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Author Topic: Bitcoin amount limit  (Read 3647 times)
Arrow
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July 05, 2011, 01:58:11 AM
 #21

I stand corrected. But that is so far in the future as to be a non-issue. In the short term, we'll use smaller denominations. Moving the decimal would require a re-write of the client, and would likely cause a fork, as above.

Yes, it is very far off, but I wouldn't consider it an issue, but a solution.  Many people are afraid Bitcoins will become obsolete when they hit 21 million, and that people will not want to pay 0.00000015 for a drink or some such thing.  It makes it more aesthetically pleasing to move the decimal point over.
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July 05, 2011, 02:02:10 AM
 #22


It is a figure or speech. It does not mean anything. Actual implementation will be decided later. I think most people are in favor of leaving a bitcoin where it is and using a different denomination, like a microbitcoin, as the default.

A figure of speech a simile or a metaphor, or some thing not meant to be taken literally.  The way it is written is not figurative.

Yes, it's not set in stone, but it is still a possibility that is being discussed seriously.  And considering transferring "0.00000001" bitcoins would turn people away, and there is no real reason not to move the decimal place over, it will probably happen.
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July 05, 2011, 02:13:13 AM
 #23


It is a figure or speech. It does not mean anything. Actual implementation will be decided later. I think most people are in favor of leaving a bitcoin where it is and using a different denomination, like a microbitcoin, as the default.

A figure of speech a simile or a metaphor, or some thing not meant to be taken literally.  The way it is written is not figurative.

Yes, it's not set in stone, but it is still a possibility that is being discussed seriously.  And considering transferring "0.00000001" bitcoins would turn people away, and there is no real reason not to move the decimal place over, it will probably happen.

When I think of switch to a mircobitcoin or what-have-you as the default denomination, I would call it "shifting the decimal place". When I call it that, it is simply a figure of speech as bitcoins are still bitcoins.

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July 05, 2011, 02:14:48 AM
 #24

It's more of a display thing. If people don't want to pay .00000015 BTC for a drink, they can pay 15 Satoshis (That sounds about right, by the way, for an outrageously priced bar drink;) )

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July 05, 2011, 02:25:03 AM
 #25

It's more of a display thing. If people don't want to pay .00000015 BTC for a drink, they can pay 15 Satoshis (That sounds about right, by the way, for an outrageously priced bar drink;) )

I think eventually there will be a Big Mac index, where the price of a Big Mac will fluctuate between 1.5 and 1.8 Satoshis.  Smiley
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July 05, 2011, 08:47:12 AM
 #26

It's more of a display thing. If people don't want to pay .00000015 BTC for a drink, they can pay 15 Satoshis (That sounds about right, by the way, for an outrageously priced bar drink;) )

I think eventually there will be a Big Mac index, where the price of a Big Mac will fluctuate between 1.5 and 1.8 Satoshis.  Smiley

Read: Everything will be denominated in Big Macs!
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July 05, 2011, 11:42:12 AM
 #27

The FAQ says otherwise
Fixed. As others have pointed out, the reference to "shifting the decimal point" was metaphorical.
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July 05, 2011, 05:42:39 PM
 #28

One thing that bothers me about the choice of the 21M top is that if you expect the whole world population to use bitcoins, then only very few people will be able to own even 1 BTC.
It would be better to right shift the decimal point right now, rather than when/if Bitcoine becomes more mainstream.
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July 05, 2011, 06:17:20 PM
 #29

Anyone can have their client display whatever (sub) multiple of Bitcoin he wishes. The reference implementation is free software an anyone is welcome to modify it or make one from scratch. Non-programmers can hire a programmer.

Go ahead, stop crying and modify your client and distribute a patch.

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July 05, 2011, 07:39:45 PM
 #30

One thing that bothers me about the choice of the 21M top is that if you expect the whole world population to use bitcoins, then only very few people will be able to own even 1 BTC.
It would be better to right shift the decimal point right now, rather than when/if Bitcoine becomes more mainstream.

If they did that though, even though it wouldn't warrant any market change in the slightest, would probably scare a few people who didn't understand it and destabilize the market even more.

