It’s time we had the option to kill the decimal.

In the coming months and years, we all expect that Bitcoin will grow a great deal in value. One of the things that I think is standing it the way of its success is something that is only talked about rarely; how ridiculously awkward it is to describe the price of a relatively inexpensive item (say $10) in terms of a decimal in Bitcoin

At current prices that $10 would be 0.00117647 BTC. Even worse that *looking* at that number is trying to verbalize it. Once Bitcoin hit $100, I think that the convention was ill-suited for everyday transactions due to it being the very definition of cumbersome to describe a price in BTC.

For years I’ve argued that if we could just move the decimal to the right 8 decimal places, we could permanently do away with the confusion of ‘Milibits” and leading zeros altogether. I’m not even going to get into the other HUGE issue of people’s reluctance to invest thousands of dollars in something only to have shavings of that something rather than (at least) a unit of that thing.

At this time Bitcoin needs an overhaul. This is what I propose:

The decimal moves 8 places to the right, right now. That’s it. The end. Now, look how nice and easy it is to work with pure Satoshi;

When buying something *very* inexpensive such as a $1 candybar, you would describe the item for sale in Kilo-Satoshi (thousands of Satoshi), or ‘kiloSat’, or ‘kSat’, or possibly even ‘kS’.

So instead of listing a $1 candy bar as 0.00012000 BTC… which is unreadable and unsayable. You would instead list the item as… ready for this? “12 kS” (Twelve kilo-Sat when spoken out loud). “Yeah, the grocery store has a sale on candy bars. Three for 30 kS”.

The system I propose works equally well for very expensive items:

At the current Bitcoin price, a brand-new, top of the line Mac-Book Pro ($2399.00) would be listed under this new convention as: 28,000 kS. A 2018 Honda Accord ($23,570)? Easy… that’s 277,000,000 kS, or when spoken: “Two-Hundred and Seventy-Seven Million Kilo-Sat”. Or if you prefer: 2.8 BTC.

Another reason this naming convention is valuable, is because relative value is introduced as well.

And should the bitcoin price rise, rise, and rise… then we will one day drop down to individual units of Satoshi in order to buy things like candy bars. Then it might be 3 candy bars for 50 Sat.

Now, I understand that this is *never* going to happen to the software itself. This proposal is for the wallets of tomorrow to include this convention as a way of simplifying and making more accessible and attractive the use of this thing we all love.

I welcome feedback.

View Reddit by davidcwilliamsView Source

86 thoughts on “It’s time we had the option to kill the decimal.

  1. jonf3n February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    The Bitcoin protocol only recognizes satoshis.

    A _bitcoin_ is just a convention used by wallets, exchanges, etc. — that unit doesn’t actually exist at the protocol level. It was a way to make the units more understandable at the beginning when exchange values were super low.

    The Lightning Network and rising exchange rates will help make satoshis become a more common unit in the future.

  2. Klutzkerfuffle February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Straight to SATs.

    Just say “10 grand” or “a million satoshis” just like we do with dollars.

    100 million satoshis

    3 thousand satoshis

    Half a million Sat

    Fifty thousand satoshis

    100 sat per mile

  3. legobis February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    If we really use Satoshi regularly, we should also consider just co-opting “$” for Satoshi.

  4. lizard450 February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I fucking like it. mBTC never really sat well with me. I have to say I really like your proposal. Maybe write a BIP?

  5. markb_uk February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    When bitcoin hits $1m 1 satoshi = 1 penny.

    I always wondered why a Satoshi was 10-8 not 10-9 but if we take the price of 1btc to be $1m it makes perfect sense. Each $1 (100 satoshis) can be split in to 100 cents.

  6. -bryden- February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    The person in charge of making that switch is you. Just start using that convention. You could also put in tickets with your wallets/exchanges for them to add a feature that allows you to toggle between displaying BTC and Satoshis.

    Fear not though, this is inevitable. It’s just a matter of time. As wallets and exchanges mature, features will be added and UX will become even more of a competitive advantage.

