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 Author Topic: When to "move the decimal points" ?  (Read 17512 times)
Xav
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 January 30, 2014, 08:48:42 AM

Change the decimal now or it's dead. Wake up people !
How about we call one-millionth of a BTC (i.e. a micro-bitcoin) a Finney? One million Finneys equal a Bitcoin.
Conveniently, 100 Satoshis equal a Finney, so we can use a convenient two digits after the decimal point, just like dollars and cents. So 0.0015 BTC becomes 1500.00 Finneys.
Forex traders don't like more than two digits after the decimal, so this notation should suit them perfectly.
A Finney is currently worth around a tenth of a cent, so it will remain a useful unit as the price of a bitcoin rises.
The Finney is named in honor of Hal Finney, of course.

Why not Finney ? It sound absurd to rename it "Finney" but it is much better than Bitcoin. As you said, decimals make no sense for normal people.

For most people a "Finney" does not seem to refer to Bitcoin....

Using a new term for the smaller units of currency would have the additional benefit of making it easier to differentiate between bitcoins (the units of currency) and Bitcoin (the payment system/network/service).

For example:
- PayPal is a payment system that allows for payments in dollars and cents.
- Bitcoin is a payment system that allows for payments in finneys and satoshis.

All true, but there remains the problem of a symbol that's already assigned to Bitcoin; BTC. The dollar, USD uses \$ for each and every amount. It wouldn't make much sense to have two symbols for Bitcoin; the already famous BTC and another one for "Finney." Each price now and in the future is written in BTC. Do you want to change this?

BTW A cent is in fact a dollarcent; for me a cent is a Eurocent.
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superresistant
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 January 30, 2014, 09:55:38 AM

All true, but there remains the problem of a symbol that's already assigned to Bitcoin; BTC. The dollar, USD uses \$ for each and every amount. It wouldn't make much sense to have two symbols for Bitcoin; the already famous BTC and another one for "Finney." Each price now and in the future is written in BTC. Do you want to change this?
BTW A cent is in fact a dollarcent; for me a cent is a Eurocent.

No need to add symbols. We already have the metric prefix from the International System of Units.

 Name Prefix Factor deciBTC dBTC 10−1 centiBTCcBTC 10−2 milliBTC  mBTC 10−3 microBTC μBTC 10−6 satoshi ?? 10−8

We only need a new symbol for satoshis.
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 January 30, 2014, 02:50:41 PM

Besides, we already have a name for that unit.  It's called a gavin for the same reason that the smallest unit is called a satoshi.  You can call it whatever you want, but that doesn't mean I'm going to.  And those who favor the metric system can call it what they like as well.

"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'
thms
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 January 30, 2014, 06:34:18 PM

Using decibits, centibit, millibit or whatever name you come up for something, is not gonna work! How will you make all software wallets, all exchanges, all people agree on a unit??? Impossible!

The only way to do this would be by changing the core and make, for example, the new bitcoin worth 0.001 of the old bitcoin. From the beginning I hear that one of the advantages of bitcoin is that it's programmable money right? So why not take advantage of that?
manfred
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 January 30, 2014, 06:58:00 PM

Using decibits, centibit, millibit or whatever name you come up for something, is not gonna work! How will you make all software wallets, all exchanges, all people agree on a unit??? Impossible!

The only way to do this would be by changing the core and make, for example, the new bitcoin worth 0.001 of the old bitcoin. From the beginning I hear that one of the advantages of bitcoin is that it's programmable money right? So why not take advantage of that?
Why is it impossible, thats why there is a International System of Units
thms
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 January 30, 2014, 07:24:19 PM

Using decibits, centibit, millibit or whatever name you come up for something, is not gonna work! How will you make all software wallets, all exchanges, all people agree on a unit??? Impossible!

The only way to do this would be by changing the core and make, for example, the new bitcoin worth 0.001 of the old bitcoin. From the beginning I hear that one of the advantages of bitcoin is that it's programmable money right? So why not take advantage of that?
Why is it impossible, thats why there is a International System of Units

I don't understand what you mean. I didn't say it's impossible to use the international system.
shawshankinmate37927
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 January 30, 2014, 08:38:30 PM

All true, but there remains the problem of a symbol that's already assigned to Bitcoin; BTC. The dollar, USD uses \$ for each and every amount. It wouldn't make much sense to have two symbols for Bitcoin; the already famous BTC and another one for "Finney." Each price now and in the future is written in BTC. Do you want to change this?

BTW A cent is in fact a dollarcent; for me a cent is a Eurocent.

