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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 14940 times)
flug
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June 08, 2011, 02:05:14 PM
 #61

I'm worried about this scenario:

If we did make bitcoins 1000000 times smaller, and in a years time I've still got the current client (3.20), and I sent someone 10 BTC (thinking I was sending 10 new BTC), would it actually send 10 old BTC (=10,000,000 new BTC)?
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sortedmush
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June 08, 2011, 02:06:09 PM
 #62

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

Excellent point!

+1
nathanrees19
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June 08, 2011, 02:07:22 PM
 #63

I'm worried about this scenario:

If we did make bitcoins 1000000 times smaller, and in a years time I've still got the current client (3.20), and I sent someone 10 BTC (thinking I was sending 10 new BTC), would it actually send 10 old BTC (=10,000,000 new BTC)?

Yes.
LanYu
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June 08, 2011, 02:12:58 PM
 #64

Hey guys, keep trading in bits. What a great name for a currency of an intelligent space-faring race. Microbits is the currency of the people (credits in the traditional sense), then to millibits, bits, kilobits, megabits. Of course only the helium mining associations will be trading in kilobits and megabits.
flug
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June 08, 2011, 02:31:43 PM
 #65

I'm worried about this scenario:

If we did make bitcoins 1000000 times smaller, and in a years time I've still got the current client (3.20), and I sent someone 10 BTC (thinking I was sending 10 new BTC), would it actually send 10 old BTC (=10,000,000 new BTC)?

Yes.

Then I think we need to bare this in mind, otherwise someone's gonna lose their bitcoin retirement fund buying peanut butter.

Can the protocol/block chain be changed so that after the changeover transactions in new BTC are marked, and only such marked transactions are accepted into the block chain?
elewton
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June 08, 2011, 02:33:00 PM
 #66

BOOM, LanYu!
That's the answer.

The question isn't whether we should change that which we call Bitcoin, but should we start trading in millibits.

Should the client default to millibits now?  I say yes, but who the fuck am I?

This would encourage trading in millibits pretty quickly, and I think we, maybe, can rely on a significant portion of potential Bitcoin users understanding "one thousandth of". Probably.
da2ce7
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June 08, 2011, 02:53:11 PM
 #67

We should move to a new UNIT!  the unit of of a 'Bitcoin' is defined in the official source code:

Code:
static const int64 COIN = 100000000;

This should STAY THE SAME!

See:

Code:
static const int64 COIN = 100000000;
static const int64 CENT = 1000000;

we can just define a new one:

Code:
static const int64 COIN = 100000000;
static const int64 CENT = 1000000;
static const int64 mBTC = 100000;
static const int64 XBT  = 100;

and so on...

The reason NOT to 'shift the decimal point' is because it will require UPDATING every codified system that uses bitcoins... It will aslo cause huge ammouts of confusion for those who use old clients.   Keep the same units..

For a real-life example where we use smaller every-day units... just look at: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Tesla_%28unit%29

One off NP-Hard.
ben-abuya
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June 08, 2011, 03:00:59 PM
 #68

We should move to a new UNIT!  the unit of of a 'Bitcoin' is defined in the official source code:

Code:
static const int64 COIN = 100000000;

This should STAY THE SAME!

That is a good point. Changing the core code is really scary. It could also lead to really bad coding mistakes down the road.

http://lamassubtc.com/
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tymothy
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June 08, 2011, 03:31:37 PM
 #69

Shifting the decimal really important, if only for psychological purposes. Many people have a very terrible understanding of math and simply do not understand working with numbers smaller than .01. Also, many people may reject the currency as being "overpriced" because a single currency being valued at more than $10 USD is unheard of, and decide not to enter the market. A rational person would purchase fractions of a bitcoin, but the important thing here is that most people are not rational. This probably comes as a shock to many bitcoin users who are of above average intelligence and surround themselves with above average friends and coworkers, but just head to your local DMV for an afternoon and try to imagine these people adopting the bitcoin. Perhaps it's a little different outside of America, but we need to keep the barriers to using bitcoin as low as possible.
JohnDoe
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June 08, 2011, 03:40:35 PM
 #70

Wow, I'm glad this option is popular now. I thought most people were on the SI prefix camp.

The reason NOT to 'shift the decimal point' is because it will require UPDATING every codified system that uses bitcoins... It will aslo cause huge ammouts of confusion for those who use old clients.   Keep the same units..

You are right, it will cause a lot of confusion, but that confusion would be dwarfed by the confusion of normal people trying to pay for stuff in the milli and micro levels. Most of the current users are nerds anyway so I don't think the drama after the change would last more than a couple of weeks.

Btw, I agree the code definition of a bitcoin should stay the same. The only change should be to how this number is displayed to users.
Rocketfella
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June 08, 2011, 03:45:42 PM
 #71

You can actually move the decimal place without causing any confusion or fear, but this strategy takes some time, so we should get startet now.

