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Author Topic: Bitcent?  (Read 4799 times)
LMGTFY
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April 16, 2011, 08:57:53 PM
 #21


Only dividing by 1,000 is kind of arbitrary .... why not 10 or 100? Consumers are always confused anyway, it is the way of the world.
Not really, the 1000 instead of 10 or 100 is because that's precisely how we already do it. And not just in SI measurements, but in currency as well: $1k; $1,000,000; etc.

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marcus_of_augustus
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April 16, 2011, 09:20:05 PM
 #22


Only dividing by 1,000 is kind of arbitrary .... why not 10 or 100? Consumers are always confused anyway, it is the way of the world.
Not really, the 1000 instead of 10 or 100 is because that's precisely how we already do it. And not just in SI measurements, but in currency as well: $1k; $1,000,000; etc.

Except you are wrong since decimal divisions of currency have always been done in hundreds, as in centimes, cents ... the 1000's are used on the other side of the decimal point.

Don't get me wrong I like 1000's and use scientific notation as it is simpler but the consumer doesn't, today. There has never been a sufficiently deflationary currency that has required it ... maybe they will get used to milli, micro, nano and pico when their meal ticket depends upon it ... but the couch potatoes I come across get lost when they run out of fingers and toes.

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April 16, 2011, 09:43:13 PM
 #23


Only dividing by 1,000 is kind of arbitrary .... why not 10 or 100? Consumers are always confused anyway, it is the way of the world.
Not really, the 1000 instead of 10 or 100 is because that's precisely how we already do it. And not just in SI measurements, but in currency as well: $1k; $1,000,000; etc.

Except you are wrong since decimal divisions of currency have always been done in hundreds, as in centimes, cents ... the 1000's are used on the other side of the decimal point.

Don't get wrong I like 1000's and use scientific notation as it is simpler but the consumer doesn't, today. The has never been a sufficiently deflationary currency that has required it ... maybe they will get used to milli, micro, nano and pico when their meal ticket depends upon it ... but the couch potatoes I come across get lost when they run out of fingers and toes.
Indeed, the 1000s are used on the left-hand side of the decimal point - for currencies - and on both sides for other units of measurements. So it is precisely how we already do it - for SI units, and for whole currency amounts. My point is that this isn't anything new or overly confusing.

(Incidentally, there are currencies which are subdivided into 1000s. The Omani Rial springs to mind (1000 baisas) but there are/have been others).

I see why 100 is attractive - it's what we know - but it's an anomaly when dealing with anything other than the first set of decimal places. It makes sense if we divide one BTC into "cents", but if we just stick with BTC then it's an anachronism. We'd end up with something like 1,000,000.00,000,001 just to conform to a pattern that made sense in a low-inflation/deflation 19th century world. 1,000,000.000,000,01 is clear, logical and easily parsed by most humans. I'd argue that it's more couch-potato friendly than the former pattern, except in the limited set of circumstances where bitcoin amounts conform to amounts in their usual currency (e.g. for USD something like 12.34).

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marcus_of_augustus
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April 17, 2011, 11:53:59 AM
 #24

Quote
0.9 microbitcoins is much easier to pronounce and pick up on. Consumers already use this when they speak of RAM and hard disk space in megabytes and gigabytes. IT corporations teaches them similar concepts. IT corporations don't say this computer has 2,147,483,648 bytes of RAM. They say this computer has 2 gigabytes of RAM because it is way easier to communicate across to the consumer.

Your example with RAM is wrong in the sense that it is on the other side of the decimal point, kilos, megas and gigas not millis, micros and nanos .... I'm struggling to think of a common usage of terms over many orders of magnitude on the right of the decimal point ... ppm and ppb.

The easiest way out of all this is to give a name, any name, to the smallest denomination, BTC 1e-08 = 1 Satoshi, and then go up from there .... upwards in orders of magnitude is much more familiar and commonly used than downwards.

e.g;
100 million satoshis = 1 BTC
10 million sts = 0.1 BTC
1 million sts = 0.01 BTC
100 thousand sts = 0.001 BTC
10 thousand sts = 0.000 1 BTC
1 thousand sts = 0.000 01 BTC
1 hundred sts = 0.000 001 BTC
10 sts           = 0.000 000 1 BTC
1 sts            = 0.000 000 01 BTC

I bet you 100 million sts it works out something like this.

Alex Beckenham
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April 17, 2011, 11:59:09 AM
 #25

1,000,000.00,000,001 just to conform to a pattern that made sense in a low-inflation/deflation 19th century world.

1,000,000.000,000,01 is clear, logical and easily parsed by most humans.

