Discussion:
BIP Proposal: Utilization of bits denomination
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Jimmy Song via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-13 19:46:09 UTC
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Hey all,

I am proposing an informational BIP to standardize the term "bits". The
term has been around a while, but having some formal informational standard
helps give structure to how the term is used.

https://github.com/jimmysong/bips/blob/unit-bias/bip-unit-bias.mediawiki

Entire BIP included below (mediawiki format) for convenience.

Best,

Jimmy

----------

<pre>
BIP: ????
Title: Utilization of bits denomination
Author: Jimmy Song <***@gmail.com>
Comments-URI: https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/wiki/Comments:BIP-????
Status: Draft
Type: Informational
Created: 2017-12-12
License: BSD-2-Clause
License-Code: BSD-2
</pre>

== Abstract ==
Bits is presented here as the standard term for 100 (one hundred) satoshis
or 1/1,000,000 (one one-millionth) of a bitcoin.

== Motivation ==
The bitcoin price has grown over the years and once the price is past
$10,000 USD or so, bitcoin amounts under $10 USD start having enough
decimal places that it's difficult to tell whether the user is off by a
factor of 10 or not. Switching the denomination to "bits" makes
comprehension easier. For example, when BTC is $15,000 USD, $10.50 is a
somewhat confusing 0.00067 BTC, versus 670 bits, which is a lot clearer.

Additonally, reverse comparisons are easier as 67 bits being $1 is easier
to comprehend for most people than 0.000067 BTC being $1. Similar
comparisons can be made to other currencies: 1 yen being 0.8 bits, 1 won
being 0.07 bits and so on.

Potential benefits of utilizing "bits" include:

# Reduce user error on small bitcoin amounts.
# Reduce unit bias for users that want a "whole" bitcoin.
# Allow easier comparisons of prices for most users.
# Allow easier bi-directional comparisons to fiat currencies.
# Allows all UTXO amounts to need at most 2 decimal places, which can be
easier to handle.

== Specification ==
Definition: 1 bit = 1/1,000,000 bitcoin.
Plural of "bit" is "bits". The terms "bit" and "bits" are not proper nouns
and thus should not be capitalized unless used at the start of a sentence,
etc.

All Bitcoin-denominated items are encouraged to also show the denomination
in bits, either as the default or as an option.

== Rationale ==
As bitcoin grows in price versus fiat currencies, it's important to give
users the ability to quickly and accurately calculate prices for
transactions, savings and other economic activities. "Bits" have been used
as a denomination within the Bitcoin ecosystem for some time. The idea of
this BIP is to formalize this name. Additionally, "bits" is likely the only
other denomination that will be needed for Bitcoin as 0.01 bit = 1 satoshi,
meaning that two decimal places will be sufficient to describe any current
utxo.

Existing terms used in bitcoin such as satoshi, milli-bitcoin (mBTC) and
bitcoin (BTC) do not conflict as they operate at different orders of
magnitude.

The term micro-bitcoin (µBTC) can continue to exist in tandem with the term
"bits".

== Backwards Compatibility ==
Software such as the Bitcoin Core GUI currently use the µBTC denomination
and can continue to do so. There is no obligation to switch to "bits".

== Copyright ==
This BIP is licensed under the BSD 2-clause license.

== Credit ==
It's hard to ascertain exactly who invented the term "bits", but the term
has been around for a while and the author of this BIP does not take any
credit for inventing the term.
David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-13 21:36:07 UTC
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Post by Jimmy Song via bitcoin-dev
Hey all,
I am proposing an informational BIP to standardize the term "bits". The
term has been around a while, but having some formal informational standard
helps give structure to how the term is used.
https://github.com/jimmysong/bips/blob/unit-bias/bip-unit-bias.mediawiki
Wallets and other software is already using this term, so I think it's a
good idea to ensure its usage is normalized.

That said, I think the term is unnecessary and confusing given that
microbitcoins provides all of the same advantages and at least two
additional advantages:

- Microbitcoins is not a homonym for any other word in English (and
probably not in any other language), whereas "bit" and "bits" have
more than a dozen homonyms in English---some of which are quite common
in general currency usage, Bitcoin currency usage, or Bitcoin
technical usage.