Anyone can have their client display whatever (sub) multiple of Bitcoin he wishes. The reference implementation is free software an anyone is welcome to modify it or make one from scratch. Non-programmers can hire a programmer.

Go ahead, stop crying and modify your client and distribute a patch.


It wouldn't work well unless everyone was using the same standard.
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July 05, 2011, 07:42:53 PM
 #31

I think it's safe to assume that if you're smart enough to modify your client to use a different base unit, you have the processing power to do a quick decimal conversion.

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July 06, 2011, 03:54:47 AM
 #32

Why would the code of bitcoins be so of which limits the total amount, Or what ever is causing this to be so. Would a market of bitcoins with an infinite amount of possible bitcoins not be better? Wallstreet flucuates, Yet it hold to a limitless currency. There is no pre-set limit to an currency of any country. Something my be bought for a trillion dollars, Why should something not be able to be bought for a trillion bitcoins?

Um, you want inflation to be built into the system so that something can be bought for 1trn btc? Huh

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July 06, 2011, 04:19:18 AM
 #33

Your client will reject any block chain that doesn't conform to the rules as it understands them - so a massive change in rules will simply fork the blockchain into two different chains, obviously with the most popular chain being the one people use but it's entirely plausible to end up with two distinct networks that started out as Bitcoin itself.

Regarding forking the block chain, this is interesting. Would the new chain always start at zero? could it be used as a more local version of a currency? Would it have an independent supply rate?

If you have some reference to point me to I would appreciate that!

Go to the developer forum and you'll see some guy is offering Bitcoins to developers to help him start up his own blockchain and corresponding client, and miners to help him mine the new currency (he calls it Groupcoin).  So anyone can do it, but just because you can doesn't mean they'll be worth anything.  Bitcoin is worth something because it has a large number of people on board.  People have a hard time understanding this.  I think the Groupcoin founder believes he's going to get rich and spread wealth to all the developers who help him (and some are).  But before you invest your hard-earned Bitcoins in Groupcoins, remember that Bitcoin is worth something because of the number of people who use it, not because of some secure P2P accounting system, brilliant though it may be.

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July 06, 2011, 05:39:18 AM
 #34

Why would the code of bitcoins be so of which limits the total amount, Or what ever is causing this to be so. Would a market of bitcoins with an infinite amount of possible bitcoins not be better? Wallstreet flucuates, Yet it hold to a limitless currency. There is no pre-set limit to an currency of any country. Something my be bought for a trillion dollars, Why should something not be able to be bought for a trillion bitcoins?
Bitcoins are divisible to infinity. Technically you can divide 1 Bitcoin between millions of people if they ever become worth that much.

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July 06, 2011, 09:59:43 PM
 #35

This is not a manner of a elementry school, It does not matter if it is "fair" to mine bitcoins, And receive so very many dollars from it. What matters is this limit is idiotic. There is no need for it, And it will cause the eventual demise of bitcoins, For bitcoins will become as any other currency. I must buy bitcoins in order to receive them in place of mining them, And this will discourage many. If this occurs, Bitcoins will become somewhat a stock market, You can buy bitcoins when the value drops, And sell them when it increases, Yet you cannot add to this by mining bitcoins, Thus the use decreases, And the value.
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July 06, 2011, 10:02:19 PM
 #36

Your client will reject any block chain that doesn't conform to the rules as it understands them - so a massive change in rules will simply fork the blockchain into two different chains, obviously with the most popular chain being the one people use but it's entirely plausible to end up with two distinct networks that started out as Bitcoin itself.

Regarding forking the block chain, this is interesting. Would the new chain always start at zero? could it be used as a more local version of a currency? Would it have an independent supply rate?

If you have some reference to point me to I would appreciate that!

Go to the developer forum and you'll see some guy is offering Bitcoins to developers to help him start up his own blockchain and corresponding client, and miners to help him mine the new currency (he calls it Groupcoin).  So anyone can do it, but just because you can doesn't mean they'll be worth anything.  Bitcoin is worth something because it has a large number of people on board.  People have a hard time understanding this.  I think the Groupcoin founder believes he's going to get rich and spread wealth to all the developers who help him (and some are).  But before you invest your hard-earned Bitcoins in Groupcoins, remember that Bitcoin is worth something because of the number of people who use it, not because of some secure P2P accounting system, brilliant though it may be.