  7. mrchaddavis February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    There is a lot to keep an eye on in this community and it’s easy to miss things and really hard to catch up if you are new.

    This is a very old conversation, however, and it has been discussed over and over. Currently, the greatest consensus seems to be behind using the name “bits” for 100 satoshis.

    See [BIP176]( for details and rationale.

    But simply it means:

    1,000,000 bits = 1 Bitcoin

    1,000 = 1 mBTC

    Not included in the proposal is the “ƀ” symbol, which I think would work really well. It’s a Unicode 1.0 symbol, so it is pretty universally supported, and its use around the word it very limited. It is also the lower case for the “Ƀ” which has a good bit of use for Bitcoin around the community.

  8. baronofbitcoin February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Proposal: Start selling Satoshis as a pair. SAT/USD

  9. bitcoina February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    This has been discussed multiple times before, always with the same arguments i.e. “Who are you to say what we call it….”

    But, the principle makes sense, so I’m with you… Bitcoins and satoshi’s from now on…

  10. gasfjhagskd February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    LOL. What? You do realize that USD is not the currency of the entire world, right?

    Want to know what 1 BTC is worth today? It’s worth 9327039.14 South Korean Won. So now what, they move the decimal 8 places? LOL.

    The problem you’re trying to solve is not a real one. It will always exist unless Bitcoin because the local currency in which things are priced. It’s no different that having trouble telling people in New York how much a McDonald’s hamburger is when priced in Korean Won.

  11. privpub February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Ah yes, that’s why we call a $12000 dollar car a 12 kilo-dollar car.

    No, proposal denied. Bits and sats is all we need.

  12. TheSultanOfSwagger February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    It’s going to be a long time before prices are listed in BTC, if they ever even are, and that is fine. There is a difference between a price being listed in BTC and being able to pay with BTC. Luckily computers have no trouble getting the exchange rate on the fly and taking care of price conversions.

  13. broagent007 February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    How about we change it to sarcasm!

    Me: “How much BTC for that truck?”
    Seller: “A truckload!”

  14. drewkiino February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Dude it’s called sats. 0.00038288 is simply called 38k sats…

  15. NakamotoScheme February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    > At current prices that $10 would be 0.00117647 BTC.

    No matter where you put the decimal point, 0.00117647
    is as “ugly” as 1.17647 or 11.7647 or 117.647, not because the place you put the point, but because the total number of digits involved.

    As far as internet merchants set their prices in dollars and only convert them to BTC for the purposes of payment, this will be an unsolved problem.

  16. binarygold February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    SAT being the default is already happening in LN wallets.

  17. mogredd February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    are you trying to say that someone that does not understand what a millimeter is, would be intelectual capable to understand what a kilometer is?

    i dont think so. these people dont scale “food” downwards (inches) and not updwards (yard). they actually dont understand scaling at all. if something gets to “big” or to “small” they just switch the unit.

  18. moral_agent February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I like it. Almost everyone hates the term ‘bits’. ‘Satoshis’ is better branding. And why do we need to retain a decimal point anyway?

  19. Vignaroli February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    This idea goes against the current trend in valuing stock asserts. The current thinking is that everyone want to avoid stock splits to more clearly highlight growth This following Berkshire Hathaway’s lead.

    Personally I don’t think it matters as it’s touchy feely valuation… but then again the market is touchy feely.

  20. r0bald0 February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Yes! Sats, kSats, and mSats ftw

  21. moodytomatoes February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I prefer this better than ‘bits’ because it includes a reference to an original unit (satoshis).

  22. powerfunk February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    How about no

    > 0.00012000

    So 12k satoshi. You can still use satoshi price without “moving the decimal.” Preposterous

  23. coinnoob February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    This is much better than bits imo. “Bits” is absurd because no one will ever remember how many bits are in a bitcoin and it sounds dumb. Bits also has the problem of being outscaled quickly if the Bitcoin price goes where we think it will. Might as well switch to satoshis now; everyone already values their altcoins and estimates fees in satoshis. It’s very natural for bitcoin users to understand satoshis.

