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Author Topic: A proposal: Forget about mBTC and switch directly to Satoshis  (Read 16144 times)
integrity42
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November 03, 2013, 12:31:28 AM
 #1

I'll get straight to the point.

We should move straight to Satoshi's instead of bother with mBTC.

Problems with mBTC:
- It's not small enough (1mBTC is already $1.10 in china).  This means that micropayments already need to deal with fractions of mBTC.
- The general public doesn't like to think in fractions. They would like to avoid them if possible.
- As the price rises, we'll have to switch to a lower unit all over again, introducing more confusion for the masses and newbies.
- It's psychologically confusing and ugly for new users. Nobody likes owning a fraction of anything. They'd rather own a multiple of something.
- We might all be mathematically inclined, but the masses are scared of fractions.  mBTC does not solve the fraction and decimal problem.


Advantages of switching straight to Satoshi's:

- No fractions or decimals.

- The units are easier to deal with. 1000=1Ks, 1Million= 1Ms . I can now pay the blog a micropayment of 500 Satoshis instead of 0.005 mBTC.

- Names of satoshi amounts are well known to common people. i.e.  10 million satoshis are "10 Megas" is much nicer then 10 "millibits".   Everyone is already used to calling $1000 a 'K'...  5000 satoshis could therefore be called '5 K'.  (K for kilosatoshi)

- Makes micro-payments much easier to deal with.  mBTC was supposed to get rid of the too-many-decimals problem of using BTC. Now that the price has risen so high, mBTC is sort of pointless.  Blogs who want to offer articles to read for 1/10th of a penny have to charge .005mBTC. It would be better to charge 500 S

- Psychologically, the average person doesn't want to own a fraction of something. They'd rather have 500 S instead of .005 mBTC

- We can make the switch once and be done with it.  Wallet software will have to replace mBTC with uBTC as the price rises.  Switch to satoshi's directly and get is over with.


The price will soon be high enough that we can go straight to satoshi's.  mBTC in my opinion is an exercise in futility and confusion.


EDIT: Please keep this thread ON-TOPIC.  The topic is mBTC vs Satoshis.  Arguments that Satoshi's are too big of a unit don't hold water here.  Please make another topic for that.  We're not debating what will happen in 50 years.  mBTC will be useless in the next year or two.  Satoshi is currently the smallest unit. The dev's won't be dividing satoshis for a long time (if ever). Thank you.

EDIT 2: It is a common misconception that BTC is the base unit. Infact, the base unit in the code are Satoshis.  Satoshi himself admitted that 1BTC was arbitrarily chosen, and that he could change it later if he wanted to.  Satoshis do not break the orders of magnitude. Choosing 1BTC = 100Ms breaks the orders of magnitude.

EDIT 3:
Update:  Bitcoin magazine tends to agree that decimals aren't a good idea.
http://bitcoinmagazine.com/8274/the-psychology-of-decimals/

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November 03, 2013, 12:32:47 AM
 #2

Sounds good.  What's stopping you now?

"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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November 03, 2013, 12:34:55 AM
 #3

How many Satoshis = $1

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November 03, 2013, 12:35:41 AM
 #4

the magic of bitcoin is that we have now 1btc worth more than 200 dollar. thats great.

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November 03, 2013, 12:38:35 AM
 #5

How many Satoshis = $1

500k satoshis are $1 with bitcoin at $200  Grin
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November 03, 2013, 12:44:13 AM
 #6

A satoshi is an nonsensical unit. People throw around the argument that "a satoshi is the smallest possible division of a bitcoin" without considering how temporary such a designation is. The mill ($0.001) was once the smallest subdivision of many major currencies. Now, its use has become cumbersome and the smallest subdivision has adapted to the cent ($0.01) in many cultures.

A similar fate will happen to the satoshi because it simply isn't granular enough to sustain an economy consisting of 7 billion people. Ignoring potential impacts of fractional reserve, when considering lost bitcoins, there will only ever by 2 quadrillion satoshis to work with. Even with the most equal distribution, at 285714 satoshis per person, this isn't enough for day-to-day use. Most people in the United States, for example, have over $3000.00 of cash savings, which is already more than the 285714 smallest subdivisions. This ignores businesses, which are like people in their own right, and often have even greater cash reserves.

Fact is, Bitcoin was never designed with the satoshi as the smallest subdivision in mind. Initial versions of the client showed only 2 decimal digits, though all 8 were tracked. Satoshi believed that the subdivisions will be changed as time goes on to accommodate usage patterns. Thus, there is no reason to measure prices with 0.00000001 of a bitcoin, since that measurement has only temporal significance. In a decade or so, the last languages to use 58-bit integers (JavaScript primarily) will have gained 64-bit (and likely 128-bit) integers as well. There will then be no encumbrance in subdividing the bitcoin further.

If we believe mBTC to be too large a unit, perhaps we should use nBTC. This will do everything a satoshi does without using an awkward power of 10 not commonly seen in today's society.