It's an easy choice for me. 'Cents' only make sense for soon-to-be-obsolete physical coins. Even if Bitcoin never gets used and the world keeps using government-issued money, there's no reason why my bank balance shouldn't be able to show as 1000.3333333333.


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April 17, 2011, 12:30:02 PM
 #26

People seem to be asking for a convention that meets these criteria:

1. It can be scaled downwards as far as needed

2. It is based on divisions of 1000 like the SI system

3. It uses the familiarity of 100 "subcoins" per "coin".

Here's how we can do it.

For now, we use Bitcoins as the "main" unit. For convenience and familiarity, we "usually" use two decimal places (e.g. 0.15 or 2.63) which gives us a resolution of one bitcent.

If bitcoins become significantly more valuable, we can start expressing prices in milli-bitcoins (nickname "mills") and milli-bitcents (nickname "millicents"). So 0.02 bitcoins would be 20.00 mills, and 0.15 mills would be 15 millicents.

If bitcoins become even more valuable, we start expressing prices in micro-bitcoins (nickname "mikes") and micro-bitcents (nickname "satoshis"). So 0.02 mills would be 20.00 mikes, and 0.15 mikes would be 15 satoshis.

This caters for everything down to the current base unit, but if ever a finer resolution is needed we just continue the pattern: nano-bitcoins, pico-bitcoins etc.
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April 17, 2011, 12:36:08 PM
 #27

1. It can be scaled downwards as far as needed

2. It is based on divisions of 1000 like the SI system

3. It uses the familiarity of 100 "subcoins" per "coin".

My preference, and I'm not sure yet how many share this opinion, is to leave cents in the past where they belong and have something like:

1 = 1 bitcoin
0.001 = 1 millicoin
0.000001 = 1 microcoin
0.000000001 = 1 nanocoin
0.000000000001 = 1 picocoin

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April 17, 2011, 12:37:14 PM
 #28

After reading this thread, I like this idea best:

 1 milliBitcoin (mBTC, "milli") = 0.001 BTC
 1 microBitcoin (uBTC, "mike") = 0.000001 BTC
 1 satoshi = 0.01 uBTC = 0.00000001 BTC

suggestion for transition

now we use #.## BTC
next we use #.### BTC
then we use #.## mBTC
then we use #.### mBTC
then we use #.## uBTC
then we're old and soon dead

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LMGTFY
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April 17, 2011, 12:48:09 PM
 #29

1. It can be scaled downwards as far as needed

2. It is based on divisions of 1000 like the SI system

3. It uses the familiarity of 100 "subcoins" per "coin".

My preference, and I'm not sure yet how many share this opinion, is to leave cents in the past where they belong and have something like:

1 = 1 bitcoin
0.001 = 1 millicoin
0.000001 = 1 microcoin
0.000000001 = 1 nanocoin
0.000000000001 = 1 picocoin
My preference is to keep it as simple as possible, to avoid barriers to entry, and I think avoiding "cents" achieves that.

Beyond that, let users decide based on usage and custom. I daresay that there will be places - online and in meat-space - where people use "cents", because it makes sense for them to do so. I don't think we should encourage that, however, because it will serve to discourage other users, for whom "cents" is meaningless. Equally, I daresay there will be places where people never need to go below the decimal point. They'll use their own terminology, too.

Where I am (the UK) it's become customary to refer to £1000 as "a grand", or, more recently, "1K". There's nothing official about that, but they're useful, just as "buck" and "quid" are useful, even though they're completely unofficial.

Our default position should be: "there is a bitcoin, and it can be subdivided. Do your worst, people!" It's not helpful to replace that with, at the worst extreme, something like: "there is a bitcoin. One hundredth of a bitcoin is a cent, and 0.00000001 bitcoins is a satoshi and - are you writing this all down? Good! - when cents or satoshis aren't appropriate we use SI units."

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Alex Beckenham
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April 17, 2011, 01:27:01 PM
 #30

LMG makes a good point though, people from different walks of life will inevitably come up with their own nicknames anyway, even if some 'official' (on bitcoin.org?) naming convention exists.

Just like 'half a bar' means $500,000 to those who use that phrase.

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April 18, 2011, 12:26:14 AM
 #31

The good news is that Bitcoin, being an inherently online currency, does not normally require people to speak the cost of something. In most cases you will be fine just writing "BTC 1.23555293" or "BTC .0000334"  and being done with it.

However it does seem to me that it would have been better to mint 21,000,000,000,000 Bitcoins and have them divisible to two decimal points. It's much more convenient to deal with digits to the left of the decimal point. I think whoever decided to have eight decimal points did this because he/she thought earlier parity with the US dollar would be A Cool Thing, and that it was worth sacrificing long-term ease of use for near-term parity.

