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Author Topic: RFC: SI- type of naming convention for BTC  (Read 4975 times)
cschmitz
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May 23, 2011, 04:20:48 AM
 #21


Changing the generation scheme to give more than 21 million coins would also be technically trivial, but the social effects would destroy the whole system.

Please dont mix this discussion about protocol etc with the initial topic at hand as its not related to it and can very easily create confusion since at first glance it sounds related to my proposal.

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May 23, 2011, 05:08:24 AM
 #22

Sorry, wasn't trying to derail.

I still just don't see that the problem, to the extent that I see a problem at all, is something that can be solved in this way.  If you are teaching a child math, and they don't understand how to divide 3 by 7, you don't tell him that 3 is really 3,000,000 frobnitzs.  Instead you show him how to use the tools that already exist (fractions and decimals).

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May 23, 2011, 07:22:15 AM
 #23

I would actually quite like us to come up with a name for the smallest possible unit, because it makes API design simpler. In BitCoinJ I called the smallest unit possible "nanocoins" and was (rightly) called on it, because that's not the right prefix to use (it makes sense to design APIs in terms of integers rather than floats).

I honestly can't say I like satoshis as the smallest unit either, but at this point I'll take anything. The alternative is just referring to money denominated in integer units as "value" which is a bit of a cop-out.
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May 23, 2011, 09:38:28 AM
 #24

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no more than 21 million will ever exist

It wouldn't hurt for Bitcoiners to stop saying this, and to start saying "No more than 21,000,000.00000000000" will ever exist.
cschmitz
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May 23, 2011, 11:37:17 AM
 #25

Sorry, wasn't trying to derail.

I still just don't see that the problem, to the extent that I see a problem at all, is something that can be solved in this way.  If you are teaching a child math, and they don't understand how to divide 3 by 7, you don't tell him that 3 is really 3,000,000 frobnitzs.  Instead you show him how to use the tools that already exist (fractions and decimals).

Yes, i know what you mean. Its not about any technical issue but bitcoin having aspects that make it unecessarily complex for "users". Hence the suggestion, without changing anything except what clients write next to the actual balance, to make it more user friendly.
I assume that regarding the major public, you can safely assume two things:
a) they want a currency that scales up like every other currency, virtual or not, out there. people rather have a HUGEPILEOFSOMETHING than a 0.002 of something, even if it is the same number under the hood of the software and in valueation
b) never underestimate the psychology of money and markets. by saying 21 million bitcoins are the max, which is true with the current logic, people implicitly percieve bitcoin as a very short lived system. people have to do research and actually take time to grasp the concept of fractions of btc to actually get rid of that "first reaction". if you make people think that there are 21 trillion or quatrillion or wherever u set the btc unit in the system, the immediate first reaction is "aint no limit i will ever get to in that system, sounds good", which is infinitely better than assuming "shit, only 21 million, who came up with that, bill gates can buy all of that lol roflcopter".

Yes, my suggestion caters to the coding unsawvy and mathematically not so talented. which is 95%+ of the internet. If bitcoin wants to be widespread it has to change the "parts interfereing with endusers" to a system that makes them feel fuzzy, at home and rich. Giving that CPU miner 0,03 BTC sounds so awful to him, giving him 0,03 MEGA of something makes him feel "well its mega, so 0,03 is a nice piece of the pie".

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May 23, 2011, 11:52:21 AM
 #26

The public will be fine with "millibitcoins" as an accepted unit, regardless of the fact that one bitcoin=1BTC. Providing we follow SI the other way, without moving anything, it'll be fine. Compare the relative size of the litre to the gram: it just doesn't matter so long as we are consistent.
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May 23, 2011, 01:32:34 PM
 #27

Giving that CPU miner 0,03 BTC sounds so awful to him, giving him 0,03 MEGA of something makes him feel "well its mega, so 0,03 is a nice piece of the pie".

Can't this be solved by just changing the default display units in the client for example, to mBTC (or later uBTC)? Then instead of 0.010 BTC you have 10 mBTC or 10000 uBTC. Looks much bigger. Smiley

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May 23, 2011, 01:39:50 PM
 #28

Giving that CPU miner 0,03 BTC sounds so awful to him, giving him 0,03 MEGA of something makes him feel "well its mega, so 0,03 is a nice piece of the pie".
That's a BAD thing. If 0.03 BTC discourages CPU mining, great! It should be discourage.