I'm sure the metric prefixes and symbology aren't going to change, but perhaps informal or colloquial terms will eventually emerge for the milliBTC and microBTC units.  For example, we all agree that a "satoshi" is 0.00000001 BTC, 0.00001 milliBTC, or 0.01 microBTC, without needing a new symbol for it.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."   - Henry Ford
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 January 30, 2014, 10:15:11 PM

Using decibits, centibit, millibit or whatever name you come up for something, is not gonna work! How will you make all software wallets, all exchanges, all people agree on a unit??? Impossible!

The only way to do this would be by changing the core and make, for example, the new bitcoin worth 0.001 of the old bitcoin. From the beginning I hear that one of the advantages of bitcoin is that it's programmable money right? So why not take advantage of that?

Technically, the satoshi is the base unit of Bitcoin.  There is no decimal point as far as the code is concerned, just an integer variable.  The clients can display that integer however you like.

"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'
Xav
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 January 30, 2014, 11:00:39 PM

All true, but there remains the problem of a symbol that's already assigned to Bitcoin; BTC. The dollar, USD uses \$ for each and every amount. It wouldn't make much sense to have two symbols for Bitcoin; the already famous BTC and another one for "Finney." Each price now and in the future is written in BTC. Do you want to change this?

BTW A cent is in fact a dollarcent; for me a cent is a Eurocent.

I'm sure the metric prefixes and symbology aren't going to change, but perhaps informal or colloquial terms will eventually emerge for the milliBTC and microBTC units.  For example, we all agree that a "satoshi" is 0.00000001 BTC, 0.00001 milliBTC, or 0.01 microBTC, without needing a new symbol for it.

In marketing terms those metric prefixes sound very small and evoke the suggestion of dealing with tiny little fractions. Though I'm not much of a salesman, but arriving home and telling your girlfriend or wife, or both, you bought 100 milliBitcoins for \$80 would not impress her and make her think of you making a great investment. The story turns 180 degrees when you tell her that you bought 1000 rootBitcoins for \$80, doesn't it? Additionally there is no need to name each increase by the factor ten/hundred/thousand; nobody writes 1 gigaDollar or 1 megaDollar or 1 kiloDollar or 1 deciDollar.
shawshankinmate37927
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 January 30, 2014, 11:59:14 PM

In marketing terms those metric prefixes sound very small and evoke the suggestion of dealing with tiny little fractions. Though I'm not much of a salesman, but arriving home and telling your girlfriend or wife, or both, you bought 100 milliBitcoins for \$80 would not impress her and make her think of you making a great investment. The story turns 180 degrees when you tell her that you bought 1000 rootBitcoins for \$80, doesn't it? Additionally there is no need to name each increase by the factor ten/hundred/thousand; nobody writes 1 gigaDollar or 1 megaDollar or 1 kiloDollar or 1 deciDollar.

Yeah, I agree that those metric prefixes don't really "sound right" when talking about money.  I was an electronics tech for twenty years, so I'm accustomed to the metric prefix terminology when discussing millivolts, kilowatts, picofarads, etc., but it just doesn't seem quite right when talking about money.  I'm not sold on "rootBitcoins", but I'll go along with whatever term most in the community go with.  I don't have an adamant opinion on it, just tossing some ideas around.

As you know, bitcoins are very different than fiat currencies and there is less of a need for metric prefixes when discussing them because bankers just create more of them before they have a chance to appreciate in value ("deflation" they like to call it).  If the dollar supply had been controlled over the last hundred years the same way the bitcoin supply will be controlled for the next hundred years, they would have been forced to redefine the currency units (similar to a 10-for-1 stock split) or something along those lines.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."   - Henry Ford
thms
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 January 31, 2014, 12:43:28 AM

Using decibits, centibit, millibit or whatever name you come up for something, is not gonna work! How will you make all software wallets, all exchanges, all people agree on a unit??? Impossible!

The only way to do this would be by changing the core and make, for example, the new bitcoin worth 0.001 of the old bitcoin. From the beginning I hear that one of the advantages of bitcoin is that it's programmable money right? So why not take advantage of that?

Technically, the satoshi is the base unit of Bitcoin.  There is no decimal point as far as the code is concerned, just an integer variable.  The clients can display that integer however you like.

That's odd, so you are saying that nowhere in the code the value of 1 bitcoin is set to 100,000,000 satoshis?
Xav
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 January 31, 2014, 09:35:49 AM

In marketing terms those metric prefixes sound very small and evoke the suggestion of dealing with tiny little fractions. Though I'm not much of a salesman, but arriving home and telling your girlfriend or wife, or both, you bought 100 milliBitcoins for \$80 would not impress her and make her think of you making a great investment. The story turns 180 degrees when you tell her that you bought 1000 rootBitcoins for \$80, doesn't it? Additionally there is no need to name each increase by the factor ten/hundred/thousand; nobody writes 1 gigaDollar or 1 megaDollar or 1 kiloDollar or 1 deciDollar.

