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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 14956 times)
jonathan
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June 07, 2011, 11:41:23 PM
 #41

Move the decimal point six places, i say. I reckon it's better with just two zeros after the dot.
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TriumVir
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June 08, 2011, 01:58:06 AM
 #42

Not that I expect to be taken seriously with my first post . . . but shifting 6 decimals is too great a move. Part of the reason Bitcoin has the momentum it does is because the rise in price has given it credibility (bubble or not). Shift this thing 6 spots and you're looking at a Bitcoin (or whatever you want to call it at that point) worth a very small fraction of a cent.

Yes, everyone would have more Bitcoins . . . but from a psychological standpoint, I think the move is far too great. I'd go for 3 spots. I don't care that we'd have to do it again at another point in time. It's all a necessary part in growing the currency.

Wrap the whole thing up in some marketing mumbo jumbo to give the shift the air of authority and legitimacy, something to suggest that Bitcoin is shifting from a phase I implementation to a phase II implementation. Whatever. Just do it and do it soon. This whole thing is going to pop and pop soon if some action is not taken.
TwinWinNerD
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June 08, 2011, 02:15:27 AM
 #43

i really think that if you want to do 6 dot shifts in the long run, you should do it now, because if its an established currency with millions of users, the confusion will be WAY higher.

so lets bite in the lemon and just do it.

Smiley

lemonginger
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June 08, 2011, 03:14:35 AM
 #44

This whole thing is going to pop and pop soon if some action is not taken.

That is not necessarily a bad thing either in terms of bitcoins as currency rather than bitcoins as speculative investments doubling in worth every few days. (I also don't think moving around decimal places will change the overall value of bitcoins as a currency at all). I'm intersted in how this gets implemented though, what is the decisionmaking process?
cschmitz
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June 08, 2011, 03:28:54 AM
 #45

Informal poll.  Do you think it's time for the Bitcoin community to change the view of the bitcoin balance in the standard client?

Thanks for finally voting on this Smiley

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Luke-Jr
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June 08, 2011, 03:33:36 AM
 #46

This is missing too many options to be worthwhile. If the common unit is to be changed, UBC is ideal, not μBTC.

cschmitz
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June 08, 2011, 03:37:29 AM
 #47

Generally people should see this "shift in decimal point" as a mechanism similar to a stock split.
Take one Bitcoin, split it in 100.000 Parts, name the new parts bitcoin and give everyone 100k of them. Would change nothing numerically in the "backend" and only change how things are displayed but would finally solve the horrible fraction-eering or even more absurd non decimal stacking.

I suggest to split Bitcoin so far that it is only divisible 100 or max 1k times, people learned how to scale upwards thanks to PC's, Mega, Giga etc are common words. Mu and other fractional terms are totally unknown, so upwards scaling is the way to go.

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cschmitz
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June 08, 2011, 03:42:27 AM
 #48

This is missing too many options to be worthwhile. If the common unit is to be changed, UBC is ideal, not μBTC.

Thanks again for posting this chart that will make 99% of non programmers click x immediately Smiley) If someone would have to come up with a system to slow down the general acceptance of BTC,  "UBC" would come really close  Cry
You have dozens of totally new terms, you have terms for random numbers that only make mathematically sense and are horrible to grasp for non programmers. If bitcoin wants to move beyond "nerdsphere" UBC is certainly a disaster choice.

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imperi
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June 08, 2011, 03:43:17 AM
 #49

Shift it over 5 places, just to be sneaky.
chiropteran
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June 08, 2011, 03:45:55 AM
 #50

Shift it over 6 places.  Keep the name BTC. 

It needs to be a multiple of 3 for simplicity sake, and if we shift it 3 places now we will probably need to shift it again later.  Best to do 6 places all at once and get it done and over with.

herbertfilby
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June 08, 2011, 04:48:04 AM
 #51

Let me see if I can put this into perspective...

So if someone has 10 BTC now, after the update to 6 decimal places:

Account would now indicate: 10,000,000 BTC ( which is 1Mil * 10 BTC)
and
1 (new)BTC =
$0.0000273 USD (using current exchange rate of $27.30 per BTC)

Correct?

So for $1 USD from the McDonalds Dollar menu, I'd have to pay:
36,630 (new)BTC

I don't see how that's going to be user friendly unless the current bitcoin rate DID jump past $1000 per BTC in Now terms.

In that case:

1 (new)BTC =
$0.001 USD

and $1 USD would convert to only 1000 bitcoins.