Here's the solution to the decimal problem: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=13495.0

If you like that plan, reply in that thread to keep the topic up and stop replying in this thread.

</thread>

Check out my other articles on the forum:
"The Bitcoin Establishment Plan: How to talk about Bitcoins properly"
http://bit.ly/k6LRkM
"Solution: How to shift the decimal"
http://bit.ly/m0N0H4
If you find any of my articles worth reading, consider tipping me:
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Nesetalis
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June 08, 2011, 03:57:48 PM
 #72

honestly in the client it isnt as important.. all those sites out there though need to start dealing in smaller values.. Virwox for instance still only deals in whole bitcoins, which makes it a very... coarse market.. you either buy or sell 6,000-10,000L$.

this is the real problem i think. Sure there is a bit of confusion with the decimals... but thats easy enough to do by making multiple fields
bitdolar: [000] (unlimited place field)
bitcoin: [00] (maximum of 2 places)
bitcent: [00] (maximum of 2 places)
fraction: [.000000] (maximum zeroes after the last place)
whatever :p i dont care about names of values..b ut the multiple fields would give a easier sense to it.. like how in the US its dolars, quarters, dimes, nickles, pennies. just everything below a bit dolar or whatever (a multiple of a bitcoin) make it a two number field max.

then as the precision gets lower as time goes on, move bitcoin to the unlimited place... then bit cent.. and so forth.. make what your default focus is, an option in the client.

ZOMG Moo!
D.H.
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June 08, 2011, 08:01:42 PM
 #73

Btw, I agree the code definition of a bitcoin should stay the same. The only change should be to how this number is displayed to users.

Why? That would instead cause confusion for people reading the code. We are still in the very early stages of Bitcoin, we shouldn't be afraid of making changes to the code.

www.bitcoin.se - Forum, nyheter och information på svenska! (Forum, news and information in Swedish)
Nesetalis
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June 08, 2011, 08:03:20 PM
 #74

the code definition is a whole integer... then divided in to decimal for display. there really is no point in changing the whole integer its displayed as.

ZOMG Moo!
jhansen858
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June 08, 2011, 08:05:57 PM
 #75

so instead of 28million btc there would now be a total maximum of 28 quadrillion?



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Nesetalis
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June 08, 2011, 08:15:42 PM
 #76

the number of 'value' doesnt change... we just change the name of 'value' and assign 'bitcoin' from 'value' to 'value2' :p

ZOMG Moo!
D.H.
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June 08, 2011, 08:16:10 PM
 #77

Quote
While milli- and micro- is very simple to understand for a scientific community, "a thousand" and "a million" is understood more intuitively by Average Joe.

If "Average Joe" knows how millimeters relate to meters, he shouldn't have any problems relating millibitcoin to bitcoin. Unless you're saying that all woodworkers are rocket scientists?

"milli" perhaps, "micro" not so much.

That's not my main point though. Even if people understand the meaning of the prefixes it is still easier to relate "500 BTC" to "1,000,000 BTC" than it is to relate "500 μBTC" to "1 BTC". I believe this to be true for most people, scientist or not.

Quote
I think this whole discussion is about US and UK citizens being uncomfortable with SI prefixes. The rest of the world is quite comfortable with the "milli" prefix.

I'm the one you quoted and I'm from Sweden, so not in my case.

www.bitcoin.se - Forum, nyheter och information på svenska! (Forum, news and information in Swedish)
MoonShadow
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June 08, 2011, 08:17:06 PM
 #78

so instead of 28million btc there would now be a total maximum of 28 quadrillion?

No, 21 trillion with a continuing division of two decimal places.

"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 08, 2011, 08:25:35 PM
 #79

keep the code the same but just start using milli-bits or micro-bits. 1 BTC is still 1BTC. 1BTC is 1000 mBTC (milli-bits). Denominate prices is milli-bits. When 1BTC is $100, 1 milli-bit will be $0.1 or 10 cent. When the time comes could switch to micro-bits.

MBTC    Mega-bit   1000000     1.00E+06
kBTC     Kilo-bit   1000             1.00E+03
BTC           Bitcoin   1             1.00E+00
mBTC    Milli-bit   0.001             1.00E-03
uBTC     Micro-bit   0.000001     1.00E-06
           Satoshi   0.00000001     1.00E-08



hello_good_sir
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June 10, 2011, 07:19:30 PM
 #80

The recent drop in bitcoin prices was partly because of Dwolla but also partly because of the $30+ price.  Bitcoin really won't ever be able to get to $100, because to do so it needs more users and it can't get more users if the price is high.

What most of you don't realize is that most people cannot handle numbers smaller than one.  Even zero is a tricky concept for normal people.  SI prefixes don't work either.  You are all naive to think that some "nice" solution will work.  No, what we need is an elegant solution.  Just move that damn decimal point.  Mexico did it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_peso#Nuevo_peso

Want to buy a 2004 Ford Taurus with bitcoin?  I live in Maryland.  Send me a private message if interested.
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