Yeah, I agree that those metric prefixes don't really "sound right" when talking about money.  I was an electronics tech for twenty years, so I'm accustomed to the metric prefix terminology when discussing millivolts, kilowatts, picofarads, etc., but it just doesn't seem quite right when talking about money.  I'm not sold on "rootBitcoins", but I'll go along with whatever term most in the community go with.  I don't have an adamant opinion on it, just tossing some ideas around.

As you know, bitcoins are very different than fiat currencies and there is less of a need for metric prefixes when discussing them because bankers just create more of them before they have a chance to appreciate in value ("deflation" they like to call it).  If the dollar supply had been controlled over the last hundred years the same way the bitcoin supply will be controlled for the next hundred years, they would have been forced to redefine the currency units (similar to a 10-for-1 stock split) or something along those lines.

I see what you mean. In the old days a Coke costed maybe \$0.10 and an average workingman earned about a few hundred bucks a month. If he would spend all his income to Coke he would have a few thousand of them. Nowadays the average workingman has an income of a few thousands and a Coke costs about \$2.00. Guess what, he still can buy a few thousand of Cokes each month. Is there a need for a decimal shift in the currency? I think not.
A view in the Bitcoin-future; a bit optimistic though. Today BTC1.00 = \$800, so a Coke will cost rBTC25.00 (prefix r for square root of 100 million Satoshi). Twenty years later the same Coke will cost maybe 1000 times less in Bitcoins, because Bitcoin value has rocketed. Still no need for any decimal shifting, because we have the good old tiny little guy called Satoshi, which we can use as a prefix also. This future Coke might be rBTC0.025 = sBTC250.
We only need two prefixes; "root" and "Satoshi". My humble opinion.
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Antifragile

 January 31, 2014, 10:20:18 AM

In marketing terms those metric prefixes sound very small and evoke the suggestion of dealing with tiny little fractions. Though I'm not much of a salesman, but arriving home and telling your girlfriend or wife, or both, you bought 100 milliBitcoins for \$80 would not impress her and make her think of you making a great investment. The story turns 180 degrees when you tell her that you bought 1000 rootBitcoins for \$80, doesn't it? Additionally there is no need to name each increase by the factor ten/hundred/thousand; nobody writes 1 gigaDollar or 1 megaDollar or 1 kiloDollar or 1 deciDollar.

Yeah, I agree that those metric prefixes don't really "sound right" when talking about money.  I was an electronics tech for twenty years, so I'm accustomed to the metric prefix terminology when discussing millivolts, kilowatts, picofarads, etc., but it just doesn't seem quite right when talking about money.  I'm not sold on "rootBitcoins", but I'll go along with whatever term most in the community go with.  I don't have an adamant opinion on it, just tossing some ideas around.

As you know, bitcoins are very different than fiat currencies and there is less of a need for metric prefixes when discussing them because bankers just create more of them before they have a chance to appreciate in value ("deflation" they like to call it).  If the dollar supply had been controlled over the last hundred years the same way the bitcoin supply will be controlled for the next hundred years, they would have been forced to redefine the currency units (similar to a 10-for-1 stock split) or something along those lines.

So, as thms said (or rather discovered  ), the base unit is actually a Satoshi and not a BTC (in the code.) I've thought often of the stock split idea before.
That sounds like the easiest solution. At this point, I think following the dollar (at least until it pops and gets out of hand inflation wise), might be worth considering.
How about an adjustment during key levels when price stabilization takes place (like around now)? We could do a 1000 for 1 split and put 1 BTC close in value to a dollar.
Of course, what this would do is open the floodgates for new buyers, guaranteed.
But, does it hurt us in another sense?

Notice that America is like one of the only countries not on the Metric system yet?...

BTC = Black Swan.
BTC = Antifragile - "Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Robust is not the opposite of fragile.
thms
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 January 31, 2014, 02:44:34 PM

We could do a 1000 for 1 split and put 1 BTC close in value to a dollar.
Of course, what this would do is open the floodgates for new buyers, guaranteed.

That I agree, it's 100% confirmed that more people would buy if the decimal point is shifted to the right place

But, does it hurt us in another sense?

Notice that America is like one of the only countries not on the Metric system yet?...

I don't know why you think that, it's just about moving the decimal point, it doesn't change the number system, it would still be the decimal system. And AFAIK the US uses the decimal system for currency too.
thms
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 January 31, 2014, 02:51:05 PM

So, as thms said (or rather discovered  ), the base unit is actually a Satoshi and not a BTC (in the code.)