This argument itself is weak anyways. Humans are not averse to changing units every few years or every few decades. Allow me to give a common example: computing. Today, disk capacity is measured in TB. Not long ago, this was measured solely in GB, and before that in MB. In the not-so-distant future we will be measuring it in PB. Such rapid unit-switching has failed to even faze the consumer base; indeed, if anything, it has taught the average person something about SI prefixes. Even using different units simultaneously fails to confuse people. My RAM is 16 GB whereas my disk drive is 5 TB. The HD video takes up 5 GB but the MP3 file only 5 MB. And my word document clocks in at merely 10 kB. Am I confused? No, and rightly not.

There is no reason to believe steadily changing units as the conditions recommend will cause confusion. Indeed, this steady replacement of units need not even be mandated by a "Units Commission". Businesses and consumers will simply change units themselves as convenience dictates, and the rest will follow eventually, some earlier and some later. Countries used to worthless base units, such as Iran, may switch to μBTC quicker than Canada would. Fearful of large numbers thanks to historical inflation, Zimbabweans may choose to stick with the mBTC until the bitter end.

And the best part is that nobody will be confused.
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November 03, 2013, 12:51:28 AM
 #7

A satoshi is an nonsensical unit. People throw around the argument that "a satoshi is the smallest possible division of a bitcoin" without considering how temporary such a designation is. The mill ($0.001) was once the smallest subdivision of many major currencies. Now, its use has become cumbersome and the smallest subdivision has adapted to the cent ($0.01) in many cultures.

A similar fate will happen to the satoshi because it simply isn't granular enough to sustain an economy consisting of 7 billion people. Ignoring potential impacts of fractional reserve, when considering lost bitcoins, there will only ever by 2 quadrillion satoshis to work with. Even with the most equal distribution, at 285714 satoshis per person, this isn't enough for day-to-day use. Most people in the United States, for example, have over $3000.00 of cash savings, which is already more than the 285714 smallest subdivisions. This ignores businesses, which are like people in their own right, and often have even greater cash reserves.

Fact is, Bitcoin was never designed with the satoshi as the smallest subdivision in mind. Initial versions of the client showed only 2 decimal digits, though all 8 were tracked. Satoshi believed that the subdivisions will be changed as time goes on to accommodate usage patterns. Thus, there is no reason to measure prices with 0.00000001 of a bitcoin, since that measurement has only temporal significance. In a decade or so, the last languages to use 58-bit integers (JavaScript primarily) will have gained 64-bit (and likely 128-bit) integers as well. There will then be no encumbrance in subdividing the bitcoin further.

If we believe mBTC to be too large a unit, perhaps we should use nBTC. This will do everything a satoshi does without using an awkward power of 10 not commonly seen in today's society.

Really?  This is your argument?  That the satoshi is too large of a unit to use in daily transactions for 7 billion people?  Roughly 30K people use bitcoins sometimes, and less than 100 use them daily and exclusively.  Do you really think that bitcoins will ever be the exclusive, or even primary, unit of exchange for all the people on this planet?  I doubt it.  Yes, there can be unit divisions less than a satoshi.  So what?  How many decades before we need to even name that unit?

"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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November 03, 2013, 12:56:39 AM
 #8

Too soon to switch.

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November 03, 2013, 01:00:50 AM
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A satoshi is an nonsensical unit. People throw around the argument that "a satoshi is the smallest possible division of a bitcoin" without considering how temporary such a designation is. The mill ($0.001) was once the smallest subdivision of many major currencies. Now, its use has become cumbersome and the smallest subdivision has adapted to the cent ($0.01) in many cultures.

A similar fate will happen to the satoshi because it simply isn't granular enough to sustain an economy consisting of 7 billion people. Ignoring potential impacts of fractional reserve, when considering lost bitcoins, there will only ever by 2 quadrillion satoshis to work with. Even with the most equal distribution, at 285714 satoshis per person, this isn't enough for day-to-day use. Most people in the United States, for example, have over $3000.00 of cash savings, which is already more than the 285714 smallest subdivisions. This ignores businesses, which are like people in their own right, and often have even greater cash reserves.

Fact is, Bitcoin was never designed with the satoshi as the smallest subdivision in mind. Initial versions of the client showed only 2 decimal digits, though all 8 were tracked. Satoshi believed that the subdivisions will be changed as time goes on to accommodate usage patterns. Thus, there is no reason to measure prices with 0.00000001 of a bitcoin, since that measurement has only temporal significance. In a decade or so, the last languages to use 58-bit integers (JavaScript primarily) will have gained 64-bit (and likely 128-bit) integers as well. There will then be no encumbrance in subdividing the bitcoin further.

If we believe mBTC to be too large a unit, perhaps we should use nBTC. This will do everything a satoshi does without using an awkward power of 10 not commonly seen in today's society.

Really?  This is your argument?  That the satoshi is too large of a unit to use in daily transactions for 7 billion people?  Roughly 30K people use bitcoins sometimes, and less than 100 use them daily and exclusively.  Do you really think that bitcoins will ever be the exclusive, or even primary, unit of exchange for all the people on this planet?  I doubt it.  Yes, there can be unit divisions less than a satoshi.  So what?  How many decades before we need to even name that unit?

