Bitcoin Forum
January 16, 2021, 10:54:08 AM *
News: Latest Bitcoin Core release: 0.20.1 [Torrent]
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register More  
Pages: « 1 [2]  All
  Print  
Author Topic: why only 21M bitcoins? edit: or more precise "why is there a limit?"  (Read 1392 times)
MoonShadow
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1708
Merit: 1000



View Profile
March 26, 2013, 04:53:51 AM
 #21



Bitcoins are infinately divisable under the protocol, and are presently divisable to eight decimal places.  It's really just a reference point.

that's interesting! so the satoshi isn't the smallest possible piece? is it really infinately divisable?

Yes, but clients cannot use more than 8 decimal places because of a technical limitation.  Specificly, the value of any address is stored as a 64 bit integer.  All bitcoin addresses store only satoshis, not BTCs, and the clients  present the totaled values to the user with the decimal point added for human readability.  The decimal point doesn't actually exist in the current address structure, but the protocol permits new kinds of addresses to be created for any number of reasons.  The first ascii character of your bitcoin address denotes the address type, which is why all currently valid bitcoin addresses start with a "1".  The addressses designed for testing features on testnet are identical except that first character is different.  I believe that it's an "a" IIRC.  An address that used a floating point variable for the value could store sub-satoshi values.  Future address versions could also use different encryption algos than is currently used, or be different in a number of other ways.

8 decimal places seems to be a design flaw, as a 64-bit integer can store 11 decimal places at Bitcoin's current limits.

Excepting that, as I mentioned, the current addresses don't store floating point variables, but integers instead.  So the decimal point for BTC are actually near the middle of a 64 bit integer for convience, and a single address can thus hold the entire 21 million BTC with room to spare and never create a buffer overflow error.  An address with a floating point variable would be able to store fractional satoshis, but wouldn't necessarily be able to store the entire monetary base.  This should never happen anyway, but it's more of a security/code issue than an economic one.

"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'
1610794448
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1610794448

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1610794448
Reply with quote  #2

1610794448
Report to moderator
1610794448
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1610794448

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1610794448
Reply with quote  #2

1610794448
Report to moderator
Advertised sites are not endorsed by the Bitcoin Forum. They may be unsafe, untrustworthy, or illegal in your jurisdiction. Advertise here.
1610794448
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1610794448

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1610794448
Reply with quote  #2

1610794448
Report to moderator
1610794448
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1610794448

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1610794448
Reply with quote  #2

1610794448
Report to moderator
1610794448
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1610794448

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1610794448
Reply with quote  #2

1610794448
Report to moderator
MoonShadow
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1708
Merit: 1000



View Profile
March 26, 2013, 05:00:02 AM
 #22



Bitcoins are infinately divisable under the protocol, and are presently divisable to eight decimal places.  It's really just a reference point.

that's interesting! so the satoshi isn't the smallest possible piece? is it really infinately divisable?

Yes, but clients cannot use more than 8 decimal places because of a technical limitation.  Specificly, the value of any address is stored as a 64 bit integer.  All bitcoin addresses store only satoshis, not BTCs, and the clients  present the totaled values to the user with the decimal point added for human readability.  The decimal point doesn't actually exist in the current address structure, but the protocol permits new kinds of addresses to be created for any number of reasons.  The first ascii character of your bitcoin address denotes the address type, which is why all currently valid bitcoin addresses start with a "1".  The addressses designed for testing features on testnet are identical except that first character is different.  I believe that it's an "a" IIRC.  An address that used a floating point variable for the value could store sub-satoshi values.  Future address versions could also use different encryption algos than is currently used, or be different in a number of other ways.

I find your comment very interesting. I didn't know that the software only sees satoshis (0.00000001 BTC). But how could this be implemented? Is it feasible to do this? Or would it have to be in another altcoin?

It's more than feasible, it's part of the future development plans of Bitcoin from nearly the start.  Maybe even the start.  As I said, Bitcoin was designed for future flexibility in addresss types, so that new address types can be created, and easily identified by both human and machine, without breaking backward compatibility with the current address type.  The future clients will just have to check the first ascii character to know how it should process that address; and teh running network won't even skip a beat.  There is much to the finer details of Bitcoin that are so elegant and so well thought out, I have long said that Satoshi was either a polymath or three or more geniuses in their own fields working in concert.