  24. C001844FSC February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Let’s not.

    We can do something when 1 satoshi = 1 us cent.

  25. 12ManyBeers February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    You guys are Fucking retarded. How on earth is this going to be the currency of the future if no one understands it except a few autistic individuals on Reddit

  26. Norwegianpegasus February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    The decimal thing is confusing to a lot of people but i doubt its going anywhere anytime soon.

  27. hotrod7262 February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I like the idea of making verbalizing quantities of bitcoin easier. I think it can mostly be done through education and some human readability added to wallets and exchanges.

  28. Zafriti February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Imagine exchanges were selling Satoshi’s… (You can buy 10,401 Satoshi’s for only $10.00 on Coinbase)

    Do y’all realize how many folks are out there buying penny cryptos thinking it will be the next Bitcoin?

    I know it’s anecdotal, but I’ve spoken with several people about buying Bitcoin and a lot of them say the same thing: “Bitcoin is too expensive”.

  29. hodleeznuts February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Like the post. And encourage you to start it, as another pointed out. But I’m just waiting for the day we talk in Sats only. Candy bar? 50 sats. I feel like a trillion sats.

  30. 5tu February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    +1 from me.

    We will get greater acceptance by **making Lightning network wallets use Sats**.

    (The kilo/mega sat thing will just happen organically but takes a conscious push to get people using Satoshis as the denomination)

  31. Kalin101 February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    0.00012000 as you said is just 0.12 mBTC. (Point twelve em bits ) I personally like this more.

  32. Ryan_Smyth February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    This comes up all the time. We can just use it as is and use either BTC or satoshis. It’s not very hard. It’s the same as dollars and cents.

  33. N-ve February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Please note that theoretically USD prices for BTC should exponentially increase, especially in an era of Global QE.
    So the decimal has to constantly keep moving as the years progress. In practical terms, unlike the current inflationary system, as time passes things get cheaper instead of dearer. Scale and efficiency work out the middle man and improving quality of life gradually becomes easier.

  34. alphabravoccharlie February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Instead of saying 277 million kilo Satoshi, why not 277 MS (mega satoahi) or .277 GS (giga satoshi). Using full metric would help public adoption and increase clarity.

    Edit: full not fill

  35. 45sbvad February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Couldn’t agree more!

    Decimals seem intuitive to engineers, scientists, and people who work with numbers all the time.

    I have been continuously shocked by otherwise intelligent peoples obsession with integer values.

    I had family members and friends that had $1000 or more they wanted to buy Bitcoin with; but thought it was a waste of time unless they could own a full 1.0.

    Even when I try to explain that there is no such thing as Bitcoins; just Satoshi’s ; it doesn’t seem to cause any kind of realization. People from outside Crypto simply assume it is non-divisible like stocks; or that buying smaller quantities results in large markup like buying tiny amounts of physical gold.

    This causes so much confusion that would disappear if we just use Satoshi’s.

    I have had more than my fair share of conversations about “There aren’t enough Bitcoins for all the people in the world so it can never be a real global currency”

  36. MasterInvaster February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I definitely agree. I would add that you could add in mega-satoshis too for more expensive items.

  37. skonen_blades February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Super into the idea but ‘kilo-sat’ doesn’t sit well with me as a name. But other than that, I think a system like this is going to become necessary.

  38. b_lumenkraft February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I must say,i like the idea. But i also like “a Finney” for a 10 thousandth of a bitcoin very much.

  39. Bitcoin_21 February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    bitcoin core wallet will add bits. that is a start.

  40. ztsmart February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Dude I like this!

  41. dAb74 February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Not confusing enough. I’d say let’s use the Imperial System to add some spice to the mix.

  42. JordyLakiereArt February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Yes because the dollar is the only other currency!

  43. EvanGRogers February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    The problem will solve itself when bitcoin reaches measure of value

  44. EckhartJV February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    maybe initiate an orders of power thing. Just like how scientists do it. Use prefixes m, k, g, etc. So 0.001 BTC = 1 mBTC.

