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Author Topic: Solution: How to shift the decimal  (Read 16403 times)
Rocketfella
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June 08, 2011, 02:47:51 PM
 #1

There's some discussion about the decimal shift that will be needed soon, if we don't want to pay for things that cost 0.000234 BTC. All the proposals I read were flawed so here's how I would like to see it done.
(I wrote this under the assumtion that a shift of 6 places is needed, but my strategy would also work for 3 places or whatever)

First of all, don't do it all at once, this looks like a scam. You can do it in gradual steps that are some time apart from each other, like this:

0. Fix the client display
The client should display your balance as "1.00 BTC", not just "1.00"! DON'T make it display "1.00 Bitcoin", it HAS to be "1.00 BTC".

1. uBTC as an option
Now, add a little check box to the standard client that says "display as uBTC" and a very large info box that said "1 BTC = 1000000 uBTC". The check box and the info box need to be instantly visible when you open the client. Don't bury it in a sub menu! Selecting the checkbox obviously changes how the money in your wallet is displayed to "uBTC" and it also changes the amount of money you typed into the "amount" field.
The info box should be always visible, you must not have to click anywhere to see it. The idea is that even people who hate the idea of moving the decimal place will see this giant info.

This update will make everyone aware of what a uBTC is and it's easy to remember, since u is just the metric symbol for 1/1000000.

2. uBTC as default
When people start talking about paying for stuff in uBTC ("I payed 1300 uBTC" is easier than "I payed 0.0013 BTC") change the client so that the checkbox is on by default and hide the check box in an options menu or something. Also, please adopt the habit of thinking "Bitcoin is this system where you pay with uBTC" and tell your friends that Bitcoin is about transfering uBTC easily. Don't mention BTC.

3. remove BTC
When it becomes the norm that all prices are quoted in uBTC, remove the BTC option from the client completely. By this time, people might already be using the word "Bitcoin" for 1 uBTC instead of meaning 1 BTC. For example, they might be saying "A miner gets 50000000 Bitcoins!" meaning "A miner gets 50000000 uBTC".

4. remove the u
When everyone talks about uBTC and nobody cares about "BTC" you can drop the u and call it BTC.

Explanation: the word "Bitcoin"
The idea here is, to gradually change the meaning of the words "Bitcoin" and "BTC", without confusing/scaring anybody.

At the moment, "Bitcoin" means "1 BTC".
When uBTC gets adopted, "One Bitcoin" can has two different meanings, just like "One Euro coin" could mean a 2 EUR coin or a 1 EUR coin. When "Bitcoin" can refer to two different "coins", people start to talk about BTC and uBTC to clarify which coin they mean.
When the value of 1 BTC rises, you will hear "uBTC" more often than "BTC". uBTC will become the default and people might say "Bitcoin" to mean 1 uBTC. When you remove "BTC" from the client and nobody talks about BTC any more, dropping the u will not cause any problems.

If you found this interesting please comment and read my other forum articles that you can find in my signature.

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
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June 08, 2011, 02:52:54 PM
 #2

That's a good plan.

"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, 02:53:38 PM
 #3

I like this. Worst case is that people don't lose the 'u' in their notation, which isn't a big deal, really.

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June 08, 2011, 04:59:24 PM
 #4

Could work. The sensitive part is the switch from BTC to uBTC in the client. Might want a warning popup when you send money that you're sending BTC and not uBTC, at least in the first version.

http://lamassubtc.com/
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June 08, 2011, 05:22:48 PM
 #5

I don't see a reason to do the last part of that. μBTC will almost certainly bee needed for people's sanity sake.  However I don't see a reason to do a 1 million to one split on the bitcoin itself.  We have things like pennies today, this would only be slightly different.

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jashan
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June 08, 2011, 06:26:13 PM
 #6

Sounds like a really good plan to me. I tried to tip you - just 0.01 BTC, which is ... hey ... 10000 uBTC ... but: My client (0.3.21 on Mac) keeps telling me:

Quote
This transaction is over the size limit. You can still send it for a fee of 0.01, which goes to the nodes that process your transaction and helps to support the network. Do you want to pay the fee?

No, I don't want to pay a 0.01 fee just to send 0.01 to someone.

Any ideas what's going on here?

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MoonShadow
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June 08, 2011, 06:35:42 PM
 #7

Sounds like a really good plan to me. I tried to tip you - just 0.01 BTC, which is ... hey ... 10000 uBTC ... but: My client (0.3.21 on Mac) keeps telling me:

Quote
This transaction is over the size limit. You can still send it for a fee of 0.01, which goes to the nodes that process your transaction and helps to support the network. Do you want to pay the fee?

No, I don't want to pay a 0.01 fee just to send 0.01 to someone.

Any ideas what's going on here?

You likely have a lot of small input transactions that the client is attempting to consolidate, as that is it's default profile.  Currently there is not yet a way to tell the client to avoid going over the free size limit, so no matter what you do, you are going to end up paying this oversize limit fee.

