Goodbye To Sats; Hello To Bits?

The discussion has been brewing on changing the terminology which now represents Satoshis to “Bits”;


USDcoin = 100,000,000 cents. (Let’s ignore the fact that in reality, 1 dollar = 100 cents.) Now let’s say that the USDcoin has been adopted and is used as a medium of exchange. Imagine the average person walking into a store to purchase a fridge and seeing it priced as: Fridge = 0.00030000 USDcoin or 30,000 cents.

This is totally alien and unfamiliar. So let’s banish the USDcoin moniker completely.

Instead, let’s enumerate using dollars at their actual value of 1 dollar = 100 cents.

So 30,000 cents = $300.00.

See how much more familiar and comfortable that feels?

You have the dollar symbol so you can instantly see it as dollars and you have the decimal point so you can clearly differentiate between dollars and cents.

So a USDcoin is 100,000,000 cents or $1,000,000 dollars.

Why use the USDcoin label at all? Everything can be enumerated in dollars and cents. Instead of 3 USDcoin you have $3,000,000 dollars.

Why do we impose the former methodology on new entrants to bitcoin? It’s totally alien and unfamiliar, but this is exactly what we are expecting people to adopt with bitcoin.

Bitcoin = 100,000,000 sats.

If adopted as a medium of exchange, the fridge would be priced as: fridge = 0.00030000 bitcoin or 30,000 sats.

Instead, let’s keep the bitcoin moniker for the Bitcoin network and start to use “bits” for the currency and remove the complexity.

100 sats = ₿1.00 or 1 bit.

The fridge would now be priced as: 30,000 sats = ₿300.00.

See how much more familiar and comfortable that feels? The ₿ symbol has been historically used to enumerate whole bitcoin and is highly familiar to people. I would suggest that we now adopt the ₿ symbol for bits. It’s highly unlikely anyone will confuse whole bitcoin with bits. If you see a price tag of ₿300.00 you’re not going to think it’s 300 whole bitcoin. If you want to deal in whole bitcoin, you can go back to eight decimal places, e.g., 3.09367835 BTC.

But most normal people will never need (or be in a position) to transact in whole bitcoin. If they are fortunate enough, they can transact in millions of bits. Remember 1 BTC is ₿1,000,000, so 3.09367835 BTC is ₿3,093,678.35. This is what we do with USD or GBP: we use millions of units, e.g., $1,000,000 or £1,000,000.

We need to move away from talking about the price of bitcoin in bitcoin and start talking about the bit price, just as we talk about things priced in dollars or pounds. Let’s leave the name Bitcoin for the network and let’s focus on bits.

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Master Asked on November 28, 2022 in Bitcoin.
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