- Microbitcoins trains users to understand SI prefixes, allowing them to
easily migrate from one prefix to the next. This will be important
when bitcoin prices rise to $10M USD[1] and the bits denomination has
the same problems the millibitcoin denomination has now, but it's also
useful in the short term when interacting with users who make very
large payments (bitcoin-scale) or very small payments
(nanobitcoin-scale).[2] Maybe a table of scale can emphasize this
point:

Wrong (IMO): Right (IMO):
--------------- --------------
BTC BTC
mBTC mBTC
bits µBTC
nBTC nBTC

[1] A rise in price to $10M doesn't require huge levels of growth---it
only requires time under the assumption that a percentage of bitcoins will
be lost every year due to wallet mishaps, failure to inherit bitcoins,
and other issues that remove bitcoins from circulation. In other words,
it's important to remember that Bitcoin is expected to become a
deflationary currency and plan accordingly.

[2] Although Bitcoin does not currently support committed
nanobitcoin-scale payments in the block chain, it can be supported in a
variety of ways by offchain systems---including (it is hypothesized)
trustless systems based on probabilistic payments.

Thanks,

-Dave
Sjors Provoost via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-14 15:52:24 UTC
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As much as I love SI standards, "trains users to understand SI prefixes, allowing them to
easily migrate from one prefix to the next" seems unrealistic. The metric system is about to
have its 220th birthday and people in the US still don't use it.

It makes sense to embrace terms that stick. "bits" as a formal-yet-informal alias for µBTC makes sense to me, unless someone can point to another term that's already commonly used.

I'm not too worried about the word bit having other meanings in common language. The word "bit coin" was introduced in the English language without a problem. A "bit" being 1 millionth of a "bit coin" doesn't seem too difficult. It will give a while new meaning to the expression "a bit expensive" :-)

Rather than nano-bitcoin, I would suggest milli bits.


It's rather unfortunate that 1 satoshi was defined as 10^-8 BTC instead of 10^-9. We could redefine satoshi to 10^-9 BTC. Then we can use kilo-satoshi instead of bits. Then the next step can be satoshi, followed by millisatoshi (you never know).

The smallest amount that can be handled by bitcoin software under this redefinition would be 10 satoshi rather than 1; mostly a matter of changing some source code comments.

The only place where I've seen the unit "satoshi" used is fee estimators. I think it's still early enough that people aren't terribly attached to the numbers shown on those sites (most people express fees in fiat terms, especially when complaining). We could switch from vbytes to weight units at the same time.

Sjors
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
Post by Jimmy Song via bitcoin-dev
Hey all,
I am proposing an informational BIP to standardize the term "bits". The
term has been around a while, but having some formal informational standard
helps give structure to how the term is used.
https://github.com/jimmysong/bips/blob/unit-bias/bip-unit-bias.mediawiki
Wallets and other software is already using this term, so I think it's a
good idea to ensure its usage is normalized.
That said, I think the term is unnecessary and confusing given that
microbitcoins provides all of the same advantages and at least two
- Microbitcoins is not a homonym for any other word in English (and
probably not in any other language), whereas "bit" and "bits" have
more than a dozen homonyms in English---some of which are quite common
in general currency usage, Bitcoin currency usage, or Bitcoin
technical usage.
- Microbitcoins trains users to understand SI prefixes, allowing them to
easily migrate from one prefix to the next. This will be important
when bitcoin prices rise to $10M USD[1] and the bits denomination has
the same problems the millibitcoin denomination has now, but it's also
useful in the short term when interacting with users who make very
large payments (bitcoin-scale) or very small payments
(nanobitcoin-scale).[2] Maybe a table of scale can emphasize this
--------------- --------------
BTC BTC
mBTC mBTC
bits µBTC
nBTC nBTC
[1] A rise in price to $10M doesn't require huge levels of growth---it
only requires time under the assumption that a percentage of bitcoins will
be lost every year due to wallet mishaps, failure to inherit bitcoins,
and other issues that remove bitcoins from circulation. In other words,
it's important to remember that Bitcoin is expected to become a
deflationary currency and plan accordingly.
[2] Although Bitcoin does not currently support committed
nanobitcoin-scale payments in the block chain, it can be supported in a
variety of ways by offchain systems---including (it is hypothesized)
trustless systems based on probabilistic payments.
Thanks,
-Dave
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bitcoin-dev mailing list
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
Marcel Jamin via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-14 08:02:44 UTC
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On 13 December 2017 at 22:36, David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
- Microbitcoins is not a homonym for any other word in English (and
probably not in any other language), whereas "bit" and "bits" have
more than a dozen homonyms in English---some of which are quite common
in general currency usage, Bitcoin currency usage, or Bitcoin
technical usage.
Reposting /u/BashCo's post on reddit here, for visibility:

---8<---------------------------------------------------------------
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
Before anyone says 'bits' are too confusing because it's a computer science term, here's a list of homonyms [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_true_homonyms] that you use every day. Homonyms are fine because our brains are able to interpret language based on context, so it's a non-argument. Also, the term 'bits' was used in reference to money long before 'bits and bytes' came along, and even before the metric system itself.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit_(money)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_colonial_real
'Bits' are superior to mBTC partly because we'll need to transition to bits eventually anyways (one transition is easier than two), but more importantly, bits have two decimal places, matching the format of dozens of other major currencies.
No other currency has 8 decimal places, or even 4 decimal places. Most of them have 2. Dollars and cents, Bits and satoshis.
If people actually want this to happen, then they need to train their own brains by switching their wallets and exchange settings to bits. The shift will probably happen eventually, although the major Bitcoin denomination probably isn't going anywhere any time soon, even if the majority of people use 'bits' as a matter of habit.
99.99 bits is currently equal to $1.63 USD.
---8<---------------------------------------------------------------
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
- Microbitcoins trains users to understand SI prefixes, allowing them to
easily migrate from one prefix to the next. This will be important
when bitcoin prices rise to $10M USD[1] and the bits denomination has
the same problems the millibitcoin denomination has now, but it's also
useful in the short term when interacting with users who make very
large payments (bitcoin-scale) or very small payments
(nanobitcoin-scale).[2] Maybe a table of scale can emphasize this
--------------- --------------
BTC BTC
mBTC mBTC
bits µBTC
nBTC nBTC
I wouldn't expect people to type out µBTC. I think the best you can
hope for here is uBTC. As for saying "microbitcoins", I can virtually
guarantee that this will be abbreviated to "microbits" and/or
eventually "bits" anyway. Bits and sats.
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
[1] A rise in price to $10M doesn't require huge levels of growth---it
only requires time under the assumption that a percentage of bitcoins will
be lost every year due to wallet mishaps, failure to inherit bitcoins,
and other issues that remove bitcoins from circulation. In other words,
it's important to remember that Bitcoin is expected to become a
deflationary currency and plan accordingly.
[2] Although Bitcoin does not currently support committed
nanobitcoin-scale payments in the block chain, it can be supported in a
variety of ways by offchain systems---including (it is hypothesized)
trustless systems based on probabilistic payments.
Thanks,
-Dave
_______________________________________________
bitcoin-dev mailing list
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
Natanael via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-14 22:01:09 UTC
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Reposting /u/BashCo's post on reddit here, for visibility:

---8<---------------------------------------------------------------
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
Before anyone says 'bits' are too confusing because it's a computer
science term, here's a list of homonyms [https://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/List_of_true_homonyms] that you use every day. Homonyms are fine
because our brains are able to interpret language based on context, so it's
a non-argument.


This ignores the fact that there exists multiple meanings of bits *within
the same context*, and that beginners likely can't tell them apart.

Feel free to try it yourself - talk about Bitcoin "bits" of a particular
value with somebody who doesn't understand Bitcoin. Then explain that the
cryptography uses 256 bit keys. I would be surprised if you could find
somebody who would not be confused by that.

Let's say a website says a song is 24 bits. Was that 24 bit audio
resolution or 24 bit price? Somebody writes about 256 bit keys, are that
their size or value?