The satoshi is around half of the Uzbek tiyin by value. This is the lowest denomination of any government currency (which admittedly is not often used). With only the 30000 people using Bitcoin now, the satoshi is already comparable with lower denominations of government currency. If even a billion people used Bitcoin, it would make transactions in numerous countries difficult.

Also consider the transaction fee. If I were to buy a bottle of water for 10 satoshis, I certainly do not want to pay a 1 satoshi fee (that would be 10%). But there is no option to pay less. Even off-chain transaction processors are likely to charge a 1-satoshi usage fee to avoid DDOS. Once a satoshi rises too much in value, that would become an obscene fee for a microtransaction.
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November 03, 2013, 01:27:33 AM
 #10

People throw around the argument that "a satoshi is the smallest possible division of a bitcoin" without considering how temporary such a designation is. The mill ($0.001) was once the smallest subdivision of many major currencies. Now, its use has become cumbersome and the smallest subdivision has adapted to the cent ($0.01) in many cultures.


dree12, Your entire post is off-topic.  This topic is about using Satoshis instead of mBTC.

If you think satoshi's are too big, please create another topic about 'Skip satoshi's and use 0.1 Satoshi's or nB'.

Thank you.

Everyone, please keep this thread ON TOPIC... The debate is mBTC vs Satoshis.  Not whether satoshi's are too big.  Almost everyone will say that Satoshi's wont have to be divided for a very long time.  mBTC will be useless in a year or two.
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November 03, 2013, 03:29:52 AM
 #11

I got this great idea: let's denominate our BTC in whichever way is most understandable at the time.

I am glad we have resolved this, OP please lock thread.

integrity42
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November 03, 2013, 03:56:37 AM
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No. uBTC would not be the obvious unit of choice. 

The bitcoin economy wants to avoid decimals.

Satoshi would be the obvious unit of choice.
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November 03, 2013, 03:58:36 AM
 #13

I got this great idea: let's denominate our BTC in whichever way is most understandable at the time.

I am glad we have resolved this, OP please lock thread.

Satoshi is most understandable.  100Ms is equal to 1 bitcoin.  Much nicer then saying 1000 mBTC is equal to one bitcoin.

People like to have 100 Million of something rather then 1000 of something.  Psychology.
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November 03, 2013, 04:04:37 AM
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Everyone, please keep this thread ON TOPIC...
There's a feature called "self moderated threads" on this forum which might interest you.
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November 03, 2013, 04:08:32 AM
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Also consider the transaction fee. If I were to buy a bottle of water for 10 satoshis, I certainly do not want to pay a 1 satoshi fee (that would be 10%). But there is no option to pay less. Even off-chain transaction processors are likely to charge a 1-satoshi usage fee to avoid DDOS. Once a satoshi rises too much in value, that would become an obscene fee for a microtransaction.

While this is a fair point, it has zero relation to the OP proposal.

"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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November 03, 2013, 04:12:33 AM
 #16

Originally I thought we should stick to SI prefixes with bitcoin (e. g. satoshi is 10 nBtc).

But it won't be convenient to say "it costs 12 KnBtc", so now I think that if Bitcoin really becomes that expensive, we could use SI prefixes with satoshi.

If we believe mBTC to be too large a unit, perhaps we should use nBTC. This will do everything a satoshi does without using an awkward power of 10 not commonly seen in today's society.

If we use satoshi as a base unit, then the only awkward power of 10 will be used to specify bitcoin. 1 btc = 100M satoshis. Yes, it is a bit awkward, but it is quite understandable and easy to remember. And probably won't be used in everyday life anyway. And it is much better than fractions in everyday life. Fractions are really confusing.

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November 03, 2013, 04:13:21 AM
 #17

How many Satoshis = $1

500k satoshis are $1 with bitcoin at $200  Grin

Which makes Satoshis silly at this point.  Someday maybe but not now.

A mBTC is 20 cents, $1 = 5 mBTC so right now very useful for most transactions I deal with.  I have my daily spender wallet set in mBTC most of the time now.  

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November 03, 2013, 04:43:23 AM
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Satoshi's aren't worth enough yet
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November 03, 2013, 05:06:40 AM
 #19

I concur...there are way to many zeros that need to be written for 1 satoshi...so complicated!


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November 03, 2013, 05:16:42 AM
 #20

Satoshi is most understandable.  100Ms is equal to 1 bitcoin.  Much nicer then saying 1000 mBTC is equal to one bitcoin.

People like to have 100 Million of something rather then 1000 of something.  Psychology.


It's the least understandable; 100 pennies making a dollar is understandable, a hundred million satoshis making one bitcoin is overkill when bitcoin isn't worth more than 200$ a pop.  People prefer to have 8 slices of a pizza, not 8 million; the slices would be so incredibly tiny that the pie would turn to mush.  The logic doesn't follow here; when that bitcoin pie is way bigger so 100 million slices made logical sense, then we'll start using satoshis.

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