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Question: Let's say the value is 1 bitcoin : 20 dollars.
People won't mind trading in fraction of coins. - 37 (69.8%)
Most people will mind it. - 16 (30.2%)
Total Voters: 53

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Author Topic: If Bitcoins catch on, will people get used to having so few?  (Read 7433 times)
spenvo
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March 07, 2011, 08:36:26 AM
 #1

Are 22mil bitcoins enough for a mainstream currency?  I know that they're divisible to eight decimal places, etc., but most people are used to adding numbers to the left of the decimal place, not the right.  I wonder how real this psychological barrier is.   (I realize that the ceiling for new minting can not be changed.)

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bitdragon
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March 07, 2011, 08:46:12 AM
 #2

Should the poll not be the other way round?
1 Bitcoin = 20USD ?
I personally have no issues having few, instead of saying point 00000001 the time will come that there will be an appropriate unit of measure with a nice easy name that will refer to that. and Apps for making payments can make it look very simple as well.

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March 07, 2011, 08:53:08 AM
 #3

I had the same thought.  If the app interface displayed the value of Bitcoins in USD, it would help its mainstream cause. @Bitdragon Thanks for pointing out the error, corrected

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March 07, 2011, 09:34:27 AM
 #4

As I've said before, the decimal place is too far to the left and should be moved.

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March 07, 2011, 10:10:30 AM
 #5

I had the same thought.  If the app interface displayed the value of Bitcoins in USD, it would help its mainstream cause. @Bitdragon Thanks

Thats the worst idea i've ever heard.

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March 07, 2011, 10:39:56 AM
 #6

I had the same thought.  If the app interface displayed the value of Bitcoins in USD, it would help its mainstream cause. @Bitdragon Thanks
USD is probably not a good idea though in my humble opinion. Better a unit of measure that relates to the one and only Bitcoin so one does not need to mention all the decimal points. There have been some discussions on other threads about this.
In USD relates to an exchange rate and eventhough the trend is clear it is subject to ups and downs. Some merchants, or at least one, like bitcoingadgets, make their prices in BTC dependent on the MTGOX rate as they probably want to ensure enough USD to pay providers who do not accept BTC yet.

I'm not that technically savy but I don't understand why more decimals cannot be used now as that would encourage usage for very small payments such as ads, verifications of identity or voting maybe?


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March 07, 2011, 10:54:55 AM
 #7

Or rather, it addresses a different issue.
Stating BTC in equivalent USD does not make it easier to display, today, the smallest unit of BTC-

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March 07, 2011, 10:55:20 AM
 #8

Moving the decimal point would probably create create too much confusion. If it could still be done I'd vote for 2 places, but it's probably better to just use a new name like Bitcent for BTC 0.01.

It's interesting that the exchange rate is now about parity with USD, which will help in adoption.
I think the inflation scheme was chosen rather arbitrarily and should have taken adoption into account.
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March 07, 2011, 11:05:21 AM
 #9

@noagendamarket Really? Worst ever?  All I'm saying is that at many sites that offer services already say something to the effect of "For x value of Bitcoins, depending on the MtGox exchange rate."  It would not be the worst thing in the world, when in 5 years assuming the 1:20 Bitcoin to USD exchange rate, you could see the value in USD displayed in an app interface.

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March 07, 2011, 12:44:50 PM
 #10

As I've said before, the decimal place is too far to the left and should be moved.

Is that technically possible? To change the protocol so that instead of 21 million BTC with 8 decimal points we could have 21 trillion BTC with 2 decimal points for example?
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March 07, 2011, 12:47:19 PM
 #11

I hope not.

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iya
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March 07, 2011, 12:57:25 PM
 #12

As I've said before, the decimal place is too far to the left and should be moved.

Is that technically possible? To change the protocol so that instead of 21 million BTC with 8 decimal points we could have 21 trillion BTC with 2 decimal points for example?

You cannot change the smallest possible unit, so it could only be 21 trillion BTC with 5 decimal places.
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March 07, 2011, 01:00:05 PM
 #13

@noagendamarket Really? Worst ever?  All I'm saying is that at many sites that offer services already say something to the effect of "For x value of Bitcoins, depending on the MtGox exchange rate."  It would not be the worst thing in the world, when in 5 years assuming the 1:20 Bitcoin to USD exchange rate, you could see the value in USD displayed in an app interface.

Showing USD would immediately alienate the rest of the world .

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March 07, 2011, 01:00:55 PM
 #14

We could just use SI - mBTC, uBTC and nBTC, where the minimum is 10nBTC.

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March 07, 2011, 01:03:08 PM
 #15

As I've said before, the decimal place is too far to the left and should be moved.

Is that technically possible? To change the protocol so that instead of 21 million BTC with 8 decimal points we could have 21 trillion BTC with 2 decimal points for example?

You cannot change the smallest possible unit, so it could only be 21 trillion BTC with 5 decimal places.

Trillion = 10^6 * Million, so it would be 8-6=2 decimal places.

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March 07, 2011, 01:08:25 PM
 #16

We could just use SI - mBTC, uBTC and nBTC, where the minimum is 10nBTC.

+1

We could shift the decimal point 2 steps to the right and use mBTC and µBTC.
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March 07, 2011, 01:22:23 PM
 #17

Can 'we' really do this, just start yanking about with the numbers like maniac Bernanke's that have lost all sense of decorum?

If 'we' can suddenly decide to just shift the decimal point around, then I will sell what small amount of bitcoins I have and use the money to purchase a bottle of Żubrówka, then to lament long into the night for what might have been.

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JohnDoe
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March 07, 2011, 01:40:34 PM
 #18

+1

We could shift the decimal point 2 steps to the right and use mBTC and µBTC.

No need to move the decimal point when using SI prefixes. People would just say 0.01 µBTC instead of 10 nBTC.

If 'we' can suddenly decide to just shift the decimal point around, then I will sell what small amount of bitcoins I have and use the money to purchase a bottle of Żubrówka, then to lament long into the night for what might have been.

What's your reasoning for quitting over this, other than being a drama queen? The amount of units would stay the same at 2.1 quadrillion.
spenvo
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March 07, 2011, 01:53:16 PM
 #19

@noagendamarket Thanks for clearing that up. I agree. There's still a need that can be addressed though

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March 07, 2011, 03:27:52 PM
 #20

Like diluting shares of a stock? multiplying all stock amounts by 10 and dividing it's value by the same amount? It could work, but only later on... I myself prefer the micro btc etc etc

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