You guys here can probably tell the difference. Can everybody...? Bits will
cause confusion, because plenty of people will not be able to tell these
apart. They will not know WHEN to apply one definition or the other.

https://www.reddit.com/r/bitcoin/comments/24m3nb/_/ch8gua7
Clark Moody via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-14 23:11:17 UTC
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An alternative to "training" users to understand SI prefixes could be to
make 100 satoshi = 1 mu, spelling out the Greek letter.

Although the Units <https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Units> page on the wiki has
been brought up to argue against naming 10,000 satoshi = 1 finney, I would
like to support this designation. It seems to be gaining some popular
support on Twitter & podcasts. So at $10,000 BTC/USD, 1 finney = $1.00. The
smallest unit of value would be 0.0001 finney = 1 satoshi. Finney has a
natural abbreviation as fin, and 100 mu = 1 finney.

The Units page also refers to "bitcent" as 0.01 BTC, but if a "bit" is 100
satoshi, then what is a "bitcent" in that context?

/bikeshed

@Natanael you're exactly right. There are already multiple uses of "bits"
within bitcoin itself.

@Sjors I don't think a redefinition of 'satoshi' is going to happen ;-)



-Clark

On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 4:01 PM, Natanael via bitcoin-dev <
Post by Marcel Jamin via bitcoin-dev
---8<---------------------------------------------------------------
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
Before anyone says 'bits' are too confusing because it's a computer
science term, here's a list of homonyms [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki
/List_of_true_homonyms] that you use every day. Homonyms are fine because
our brains are able to interpret language based on context, so it's a
non-argument.
This ignores the fact that there exists multiple meanings of bits *within
the same context*, and that beginners likely can't tell them apart.
Feel free to try it yourself - talk about Bitcoin "bits" of a particular
value with somebody who doesn't understand Bitcoin. Then explain that the
cryptography uses 256 bit keys. I would be surprised if you could find
somebody who would not be confused by that.
Let's say a website says a song is 24 bits. Was that 24 bit audio
resolution or 24 bit price? Somebody writes about 256 bit keys, are that
their size or value?
You guys here can probably tell the difference. Can everybody...? Bits
will cause confusion, because plenty of people will not be able to tell
these apart. They will not know WHEN to apply one definition or the other.
https://www.reddit.com/r/bitcoin/comments/24m3nb/_/ch8gua7
_______________________________________________
bitcoin-dev mailing list
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
Marcel Jamin via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-15 06:27:10 UTC
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I think one could make the argument that the only people who talk
about and understand 24 bit audio or 256 bit cryptography are the ones
who can tell the difference very easily.

To me, your example seems to try hard to make the case for a problem
that won't exist in reality.

Bitcoin (BTC), Millibitcoin (mBTC) and Microbitcoin (µBTC) is the
correct< approach. It's tidy, systematic and precise. But that won't
stop people from using something that's easier to deal with as I just
had to google the µ character again.

Let's also keep in mind that Coinbase has been using "bits" as the
default for over 2 years now:
https://blog.coinbase.com/bits-is-the-new-default-and-all-new-users-get-100-bits-for-free-9165f757594b

Just from a linguistic standpoint, chances are we'll end up with bits
anyway. Why fight it? We don't have a SI prefix educational mandate.

Marcel
---8<---------------------------------------------------------------
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
Before anyone says 'bits' are too confusing because it's a computer
science term, here's a list of homonyms
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_true_homonyms] that you use every
day. Homonyms are fine because our brains are able to interpret language
based on context, so it's a non-argument.
This ignores the fact that there exists multiple meanings of bits *within
the same context*, and that beginners likely can't tell them apart.
Feel free to try it yourself - talk about Bitcoin "bits" of a particular
value with somebody who doesn't understand Bitcoin. Then explain that the
cryptography uses 256 bit keys. I would be surprised if you could find
somebody who would not be confused by that.
Let's say a website says a song is 24 bits. Was that 24 bit audio resolution
or 24 bit price? Somebody writes about 256 bit keys, are that their size or
value?
You guys here can probably tell the difference. Can everybody...? Bits will
cause confusion, because plenty of people will not be able to tell these
apart. They will not know WHEN to apply one definition or the other.
https://www.reddit.com/r/bitcoin/comments/24m3nb/_/ch8gua7
Moral Agent via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-15 18:20:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Bitcoin (BTC), Millibitcoin (mBTC) and Microbitcoin (µBTC) is the >correct<
approach. It's tidy, systematic and precise.

