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Question: Should the standard display of value in the bitcoin client be shifted 6 decimal places to the right?  (one bitcoin now would become 1,000,000 bitcoin in the client after changeover)  (Voting closed: June 14, 2011, 08:14:12 PM)
Yes!  I wanna be a Bitcoin Millionare! - 109 (67.7%)
No!  I prefer counting zeros! - 39 (24.2%)
Wait, what? - 13 (8.1%)
Total Voters: 158

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Author Topic: Shift the decimal point over?  (Read 14935 times)
MoonShadow
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June 07, 2011, 08:56:23 PM
 #21

Otherwise, there will be the need to explain our personal frames of references with every transaction, or risk a misunderstanding undermining our businesses.

We do this every day. Five bucks, 2 K's, a million etc.

(Ok, so I don't do transactions of a million dollars every day, but .. )



Those are all conventions based on the same frame of reference.  Try doing that when one party thinks a bitcoin is an order of magnitude more valuable than the other party.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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barbarousrelic
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June 07, 2011, 08:58:03 PM
 #22

Do it asap, get it out of the way. 1 old BTC = 1000 new kBTC.

It is awkward to deal with more than two digits to the right of the decimal point.

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.
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June 07, 2011, 09:00:30 PM
 #23

Absolutely. But you should make it clear that those are microbitcoins (UBT).

No. the point is to change what we now call "microbitcoins" into "bitcoins". It should not say "microbitcoins" anywhere. When making the switch we would of course have to be very clear about what we are doing, but after that it's just "bitcoins".

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June 07, 2011, 09:03:42 PM
 #24

When I said that I think there should be a zoom-in / zoom-out slider, what I had in mind was that the caption would update accordingly.

For example, at the default position the caption would say "bitcoin", but zoomed in a few decimal places would say "millicoins" (or whatever name we agree upon).

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June 07, 2011, 09:04:40 PM
 #25

I support switching to microcoins as the default, but I'm unsure whether moving the decimal point is wise.

It would confuse people a lot, and the "Bitcoin critics" would have a field day. "Look, they're moving the decimal point to trick you! Scam! Ponzi! Bubble! OMGWTFBBQ!"

I know this because Tyler knows this.
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June 07, 2011, 09:13:45 PM
 #26

Is there any way, and possibly even a more simple approach to do this?

forget changing the actual denomination of bitcoins, 1 btc = 1btc. Agree on denominations, and have all clients, sites, and systems which handle bitcoins automatically drop the actual bitcoin amount into the agreed denominations.

1 have 5 bitcoins.

Would be displayed in client as user selectable 5 bitcoins, or say 5,000 bit-dollers, or 5,000,000 mega-dollers, (whatever, denominations names asside..)

I send joe 1,000 bit dollers for a purchase on his website, from my bitcoin client.

Bitcoin client knows 1,000 bit-dollers = 1 bitcoin, and sends to joe

Joe's client knows 1 btc = 1,000 bit-dollers, and he get's what he wanted, we can make up new denominations forever as the value of the original bitcoin goes up.


Or am I missing some really big point that makes this all nonsence?
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June 07, 2011, 09:15:06 PM
 #27

When I said that I think there should be a zoom-in / zoom-out slider, what I had in mind was that the caption would update accordingly.

For example, at the default position the caption would say "bitcoin", but zoomed in a few decimal places would say "millicoins" (or whatever name we agree upon).

I tend to agree with this. While any change is bound to cause some confusion I think the idea of an option to set how you view your bitcoins would be much easier than a sudden all out sudden change. It seems to me it would make for a smoother transition.
Belkaar
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June 07, 2011, 09:16:21 PM
 #28

I have two points of view for this:

Personally I'd rather have 1000 mBTC than 1 BTC in the client just for peace of mind (you need to enter a big number to transfer a lot of value) and ease of use (0.0002 or 0.002 ??).

From my webshop I've learned that people spend 1.5 BTC on an item more easily then 15BTC. Stuff just looks cheap with only one digit in front of the dot.

But all in all this has to be done. Just look at http://bitmunchies.com/ : 0.118 BTC for a bottle of jelly. This is ridiculous and is alienating even for me, not even speaking about a newcomer just looking around.

If this is delayed too long we have two different units in the client and in the shops, which will be chaotic and a source of a lot of grief IMHO.

Just my 0.0001 BTCs worth

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carlerha
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June 07, 2011, 09:22:36 PM
 #29

I voted "yes", and for diversity of opinion I'll also remind of my own proposal from a while back: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=8125.msg118823#msg118823

Findeton
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June 07, 2011, 09:26:58 PM
 #30

Absolutely. But you should make it clear that those are microbitcoins (UBT).

No. the point is to change what we now call "microbitcoins" into "bitcoins". It should not say "microbitcoins" anywhere. When making the switch we would of course have to be very clear about what we are doing, but after that it's just "bitcoins".

I don't care if you want to call it UBT or BTC, but yes, we should move those 6 decimals ASAP.