Did you mix up a bunch of coins into very small transaction sizes with the mixer, or something?  If not, try sending him .02 BTC; if it will let you do that, then your client is still using the old small value limit schedule and needs to be updated.  The small value limit fee only existed to keep people from 'spamming' the network by repeatedly sending very small amounts to themselves repeatedly.

"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'
NO_SLAVE
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June 08, 2011, 06:48:14 PM
 #8

Study stock splits.
I'm really surprised that the community has such little background in equities, revaluation of currency or commodity.
There should have been an economist at the core of this development team.
BTC is already trying to pull a quantitative easing 1.  But you have no board, theoretical basis or a bernank to oversee the operation.
so goes anarcho capitalism. Roll Eyes

There should be an incremental splitting, first .000, then .0000, then .0000 up to some static limit, say .000000. If there is no absolute limit the BTC will go Zimbabwe and be defunct. The splits should be well notified in advance, say 2-3 months notice, then on a certain day at a certain time all BTC go to .000.  Then in the next X time frame they go to .0000 using the same process.  so forth and so on.
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June 08, 2011, 11:08:42 PM
 #9

You likely have a lot of small input transactions that the client is attempting to consolidate, as that is it's default profile.  Currently there is not yet a way to tell the client to avoid going over the free size limit, so no matter what you do, you are going to end up paying this oversize limit fee.

Hm ... ok ... I did have a few 0.02 input transactions. I wouldn't call that a lot, though ;-)

Did you mix up a bunch of coins into very small transaction sizes with the mixer, or something?  If not, try sending him .02 BTC; if it will let you do that, then your client is still using the old small value limit schedule and needs to be updated.  The small value limit fee only existed to keep people from 'spamming' the network by repeatedly sending very small amounts to themselves repeatedly.

Haven't used the mixer; tried 0.02 BTC but that gave me the same error message. I just rechecked whether 0.3.22 is finally available for Mac. And it is. But - doesn't help with this issue.

If you like this posting - feel free to give a tip:
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Keep those Bitcoins flowing :-)

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rezin777
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June 08, 2011, 11:12:07 PM
 #10

Study stock splits.
I'm really surprised that the community has such little background in equities, revaluation of currency or commodity.
There should have been an economist at the core of this development team.
BTC is already trying to pull a quantitative easing 1.  But you have no board, theoretical basis or a bernank to oversee the operation.
so goes anarcho capitalism. Roll Eyes

There should be an incremental splitting, first .000, then .0000, then .0000 up to some static limit, say .000000. If there is no absolute limit the BTC will go Zimbabwe and be defunct. The splits should be well notified in advance, say 2-3 months notice, then on a certain day at a certain time all BTC go to .000.  Then in the next X time frame they go to .0000 using the same process.  so forth and so on.


What are you talking about? No one is expanding anything. Simply moving the decimal. The current 1 Bitcoin will still be 1 Bitcoin and there won't be any more of them created by moving the decimal. 

Have you ever sliced up a pie? Did you end up with more pie after cutting it? No.
darkwon
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June 08, 2011, 11:15:15 PM
 #11

Study stock splits.
I'm really surprised that the community has such little background in equities, revaluation of currency or commodity.
There should have been an economist at the core of this development team.
BTC is already trying to pull a quantitative easing 1.  But you have no board, theoretical basis or a bernank to oversee the operation.
so goes anarcho capitalism. Roll Eyes

There should be an incremental splitting, first .000, then .0000, then .0000 up to some static limit, say .000000. If there is no absolute limit the BTC will go Zimbabwe and be defunct. The splits should be well notified in advance, say 2-3 months notice, then on a certain day at a certain time all BTC go to .000.  Then in the next X time frame they go to .0000 using the same process.  so forth and so on.


lol what? I didn't understand anything of what you said there. You may want to check up on some facts.

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Frozenlock
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June 08, 2011, 11:21:10 PM
 #12

I'm in favor of keeping the u in uBTC.
We shouldn't be afraid to show how the BTC is now valued more than any other currency (in terms of "numbers").

Also, we all know the max number of BTC is 21 millions. Having to explain how it has been multiplied by a factor of 1000 risks to be difficult.
(Bitcoin is already hard enough to explain...)
Garrett Burgwardt
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June 08, 2011, 11:29:23 PM
 #13

1 Bitcoin is 1 Bitcoin is 1 BTC. That should never change, ever. That would just cause confusion and force webmasters to fix their sites.

Simply making it an option to display uBTC works best (ideally with a small notification of how many uBTC you have, or BTC, depending on which your preferred unit is).

Just moving the default unit from 1 BTC to 1 uBTC would work best, because it's easy to convert between the two, and there's no need to distinguish between 'old BTC' and 'new BTC'.


EDIT: And the send dialogue could use something like this:



Except without the stuff that doesn't apply to BTC.

And with another row below the "100 Million" with the same number in microbtc.

PabloW
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June 09, 2011, 01:45:36 AM
 #14

I agree with this.

Maybe the "uBTC" should be called BTC and in the future, the thing we call now a BTC could be a "mBTC" or something.
Garrett Burgwardt
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June 09, 2011, 02:05:49 AM
 #15

I agree with this.