  45. claytonkb February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    As noted already, just use “sat” instead of “bitcoin” – changing the definition of the bitcoin unit itself is both unnecessary and incoherent.

    If you really want to do away with decimal points completely, consider numerating balances in [p-adic]( You can represent whole numbers, negative numbers, and fractions in p-adic without the use of a decimal point or a separate sign symbol. You do need a way to represent repeating digits if you don’t want to lose precision due to truncation. For example, 1/3 in 2-adic is an infinitely repeating decimal, but it repeats leftward, not rightward as with ordinary base-10 decimals. P-adic valuation FTW, lol.

  46. ipcoffeepot February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    We have that already, it’s called a Satoshi. It’s just wallet UI convention. Feel free to fork a wallet, and change it to do everything in satoshis. If it’s better, it’ll catch on.

  47. pepe_le_shoe February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    You can already use satoshis to talk about bitcoin. Are you just saying you want more people to do that?

    They will as the price goes up.

  48. Astrofide February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I’ve always liked the idea of moving the decimal over 3 places and just calling it a “bit”.

    0.007 Bitcoin -> 7 Bits ~ $50

    **1,000 Bits = 1 Bitcoin**

    Just sounds easy and catchy.

  49. CryptoShitLord February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I do agree we should make a system where smaller transactions are easier understood (think of the older ppl for this one) that could be somewhat comparable to USD. I personally don’t see the btc number and simply use a fiat based estimation. I”ll send 10 bucks worth of bitcoin and it will look like 0.xxxxxx. What I do know is that as time passes the amount of Bitcoin needed to pay for goods and services is going down. Bitcoin does have an intense deflationary property which would hinder the proposal for decimal changes and new naming. More time is needed til it starts accelerating in value and creates a new floor around 100k because whatever is constructed now would not be fitted for future use.

  50. GethD4d February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Im choosing/hoping this is just a very intregate troll.

  51. eqleriq February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Well, in ‘murica that whole metric thing ain’t gonna fly

  52. Scrypt-N February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I was just thinking about this last night and now I see a post about it today. Whenever I talk about the price of another coin or things I usually just think about it in Satoshi value, not bits, or mbtc or whatever.

  53. Digital-Tokyo February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Bitcoin will be the most popular when people don’t realize that app they are using is using bitcoin on the back end.

    People don’t want to have to rethink value in a new currency. They just don’t. They grew up with dollars/euros/yen, and know how much candy a $20 buys, or how much takeout costs, and all these markers in their minds for their entire life.

    Selling people on BTC is way harder then just making an app that uses BTC but displays in their local currency.

  54. cryptokitten2017 February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    This could be something I would possibly agree with it since its easier on the eyes. I’m sure for certain applications if its too long it they will implement some kind of abbreviation.

  55. hellomynameisfi February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Count me in!

    1 sat = 1 ˟ 10^0 ˟ sat
    1 ksat = 1 ˟ 10^3 ˟ sat
    1 BTC = 100000 ksat (Ksat? KSat?)
    1 BTC = 100 msat (megasatoshi! 🤑)
    10 BTC = 1 gsat (GIGASATOSHI!!!😵)

    … but you are simply proposing the use of satoshis as the base unit of measure. “k” as in “kilo” is a mathematical power prefix only. Kilometer means simply 10^3 ˟ meter… so 10 kg = 10 ˟ 10^3 ˟ gram. As you can see the only unit here is the meter/gram. Kilogram is not a separate unit.

  56. constitutionranger February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I think going straight to talking about things in Satoshi’s is the way to go. It is easiest to understand, and as deflation occurs, it will remain an easy way to refer to prices.

  57. in4real February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    > I’m not even going to get into the other HUGE issue of people’s reluctance to invest thousands of dollars in something only to have shavings of that something rather than (at least) a unit of that thing.

    People who are making investment decisions based on this are unsophisticated investors anyways. Once they are entering the market it’s time to sell.