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June 25, 2011, 02:43:30 AM
 #32

Using new currency names would be very confusing to average consumers. There is no good reason to ask consumers to learn more new terminology than is needed. Take advantage of the fact that the well known SI prefixes are taught in public schools (math, physics, chemistry), so using them would increase comprehension.
 
1 BTC = 1,000 mBTC (millibitcoin)
1 BTC = 1,000,000 uBTC (microbitcoin)
1 BTC = 1,000,000,000 nBTC (nanobitcoin)
1 BTC = 1,000,000,000,000 pBTC (picobitcoin)
1 BTC = 1,000,000,000,000,000 fBTC (femtobitcoin)

And no higher unit than 1 BTC.

Phase out the bitcent to be consistent. Eg. not 1 bitcent, but 10 millibitcoin. It makes it much easier to do comparisons when you only divide by 1,000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SI_prefix


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June 25, 2011, 03:05:09 AM
 #33

It would have been better to have multiplied the initial value of bitcoins by 10^8 or more, so we would have no decimal places instead of .00000001. Bitcoins client software could still be re-denominated in the future so the satoshi is the new standard BTC unit. Huge integers are a better option than miniscule fractions; the populace understands billions more than it understands picos:

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June 25, 2011, 03:11:52 AM
 #34

Then we denominate our paychecks in Satoshis.

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June 25, 2011, 03:27:02 AM
 #35

Satoshi=CIA lol Just kidding!

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June 25, 2011, 03:48:20 AM
 #36

While it *is* true that the world understands the multiplicative SI prefixes (kilo, mega, etc.) better than the divisive SI prefixes (milli, micro, etc.) it is also true that the world is VERY good at coming up with nicknames - pounds, pounds sterling, sterling, British pounds, ster, stg. and quid all refer to the same thing. This discussion seems to be about what the official names of < 1 BTC units will be, but realistically it'll be a week before the "millibitcent" turns into "millie" or "mill" or some such truncated version. The community is scientifically fluent enough that the SI prefixes will see common use, what we really need to decide on once and for all is if a "millie" is going to mean 1/1000 of a full bitcoin or 1/1000 of a bitcent. I for one say we subdivide the bitcent to allow the current smallest unit (e-8) to have a "round" name. If we need to add more precision in the future, we'll just need to do so 3 decimal places at a time so that the next SI unit down can apply to the new "smallest unit"

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June 25, 2011, 04:05:15 AM
 #37

I am sure as bitcoin grows the developers are going to agree to do something along the lines of a stock split. Like for every bitcoin you have it is multiplied by 1000. So if you have 1 btc it will turn into 1000 btc. It won't affect the total value of your holdings since your holdings will still be the same value. Right now its not really an issue. Maybe we could do a 15-20x bitcoin split so btc trades around 1btc = 1usd. That would make things much more easy to transition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_split


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June 25, 2011, 04:11:20 AM
 #38

Using new currency names would be very confusing to average consumers. There is no good reason to ask consumers to learn more new terminology than is needed. Take advantage of the fact that the well known SI prefixes are taught in public schools (math, physics, chemistry), so using them would increase comprehension.
 
1 BTC = 1,000 mBTC (millibitcoin)
1 BTC = 1,000,000 uBTC (microbitcoin)
1 BTC = 1,000,000,000 nBTC (nanobitcoin)
1 BTC = 1,000,000,000,000 pBTC (picobitcoin)
1 BTC = 1,000,000,000,000,000 fBTC (femtobitcoin)

And no higher unit than 1 BTC.

Phase out the bitcent to be consistent. Eg. not 1 bitcent, but 10 millibitcoin. It makes it much easier to do comparisons when you only divide by 1,000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SI_prefix


+ 1  for sticking to the bitcoin as the unit to which the SI prefixes apply.
That other idea of millibitcents etc is awful.  Guaranteed to cause mass confusion. 0.001 BTC  is  far easier to read off as 1 mBTC than  10 millibitcents.

I don't agree that 'bitcent' should be phased out.  It's too well understood and convenient.  Just don't base other units on it!



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August 24, 2011, 02:02:04 AM
 #39

Resurrecting this thread because it seems like this may be a good time to drop the decimal point down a notch.  The problem it can address is that a "bitcent" is too large a denomination for micro-payments. I'm not sure how this would address verification if suddenly there are transactions for 0.005 BTC (currently equivalent to a nickel).

If there is a use for 0.005 BTC, I would think it would add perceived value to the currency. This might open up development for software and websites that support these micro-payments.
just my .002 BTC

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