This makes more sense. please correct me if my math is wrong.
ploum
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June 08, 2011, 08:25:09 AM
 #52

I think that shifting from 6 decimals is better than 3 because it would avoid a lot of mistake. I mean, if you see something (say a ring) sold for 100BTC, you might hesitate: is it a very good ring, in gold, or is it just a crap and it is sold with the new BTC currency? Is it 3000$ or 3$?

With a 6 digits move, there cannot be any doubt.

I also realized that, since BTC is over 10$, I'm not buying anymore. Just because I find silly to spend so much money for so few bitcoins. I know that this is silly but, well, I cannot control it.

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ploum
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June 08, 2011, 08:34:35 AM
 #53

I also propose the following way of making a shift:

0) Make an informal board of all bitcoin clients developpers.

1) Formal decision and announcements. From July 1st to July 31st. A special pag carrying a FAQ is done before this date. During one month, every bitcoin user could raise issues and send them to the board. That way, the board of client programmer might discuss potentially unforseen problems.

2) On July 31st, that board of developpers decide wether or not they will go for a decimal change. This decision is made public and a target date is given. (Say September 1st).

All the developers commit to make a release with the decimal change on that day. All bitcoin merchants and services have one month to adapt their software.

Blog posts about Bitcoin - 1KdRBbhjo72CqKTrFsQed6s9NMrvwvrUkq
AllYourBase
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June 08, 2011, 12:35:46 PM
 #54

1) There will be confusion and problems with automated systems who have hardcoded fees and such. Can be dealt with, but will be issue I think.
2) For long term storage in databases and such less decimal places is good
3) I say don't move it.  I really like the scientific connotation it imparts.  Rather than dumb bitcoin down, make new users smarter I say.
hazchem
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June 08, 2011, 12:52:26 PM
 #55

I disagree with the proposal to recalibrate. I think it is foolish.

21 million is a good number as the total number of bitcoins.

The solution to the increasing value of bitcoins is to talk in terms of millibitcoins and, soon enough, microbitcoins.

These would be soon abbreviated to millis and micros. Having an input field for millibitcoins instead of whole bitcoins is of course trivial to implement.
Luke-Jr
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June 08, 2011, 01:18:09 PM
 #56

This is missing too many options to be worthwhile. If the common unit is to be changed, UBC is ideal, not μBTC.
Thanks again for posting this chart that will make 99% of non programmers click x immediately Smiley) If someone would have to come up with a system to slow down the general acceptance of BTC,  "UBC" would come really close  Cry
You have dozens of totally new terms, you have terms for random numbers that only make mathematically sense and are horrible to grasp for non programmers. If bitcoin wants to move beyond "nerdsphere" UBC is certainly a disaster choice.
Most non-programmers will only ever see the cyan SI units and the base unit, and will naturally figure out the other white binary divisions of it. They don't need to know how many Satoshis there are in a UBC.

nathanrees19
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June 08, 2011, 01:46:52 PM
 #57

Changing the value of what is called a "Bitcoin" is a very, very bad idea. Nothing kills a new product/service/currency like confusion/uncertainty/doubt.

If we want smaller, more usable units, then we need new names.

Eg.
1 Bitcoin = 100 Bitdollars
1 Bitdollar = 100 Bitcents
ben-abuya
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June 08, 2011, 01:51:38 PM
 #58

Changing the value of what is called a "Bitcoin" is a very, very bad idea. Nothing kills a new product/service/currency like confusion/uncertainty/doubt.

If we want smaller, more usable units, then we need new names.

Eg.
1 Bitcoin = 100 Bitdollars
1 Bitdollar = 100 Bitcents

That's not confusing? I like the analogy to a stock split. Imagine if they changed the IBM ticker when they did a stock split.

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nathanrees19
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June 08, 2011, 01:56:33 PM
 #59

Changing the value of what is called a "Bitcoin" is a very, very bad idea. Nothing kills a new product/service/currency like confusion/uncertainty/doubt.

If we want smaller, more usable units, then we need new names.

Eg.
1 Bitcoin = 100 Bitdollars
1 Bitdollar = 100 Bitcents

That's not confusing? I like the analogy to a stock split. Imagine if they changed the IBM ticker when they did a stock split.

It is less confusing than "Hey guys! Your balance is now one million times bigger! However, you have the same amount of money..."
flug
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June 08, 2011, 01:56:53 PM
 #60

If we want smaller, more usable units, then we need new names.

Eg.
1 Bitcoin = 100 Bitdollars
1 Bitdollar = 100 Bitcents

At the moment:

1 Gold coin = 1000 USD (in the order of)
1 USD = 100c

so to carry those numbers across:

1 Bitcoin = 1000 Bitdollars
1 Bitdollar = 100 Bitcents

I like the idea of bitcoins being 1000000th of what they are right now, but I too fear it would damage credibility.
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