  58. sascourge February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I like this idea. Says, KSats, Megasats and Gigasats. Has the benefit of going divisions the public already knows.

  59. OrientEkspress February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    You can already use both as necessary. Choosing one is a stupid idea

  60. twotwosteele February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    💸 $BTC prices continue to rise!
    ₿1 = $14.97
    #Bitcoin $btcusd #btcusd #btc $GBTC

  61. bitbotbitbot February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I will say it it yet again. A much better solution, already used for money by one and half billion people:

    >A lakh (/læk, lɑːk/; abbreviated L; sometimes written Lac[1] or Lacs) is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand (100,000; scientific notation: 105). [2][1][3] In the Indian convention of digit grouping, it is written as 1,00,000. For example, in India 150,000 rupees becomes 1.5 lakh rupees, written as ₹1,50,000 or INR 1,50,000.

    >It is widely used both in official and other contexts in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It is often used in Indian, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan English. In Pakistan, the word lakh is used mostly in local languages rather than in English media

    And while it will technically be one lakh satoshit, in the context of bitcoin it will just be one lakh, which is 1/1000 of a bitcoin.

    Then it is possible and desirable for it to eventually be referred to as “one lakh bitcoins”, which will just be a shorthand way of saying “one lakh of the smallest unit of bitcoin”. There won’t need to be any confusion, because it’s not like anyone is using 100,000 bitcoins at a time, and if they are they will know the difference.

  62. eqleriq February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    My question is if it will ever be possible to reduce down to a common 1 and fraction of 100… like 1 dollar, 1 cent. Do all national currencies have that feature?

    In America (and anywhere else that has dollars and cents)…

    I personally forsee that 0.000001 bitcoin will become 1 bitcoin in the future. (not “bit” that’s idiotic to me).

    Because then 1 satoshi will become 1 cent, and 1btc will be 1,000,000 bitcoins. Seems the easiest to me.

  63. JcsPocket February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Just say twelve thousand satoshis man screw the kilosat…

  64. Crypto-review February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I just paid 10,000 sats to transfer my btc sounds a bit rough.

  65. VBAFM February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm


  66. kerkerker55 February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Great idea, inputs and feedbacks like this are strength of a long term of a coin.

    Thank you for taking time to write your valuable insight.

  67. lthunderfoxl February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Can somebody explain me why the MacBook Pro would be 28.000 kS but the car would be 277.000.000? Shouldn’t it be 277.000? I’m confused

  68. Harnisfechten February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    it’ll happen eventually as it gets more widespread.

  69. hesido February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Me and my friends are already used to Satoshi’s because we burn our satoshi’s on a faucet / gambling site. I’m trying to stay away for a while 😛

  70. dottot February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    mBTC and nBTC are also absolute now need to upgrade the system.

  71. Josesulaiman February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    What would the transaction fee be for a 12kS transaction for a chocolate bar with segwit? What if we have lightning network?

  72. kkiran February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I would keep it simple to kB or Kilo Bits.

    Your proposal makes so much sense and hope the wallets follow this.

  73. xtxw February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    You meant 28,000 sats or 28kS, not 28,000 kS. Also it should be 277,000,000 sats or “Two-hundred and Seventy-seven Million Sats” not 277,000,000 kS.

    “At the current Bitcoin price, a brand-new, top of the line Mac-Book Pro ($2399.00) would be listed under this new convention as: 28,000 kS. A 2018 Honda Accord ($23,570)? Easy… that’s 277,000,000 kS, or when spoken: “Two-Hundred and Seventy-Seven Million Kilo-Sat”. Or if you prefer: 2.8 BTC.”

  74. psycholioben February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    Just use bits. It’s 1200 bits per 10$. Why the fuck are you making things complicated? Just start using the terms you like. Sats bits w/e. I prefer 1724 bits 21 sats cause it feels like less of a change than if I were to say 1000 cents please

  75. ccualumni February 12, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I am not paying 10 times the value of a laptop

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