBC for $10 followed by spending 10 UBC on a song works easier.  The FAQs refer to this change being technically feasible, my real point, is that unless things slow down it might be psychologically needed.  I realize the point has been made before, but I think there is a point at which bitcoin will stall unless the move is made, and I think that point is approaching at an exponential pace.
stic.man
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June 03, 2011, 05:10:13 PM
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the difference with gold vs bitcoin is you're still trying to build up bitcoin to be seen as currency or a store of value, gold has been browbeat into everyone for eternity as being valuable.  Gotta catch up, and the easier it is to get in the better
ffe
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June 03, 2011, 05:15:24 PM
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I think we should move the decimal point six places to the right asap. Once that's done, we should measure things in kBTC.

1 old Bitcoin is now 1000 kBTC.

We'll also never have to move the decimal point again.

Don't you mean mili bitcoin? --> mBTC
k
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June 03, 2011, 05:22:39 PM
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no it means 1 old bitcoin will = 1 million new BTC or 1000 kBTC

1 new BTC would = 1 current uBTC
speeder
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June 03, 2011, 05:33:18 PM
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I think reassigning BTC symbol is stupid idea. VERY stupid idea.

But a new symbol is welcome for exchanges to use Smiley

Ian Maxwell
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June 03, 2011, 05:45:35 PM
 #14

Hmm. Is it too soon to start thinking in satoshi?

1 US dollar = 0.07 bitcoins = 7,000,000 satoshi.

1 Japanese yen = 0.0009 bitcoins = 90,000 satoshi.

It seems like a lot, but really it wasn't that long ago that a pizza cost 10,000 bitcoins, and I don't think anyone found that confusing.

Ian Maxwell
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speeder
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June 03, 2011, 05:58:47 PM
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Hmm. Is it too soon to start thinking in satoshi?

1 US dollar = 0.07 bitcoins = 7,000,000 satoshi.

1 Japanese yen = 0.0009 bitcoins = 90,000 satoshi.

It seems like a lot, but really it wasn't that long ago that a pizza cost 10,000 bitcoins, and I don't think anyone found that confusing.

Yeah, buy a Videocard with Satoshi...

2800000000 satoshi (and I am not putting dividers, because that is how we write in Brazil).

error
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June 03, 2011, 08:42:11 PM
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MtGox trades of less than 1 BTC were fixed a couple of days ago.

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defxor
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June 03, 2011, 09:13:08 PM
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Don't you mean mili bitcoin? --> mBTC

mBit ("embit") has a nice two-syllable ring to it.

gigitrix
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June 04, 2011, 02:10:22 AM
 #18

Of all the things a new interested party in bitcoin has to learn, that "big and small numbers don't mean anything without context" is one of the simplest. I don't think it's a problem for now. More of an issue is the perception of the 8dp limit, which might be seen as the limiting factor. This is the problem that might need solving, not because we'll hit that point any time soon, but because it damages the perception of the coins as "infinitely divisible".

Or put simply: The world (non-US) deals perfectly well with millilitres vs kilograms. The gram is tiny in size compared to the litre, and yet we do fine.
marcus_of_augustus
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June 04, 2011, 03:24:47 AM
 #19


Hey!, if we keep ratcheting the decimal to the right maybe we can convince people (dumb-ass economists) that it is inflating (not deflationary)?

See, it still costs $1 for 1 BTC  .... (while moving the decimal place quietly to the right one more notch).

stic.man
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June 06, 2011, 12:53:12 PM
 #20

I've talked to friends and i'm 100% certain more people would get involved if they were spending 20 cents/bitcent instead of $20 per BTC
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