"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'
MoonShadow
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1708
Merit: 1000



View Profile
March 26, 2013, 05:04:46 AM
 #23

No one know why, because the Creator(s) are not know.  However, a fix amount make scene,  because no one has control over the system, so who would make that decision to increase the coins.  Anyway Bitcoin is divisible to 8 places at the moment, so there is enough to go around

The system could make the decision mathematically.

Perhaps it could, but how would that work?

Therein lies the rub, no one has been able to work out a better solution than what Satoshi has devised from the beginning.  His solution is both elegant, well interconnected, and easy to understand (from a theory basis, not from a practical implimentation basis).

"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'
odolvlobo
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 3108
Merit: 1745



View Profile
March 26, 2013, 05:18:49 AM
 #24

it seems my subject is missleading.
"why is the total amount limited" would be more precise.
that's interesting! so the satoshi isn't the smallest possible piece? is it really infinately divisable?

If you decide that the number of bitcoins should grow indefinitely, the you have to decide what the rate is.

Ideally, you would want the rate to match economic growth so that the purchasing power of a bitcoin would remain constant, but I don't think that would be feasible at all. It's basically what we have now, and look what has happened.

So, you have to come up with a fixed rate. I don't think anyone can determine what the best fixed rate would be -- an arbitrary one must be chosen. I think the best rate is 0 because it makes all the math easier and more straightforward, and it eliminates some uncertainty.

Buy stuff on Amazon with BTC or convert Amazon points to BTC here: Purse.io
Join an anti-signature campaign: Click ignore on the members of signature campaigns.
PGP Fingerprint: 6B6BC26599EC24EF7E29A405EAF050539D0B2925 Signing address: 13GAVJo8YaAuenj6keiEykwxWUZ7jMoSLt
hiltonizer
Member
**
Offline Offline

Activity: 104
Merit: 10



View Profile
March 26, 2013, 05:22:50 AM
 #25

It's not 21 million bitcoins, its 21 billion millibitcoins, 21 trillion microbitcoins. Its the way currency should be, as in not punishing you for keeping it safe. Keynesian dollars force you to risk currency just to break even... antithetical to the NAP if you ask me.

DarkCoin: XiZutyRTPTEFQm5aH2de2SCmzfgE6B78uK
Bitcoin: 1P4wYgkKTh3WzHUGqLFaef23bAeM4UV2jB
viajero
Member
**
Offline Offline

Activity: 110
Merit: 10


View Profile
March 26, 2013, 01:40:39 PM
 #26

thx for all the helpfull answers Smiley  

Its the way currency should be, as in not punishing you for keeping it safe. Keynesian dollars force you to risk currency just to break even... antithetical to the NAP if you ask me.

honestly, for me the keynesian argument (not as a whole, but in this specific manner) totally makes sense. it forces the wealthy ones in a society to do more with their money than just sit on it. in a by methematical law deflationary currency the pressure to invest and therefore support the economy is much less, than in a inflationary one. the current crisis hasn't been caused by "keynesian dollars", it's caused by pulling down almost all the financial market restrictions and regulations. therefore we can thank our weak governments which are much more influenced by neoliberal lobbyists, than by elections or reason or anything else...

afaik there hasn't been anything compareable to bitcoin before, so we can only speculate what is going to happen. nobody knows for sure, the future will educate us Wink
MoonShadow
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1708
Merit: 1000



View Profile
March 26, 2013, 06:16:29 PM
 #27

thx for all the helpfull answers Smiley  

Its the way currency should be, as in not punishing you for keeping it safe. Keynesian dollars force you to risk currency just to break even... antithetical to the NAP if you ask me.

honestly, for me the keynesian argument (not as a whole, but in this specific manner) totally makes sense. it forces the wealthy ones in a society to do more with their money than just sit on it. in a by methematical law deflationary currency the pressure to invest and therefore support the economy is much less, than in a inflationary one. the current crisis hasn't been caused by "keynesian dollars", it's caused by pulling down almost all the financial market restrictions and regulations. therefore we can thank our weak governments which are much more influenced by neoliberal lobbyists, than by elections or reason or anything else...

afaik there hasn't been anything compareable to bitcoin before, so we can only speculate what is going to happen. nobody knows for sure, the future will educate us Wink

It doesn't, because the wealthy are the only group that can efficiently save their funds in gold, land, etc.  It's much more difficult and economicly inefficient for the poor and middle classes to do the same thing.  Thus, inflation harms the lower classes more, percentagewise, because they have to keep a majority of their savings in dollar denominated assets for liquidity reasons.

"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'
Pages: « 1 [2]  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!