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ben-abuya
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June 07, 2011, 09:35:18 PM
 #31

This might actually be a good time. Because the jump is so huge, nobody can really afford to get confused. Nobody is going to send 5,000,000 current bitcoins instead of 5 current bitcoins. It will be weird spending hundreds of thousands of bitcoins, but the situation will get more normal as the price goes up, instead of getting worse.

It may hush some of the bubble people. $20 per btc sounds like a bubble. $0.00002, not so much. Makes it seem like there's plenty of room to grow.

Also, big numbers have number groupings (1,000,000) and decimals don't. And people have a much easier time with thousands and millions, than with millis and micros. I think it should be done quickly and confidently, 1 btc = 1,000,000 btc.

http://lamassubtc.com/
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June 07, 2011, 09:41:16 PM
 #32

I don't care if you want to call it UBT or BTC, but yes, we should move those 6 decimals ASAP.
Totally agree on the move ASAP!

As for the name: I'd vote for BTC because just Bitcoin has a much nicer ring to it than anything micro- or milli- and thanks to the media is already known pretty widely.

Also there is really no risk of confusing two prices with a 10^6 jump.
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June 07, 2011, 09:46:03 PM
 #33

I don't care if you want to call it UBT or BTC, but yes, we should move those 6 decimals ASAP.

Heh -- and it makes us all millionares...

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June 07, 2011, 10:03:24 PM
 #34

Heh -- and it makes us all millionares...
Yes - and more importantly: potential newcomers also have the chance to be millionaires, again which probably is a great selling argument Wink

It could also alleviate the early-adopter-greed-factor!
MoonShadow
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June 07, 2011, 10:08:14 PM
 #35

We could probably get away with only a 5 decimal point shift, but not a 4.  Six would be a decades long solution. If we want to do this twice, we could only shift 3; but we need to do this together.  Just depending upon the end user to select the most appropriate view is going to do more harm than good if we don't adjust the default view.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
jashan
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June 07, 2011, 10:08:35 PM
 #36

I agree that this would be a very useful change, and it does feel kind of urgent. After all, Bitcoins are still "beta" and that's the kind of thing that can happen during a beta. And while Bitcoins did get a lot of press lately - most people still are completely unaware that Bitcoins even exist.

1 BTC was fine when 1 BTC was worth less than a dollar, or even a dollar. But it's obvious now that it won't take long until 1 BTC (in the old system) will be worth at least $ 100, maybe even $ 1000 or more. I see it this way: There will only ever be some 21 million BTC. Think about it: That sounds like a niche currency. It doesn't really sound like it has a future of significance. That would be fine for a local currency only used in a small city - but certainly not for a global currency. This feels like an actual bug ;-)

If Bitcoin is to become a currency with a significant market (which is what we're all working on), just having 21 million BTC will be "nothing". 21 billion sounds more reasonable but still kind of little for a real global market. 21 trillion finally sounds like we're up for something. Personally, I wouldn't go beyond that. I rarely hear people talk about quadrillions - I guess that would just make it harder to explain Bitcoin to people, like: "There can only ever be 21 quadrillion Bitcoins" - "What?" - "21 Quadrillion Bitcoins" - "Ah, you must be a geek ... Bitcoins are for geeks ... leave me alone" ;-)

So shifting 6 digits sounds like the natural thing to do.

1 BTC = 1,000,000 BTC

Go for it! Fix that bug! ;-)

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MoonShadow
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June 07, 2011, 10:16:14 PM
 #37

"There will only ever be 21 Trillion bitcoins!  This time we mean it!"

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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June 07, 2011, 10:25:17 PM
 #38

Hey everyone,

This finally got me to register. I've been looking at bitcoin for a while now, and I've gone back and forth about whether it could work or not. I'm now leaning toward the it could work side. Either way I've done a lot of thinking on it. A few years ago before there even was bitcoin I actually designed a hypothetical monetary system to solve the current problem of inflationary fiat currency.

Anyway, the reason for this post is to say I absolutely do believe it's about time to move the decimal point, but not by 6 places. I have an entire post I plan to write and propose to the forum soon which covers exactly how, when, and why to move the decimal for great effect. It also addresses the naming issue I've seen come up on the forum repeatedly.

Will post more on this soon!
ben-abuya
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June 07, 2011, 11:07:52 PM
 #39

We could probably get away with only a 5 decimal point shift, but not a 4.  Six would be a decades long solution. If we want to do this twice, we could only shift 3; but we need to do this together.  Just depending upon the end user to select the most appropriate view is going to do more harm than good if we don't adjust the default view.

5 decimal places isn't that different from 6, so might as well go all the way. It'll be a lot easier to temporarily handle prices in millions of bitcoins (5mbtc) than to have to do this whole change over again down the road.

http://lamassubtc.com/
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alkor
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June 07, 2011, 11:12:15 PM
 #40

Shifting the decimal point would be a very stupid thing to do. For one it would create confusion for the users. We wouldn't want someone to accidentally send someone else 1,000,000 when they just meant to send 1 BTC.
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