I'm really having trouble understanding this concept. Yes, the base unit is satoshi, fine. But the definition of 1 BTC = 100,000,000 satoshis is just set on paper then?
Legendary

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 January 31, 2014, 04:12:45 PM

Using decibits, centibit, millibit or whatever name you come up for something, is not gonna work! How will you make all software wallets, all exchanges, all people agree on a unit??? Impossible!

The only way to do this would be by changing the core and make, for example, the new bitcoin worth 0.001 of the old bitcoin. From the beginning I hear that one of the advantages of bitcoin is that it's programmable money right? So why not take advantage of that?

Technically, the satoshi is the base unit of Bitcoin.  There is no decimal point as far as the code is concerned, just an integer variable.  The clients can display that integer however you like.

That's odd, so you are saying that nowhere in the code the value of 1 bitcoin is set to 100,000,000 satoshis?

Correct.  There is nothing in the protocol or the running code that requires that the client display the unit in any particular way.  The protocol isn't even aware of the Bitcoin unit, in fact.  The clients display the units the way they do because the programmers wanted to make the mental math for humans easier.  You can shift the decimal point in your own client anytime you like, so long as it's not less than a satoshi.

"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'
Legendary

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 January 31, 2014, 04:23:47 PM

So, as thms said (or rather discovered  ), the base unit is actually a Satoshi and not a BTC (in the code.)

I'm really having trouble understanding this concept. Yes, the base unit is satoshi, fine. But the definition of 1 BTC = 100,000,000 satoshis is just set on paper then?

Not even on paper.  It's just an arbitrary unit that Satoshi decided upon early, because the value of any bitcoin unit would be so small to start with.  The transactions hold the value as a 64 bit integer, Satoshi just added a decimal in the middle of the base-10 representation of that 64 bit integer, with 32 bits to either side.  Again, that's nowhere in the code or protocol, just something Sathoshi decided upon to make the mental math easier for users.  Note, also, that means that there are a lot of unused bits to the big end of that 64 bit integer; which permit a 'flag' to be placed there in the future to denote a 'value shift' allowing sub-satoshi values to be held and transfered as well.  Like having addresses that hold normal values, and then other addresses that hold only change/dust values less than a satoshi.  So, in the future, even sub-satoshi values would be possible and easy.

"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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 January 31, 2014, 04:38:33 PM

I don't know why you think that, it's just about moving the decimal point, it doesn't change the number system, it would still be the decimal system. And AFAIK the US uses the decimal system for currency too.

For the most part, yes.  It's more than rare these days for prices to be expressed in "bits", which is one-eighth of a traditional (not a federal reserve note) dollar.  The traditional dollar was one troy ounce of silver.

"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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Antifragile

 January 31, 2014, 05:27:52 PM

We could do a 1000 for 1 split and put 1 BTC close in value to a dollar.
Of course, what this would do is open the floodgates for new buyers, guaranteed.

That I agree, it's 100% confirmed that more people would buy if the decimal point is shifted to the right place

But, does it hurt us in another sense?

Notice that America is like one of the only countries not on the Metric system yet?...

I don't know why you think that, it's just about moving the decimal point, it doesn't change the number system, it would still be the decimal system. And AFAIK the US uses the decimal system for currency too.

So, we theoretically can be the first "stock" that had a 1000 to 1 split     (And when all is said and done, a few of them).
Really, I wonder if talk might start in this area.

Regarding my "Does it hurt us in another sense. " comment,  I mean it is all about perception and I wonder what happens to the perception.
Instead of 21 million total "BTC's" in existence, we have 21 billion. Now, nothing has changed in reality, but it is another shift in terms (to the common man).
Or, does the value in a way "decrease" due to a peg of sorts (with the split) to the dollar? Again, I'm talking in the minds of people. All theoretical here. I don't know.
This game (apparently) is just as psychological as it is practical as it is actual...

And, I put a "?" there because I don't really know and am open to what others think. I wonder why more people haven't mentioned this before.
I mean what is more difficult, using terms like "mili bitcoin, micro bitcoin, etc." for mom and pop, common people, etc. or just saying "bitcoin"?
A hell of a lot easier to just do splits, (for now anyway), than come up with new terms imo. Not sure that is a long term solution though.

I really think this topic of a split needs to be looked at further.

BTC = Black Swan.
BTC = Antifragile - "Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Robust is not the opposite of fragile.
manfred
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 January 31, 2014, 06:02:14 PM

Where does this nonsense come from that the base unit is the satoshi? Its is agreed upon to stick to 8 decimal places for time being (can be changed to 6 or 10 or whatever) and its called a Satoshi.
If someone wants to be cheap i am sure he can find some crappy coin on a crappy exchange.
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