Maybe the "uBTC" should be called BTC and in the future, the thing we call now a BTC could be a "mBTC" or something.

I disagree, for the same reason as I just posted.
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June 09, 2011, 02:36:15 AM
 #16

Is calling 0.000001 BTC a "microbitcoin" so complicated? Personally, I like the plan up until the "let's drop the 'u' over time."

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June 09, 2011, 03:25:46 AM
 #17

Good first steps but a key will be to make it easier to talk about 'microbitcoins' than 'bitcoins'. Psycholinguistically it helps if the favored unit has a shorter easier to say name. Call the microbitcoins 'micros' or even 'mics'.. and force the original to be a mouthful, like 'original full bitcoins' (OFBTC) or 'protocol identity bitcoin' (PIBTC) or 'network base standard coins' (NBSC). The official term for the full original units has to be long and ugly or it will still dominate thought and discussion. Make 'UBTC' and 'mic' attractive by comparison.

I can't wait to buy a ranch on Mars with a few femto.




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June 09, 2011, 03:56:57 AM
 #18

Study stock splits.
I'm really surprised that the community has such little background in equities, revaluation of currency or commodity.
There should have been an economist at the core of this development team.
BTC is already trying to pull a quantitative easing 1.  But you have no board, theoretical basis or a bernank to oversee the operation.
so goes anarcho capitalism. Roll Eyes

There should be an incremental splitting, first .000, then .0000, then .0000 up to some static limit, say .000000. If there is no absolute limit the BTC will go Zimbabwe and be defunct. The splits should be well notified in advance, say 2-3 months notice, then on a certain day at a certain time all BTC go to .000.  Then in the next X time frame they go to .0000 using the same process.  so forth and so on.


lol what? I didn't understand anything of what you said there. You may want to check up on some facts.


Yeh, figured you wouldnt understand.  You have little/no knowledge of currency history or the workings of economics, that is what is starting to make me discount the underlying theories of BTC completely. No sound future contingencies or appreciation of the past 5000 years of what happens to fiat currency or the technicalities of its workings.  If you divide up the pie,  yes, there is the same amount of pie. My contention is that the pie can be divided INFINITELY.  Why not just move the decimal .0000000000000000000000?  or maybe
.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.
Then there are so many BTC that they devalue based on supply demand curve. Have you not watched whats happening to the dollar?  Read the zimbabwe story, and you will probably start to get it, but my feeling is that you dont want to get it. Keynesians hear no see no speak no evil... Keynesian economics can be controlled by central planners for a certain amount of time.  But eventually it still goes belly up. This currency has no central regulation, other than adding more 0's.  In summary this currency modus operandi ends in complete collapse. 

Meh.
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June 09, 2011, 04:00:27 AM
 #19

Good first steps but a key will be to make it easier to talk about 'microbitcoins' than 'bitcoins'. Psycholinguistically it helps if the favored unit has a shorter easier to say name. Call the microbitcoins 'micros' or even 'mics'.. and force the original to be a mouthful, like 'original full bitcoins' (OFBTC) or 'protocol identity bitcoin' (PIBTC) or 'network base standard coins' (NBSC). The official term for the full original units has to be long and ugly or it will still dominate thought and discussion. Make 'UBTC' and 'mic' attractive by comparison.

I can't wait to buy a ranch on Mars with a few femto.





A good nickname for μBTCs might be "Bits" like a little "Bit" of a Bitcoin.

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June 09, 2011, 04:22:20 AM
 #20

Yeh, figured you wouldnt understand.  You have little/no knowledge of currency history or the workings of economics, that is what is starting to make me discount the underlying theories of BTC completely. No sound future contingencies or appreciation of the past 5000 years of what happens to fiat currency or the technicalities of its workings.  If you divide up the pie,  yes, there is the same amount of pie. My contention is that the pie can be divided INFINITELY.  Why not just move the decimal .0000000000000000000000?  or maybe
.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000.

Then there are so many BTC that they devalue based on supply demand curve. Have you not watched whats happening to the dollar?  Read the zimbabwe story, and you will probably start to get it, but my feeling is that you dont want to get it. Keynesians hear no see no speak no evil... Keynesian economics can be controlled by central planners for a certain amount of time.  But eventually it still goes belly up. This currency has no central regulation, other than adding more 0's.  In summary this currency modus operandi ends in complete collapse.  

Meh.

I think what you are missing is that bitcoins are divided and merged when needed. The "problem" is hyperdeflation. This deflation is happening because more and more people are finding out about bitcoin and want to buy some. As BTC becomes a medium of exchange, the stored value of all minted bitcoins will increase.

Your Zimbabwe example is an example of hyper-inflation; the opposite problem.

I fail to see where Keynesian economics comes into this. Do you think the economy can really grow indefinitely? Each bitcoin can be sub-divided to 8 decimal places (I think it is a hard limit). Only about 21 million will ever be produced. Just 1000 1,000,000 bitcoins can probably carry the entire world economy.  (Edit: does 100 Trillion units sound about right?)

Edit: Micro-transactions or isolated economies will likely use their own block-chain, if bitcoin lasts that long.

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