This is exactly what will occur to bitcoins, Once the limit is reach the amount of users will drop, The places of which accept bitcoins will also decrease, And the value will drop.
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July 06, 2011, 10:04:57 PM
 #37

This is not a manner of a elementry school, It does not matter if it is "fair" to mine bitcoins, And receive so very many dollars from it. What matters is this limit is idiotic. There is no need for it, And it will cause the eventual demise of bitcoins, For bitcoins will become as any other currency. I must buy bitcoins in order to receive them in place of mining them, And this will discourage many. If this occurs, Bitcoins will become somewhat a stock market, You can buy bitcoins when the value drops, And sell them when it increases, Yet you cannot add to this by mining bitcoins, Thus the use decreases, And the value.

The idea is not to make a stock exchange, but a currency. People don't whine about not being able to print dollars (or pound notes), they just do a job to get some.

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DamienBlack
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July 06, 2011, 10:06:49 PM
 #38

This is not a manner of a elementry school, It does not matter if it is "fair" to mine bitcoins, And receive so very many dollars from it. What matters is this limit is idiotic. There is no need for it, And it will cause the eventual demise of bitcoins, For bitcoins will become as any other currency. I must buy bitcoins in order to receive them in place of mining them, And this will discourage many. If this occurs, Bitcoins will become somewhat a stock market, You can buy bitcoins when the value drops, And sell them when it increases, Yet you cannot add to this by mining bitcoins, Thus the use decreases, And the value.

The only reason people are getting involved is because they know that there is a limit. Who in their right mind would invest in something that will be diluted infinitely? The price of bitcoins would still be at $0.001 if there was an infinite supply. An infinite supply mean that no matter the demand, the price is going to be tiny, because there will always be more. The current price is from people speculating on future demand given a finite supply.

tl;dr -- No on would invest in bitcoin if there were an infinite amount of them. I know I wouldn't.

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July 06, 2011, 10:18:46 PM
 #39

One thing that bothers me about the choice of the 21M top is that if you expect the whole world population to use bitcoins, then only very few people will be able to own even 1 BTC.
It would be better to right shift the decimal point right now, rather than when/if Bitcoine becomes more mainstream.

If they did that though, even though it wouldn't warrant any market change in the slightest, would probably scare a few people who didn't understand it and destabilize the market even more.

Anyone can have their client display whatever (sub) multiple of Bitcoin he wishes. The reference implementation is free software an anyone is welcome to modify it or make one from scratch. Non-programmers can hire a programmer.

Go ahead, stop crying and modify your client and distribute a patch.


It wouldn't work well unless everyone was using the same standard.

How do you plan to do that?. Bitcoin is decentralized. It's naive to assume you can get clients to follow a same standard regarding the user interface. Even regarding the protocol, there will be broken implementations. You can't but invite people to use the denomination of your preference.

The only reason people are getting involved is because they know that there is a limit. Who in their right mind would invest in something that will be diluted infinitely? The price of bitcoins would still be at $0.001 if there was an infinite supply. An infinite supply mean that no matter the demand, the price is going to be tiny, because there will always be more.

The first is just your opinion (Which is fine), the later is misleading and untrue, because demand could rise with supply, bear human population growing rate in mind.

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July 06, 2011, 11:10:15 PM
 #40


The only reason people are getting involved is because they know that there is a limit. Who in their right mind would invest in something that will be diluted infinitely? The price of bitcoins would still be at $0.001 if there was an infinite supply. An infinite supply mean that no matter the demand, the price is going to be tiny, because there will always be more.

The first is just your opinion (Which is fine), the later is misleading and untrue, because demand could rise with supply, bear human population growing rate in mind.


Yes, you are right. It all depends on the growth rate vs adoption rate I suppose. I guess there could be no limit but it grows really slowly. If it grew linearly, we would almost be in the same position as now, as growth is expected to be exponential in the long term (even if also small). But still, I don't think people would look at small growth, or linear growth the same way they look at a fixed amount. Psychologically speaking, I know I am getting a permanent piece of the pie when I buy/mine bitcoins, and that is why I do it.

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