P.S. note that commas are for deliminating thousands, not a decimal point

brocktice
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May 23, 2011, 01:41:10 PM
 #29

P.S. note that commas are for deliminating thousands, not a decimal point

Actually in many parts of the world it is the opposite. I think we all understand each other here, hm? 0,03 cannot be 0 thousand and thirty, right?

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May 23, 2011, 05:32:41 PM
 #30

I think you're naming in the wrong direction.  Should the rate of acceptance or exchange grow from here to respectible levels (10,000 dollars per coin or 30% of the world population using BTC), you don't need to worry about what you'll call 1 million BTC.  It will simply be 1 million BTC.  We don't say megadollars.

You'd need to figure out how to name 0.001BTC all the way down to 0.000001BTC.
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May 23, 2011, 06:51:25 PM
 #31

P.S. note that commas are for deliminating thousands, not a decimal point

Actually in many parts of the world it is the opposite. I think we all understand each other here, hm? 0,03 cannot be 0 thousand and thirty, right?
At least the original client intentionally forces a proper decimal point regardless of locale settings. I agree that removing the ambiguity is a good thing.

cschmitz
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May 25, 2011, 12:44:34 PM
 #32

I think you're naming in the wrong direction.  Should the rate of acceptance or exchange grow from here to respectible levels (10,000 dollars per coin or 30% of the world population using BTC), you don't need to worry about what you'll call 1 million BTC.  It will simply be 1 million BTC.  We don't say megadollars.

You'd need to figure out how to name 0.001BTC all the way down to 0.000001BTC.

Well, please reread the RFC, it is about avoiding naming endless fractions but instead change the commonly used name for unit x in the unchanged numerical system.

Today, technology review posted a very good article on Bitcoins titled "What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters" yet they again we see the 21m issue:
Quote
Nakamoto's rules specify that the amount of bitcoins in circulation will grow at an ever-decreasing rate toward a maximum of 21 million. Currently there are just over 6 million; in 2030, there will be over 20 million bitcoins.

No matter how much coders and technocrats argue that the bitcoin is divisible, which was never questioned, the issue will not go away. "Average Joe" users dont like and dont want something that is divisible 1m times. they want 100 or max 1k, like tehy are used to.

Link to the article: http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/37619/?a=f

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tymothy
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May 27, 2011, 07:33:56 PM
 #33

I think you're naming in the wrong direction.  Should the rate of acceptance or exchange grow from here to respectible levels (10,000 dollars per coin or 30% of the world population using BTC), you don't need to worry about what you'll call 1 million BTC.  It will simply be 1 million BTC.  We don't say megadollars.

You'd need to figure out how to name 0.001BTC all the way down to 0.000001BTC.

Well, please reread the RFC, it is about avoiding naming endless fractions but instead change the commonly used name for unit x in the unchanged numerical system.

Today, technology review posted a very good article on Bitcoins titled "What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters" yet they again we see the 21m issue:
Quote
Nakamoto's rules specify that the amount of bitcoins in circulation will grow at an ever-decreasing rate toward a maximum of 21 million. Currently there are just over 6 million; in 2030, there will be over 20 million bitcoins.

No matter how much coders and technocrats argue that the bitcoin is divisible, which was never questioned, the issue will not go away. "Average Joe" users dont like and dont want something that is divisible 1m times. they want 100 or max 1k, like tehy are used to.

Link to the article: http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/37619/?a=f

I agree. The Average Joe is pretty stupid and we want mainstream acceptance. There's no currency in the world that has the purchasing power of the bitcoin as far as I know- people simply aren't used to a single unit of a currency being worth $7-10 and the value could cause people to reject it as being "too much" or "overvalued". Also you're probably greatly overestimating the math skills of the general public and people's ability to understand decimals, it's sad but true. If you want bitcoin to be universally used and accepted, everyone, including those below average, needs to be able to grasp its value.  I don't think this is extremely pressing at the moment, but if it gets to the point that a single bitcoin becomes such a valuable unit that 95% of all commercial transactions involve sums of less than a bitcoin, a switch of naming should be considered.
cschmitz
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June 08, 2011, 03:32:03 AM
 #34

For those interested in the discussion, this vote might be interesting as follow up http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=13144.0

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