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Author Topic: How did “satoshi” become the name of the base unit?  (Read 1451 times)
R2D221
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January 09, 2014, 08:18:44 PM
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I'm pretty new to Bitcoin, but I know some basic things, like who Satoshi Nakamoto is (or isn't... since it's a pseudonym) and how his name was used for the base unit of Bitcoin (1×10^-8 BTC)... but why is it called like this? Did Satoshi decided this name, or others started using it in their honor? What's the history behind this?

I'm asking mainly because I've seen the recent “0.0001 BTC name poll”. Is this how the base unit was also named?

An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable.
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ribuck
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January 09, 2014, 08:49:00 PM
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I was the one who proposed the name satoshi.

On 15 November 2010, in this post, I suggested calling 0.01 BTC a "satoshi". At the time, 0.01 BTC was the smallest unit that could be displayed by the user interface in the standard client, even though the protocol supported eight decimal places.

The discussion progressed, and on 10 February 2011 I proposed naming the smallest base unit (0.00000001 BTC) either an "austrian" or a "satoshi". In retrospect it's obvious that "satoshi" was the better name.

On 18 February 2011, marcus_of_augustus posted "100 million satoshis = 1 bitcoin. Are we agreed?" to which someone responded "affirmative", and the usage caught on.

Satoshi Nakamoto referred to the base unit simply as a "coin" in his writings.
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January 09, 2014, 09:06:25 PM
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Thanks, it's interesting to know  Smiley

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January 10, 2014, 02:01:04 AM
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Great answer and interesting to know the source Smiley

And no, nothing to do with all the polls that have been running recently. They are completely meaningless. Finished today, forgotten tomorrow.
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January 10, 2014, 02:06:49 AM
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Very interesting to know this story Cheesy
empoweoqwj
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January 10, 2014, 02:48:23 AM
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I was the one who proposed the name satoshi.

On 15 November 2010, in this post, I suggested calling 0.01 BTC a "satoshi". At the time, 0.01 BTC was the smallest unit that could be displayed by the user interface in the standard client, even though the protocol supported eight decimal places.

The discussion progressed, and on 10 February 2011 I proposed naming the smallest base unit (0.00000001 BTC) either an "austrian" or a "satoshi". In retrospect it's obvious that "satoshi" was the better name.

On 18 February 2011, marcus_of_augustus posted "100 million satoshis = 1 bitcoin. Are we agreed?" to which someone responded "affirmative", and the usage caught on.

Satoshi Nakamoto referred to the base unit simply as a "coin" in his writings.

To get this right .... it wasn't even called a "bitcoin" until February 2011? i.e. the base unit "Satoshi" came first.

Please correct me if I've got this completely screwed Smiley
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January 10, 2014, 10:52:52 AM
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No, you have that wrong. Satoshi called it Bitcoin, even in his earliest writings before the software was released.  It's the smallest unit, which we now call a Satoshi, that he called a "coin".

Ah I see. Thanks for the clarification!!
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