The SI system is great, but it's nice if you pick a base unit that is easy
for intuition to comprehend.

It is a fact that I weigh approximately .000,000,000,000,000,000,000,014
Earth masses. If we arrived at rough consensus that this was a cumbersome
way to express the mass of a human, we might then find a group of people
making the superficially sensible proposal that we use SI prefixes and say
I weigh 14 yoctoearths. This would be tidy, systematic and precise, but
that might not be enough to make it the best option. It might be even
better to choose a base unit that human intuition can make sense of, and
THEN add prefixes as needed.

I dislike the name "bits" but I think 100 satoshis does make a nice base
unit. If we cannot crowdsource a more inspiring label we may be stuck with
bits just due to linguistic network effects.

-Ethan



On Fri, Dec 15, 2017 at 1:27 AM, Marcel Jamin via bitcoin-dev <
I think one could make the argument that the only people who talk
about and understand 24 bit audio or 256 bit cryptography are the ones
who can tell the difference very easily.
To me, your example seems to try hard to make the case for a problem
that won't exist in reality.
Bitcoin (BTC), Millibitcoin (mBTC) and Microbitcoin (µBTC) is the
correct< approach. It's tidy, systematic and precise. But that won't
stop people from using something that's easier to deal with as I just
had to google the µ character again.
Let's also keep in mind that Coinbase has been using "bits" as the
https://blog.coinbase.com/bits-is-the-new-default-and-
all-new-users-get-100-bits-for-free-9165f757594b
Just from a linguistic standpoint, chances are we'll end up with bits
anyway. Why fight it? We don't have a SI prefix educational mandate.
Marcel
---8<---------------------------------------------------------------
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
Before anyone says 'bits' are too confusing because it's a computer
science term, here's a list of homonyms
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_true_homonyms] that you use
every
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
day. Homonyms are fine because our brains are able to interpret language
based on context, so it's a non-argument.
This ignores the fact that there exists multiple meanings of bits *within
the same context*, and that beginners likely can't tell them apart.
Feel free to try it yourself - talk about Bitcoin "bits" of a particular
value with somebody who doesn't understand Bitcoin. Then explain that
the
cryptography uses 256 bit keys. I would be surprised if you could find
somebody who would not be confused by that.
Let's say a website says a song is 24 bits. Was that 24 bit audio
resolution
or 24 bit price? Somebody writes about 256 bit keys, are that their size
or
value?
You guys here can probably tell the difference. Can everybody...? Bits
will
cause confusion, because plenty of people will not be able to tell these
apart. They will not know WHEN to apply one definition or the other.
https://www.reddit.com/r/bitcoin/comments/24m3nb/_/ch8gua7
_______________________________________________
bitcoin-dev mailing list
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
Rhavar via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-15 18:46:45 UTC
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I don't have anything interesting to add, except that I have been using 'bits' on my site for over 3 years. It's a great unit that people quickly adapt to, and it's far more convenient. When dealing with large amounts of money, people have no problem naturally thinking in "thousand bits" or "million bits" (a bitcoin).

I would highly encourage it to be a default everywhere. Consistency is really important.

Also slightly unrelated, but the whole "sat/B" thing for fees is such a clusterfuck. Half the time it's used as "vbyte" and half the time actual bytes. Users are constantly confused because of explorers and wallet and stuff all showing it inconsistently. I would suggest there that there is a "standard" of "bits per kiloweight" (i.e. how many bits of fees to pay for a transaction that is 1000 weight)

-Ryan
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [bitcoin-dev] BIP Proposal: Utilization of bits denomination
Local Time: December 15, 2017 12:20 PM
UTC Time: December 15, 2017 6:20 PM
Bitcoin (BTC), Millibitcoin (mBTC) and Microbitcoin (µBTC) is the >correct< approach. It's tidy, systematic and precise.
The SI system is great, but it's nice if you pick a base unit that is easy for intuition to comprehend.
It is a fact that I weigh approximately .000,000,000,000,000,000,000,014 Earth masses. If we arrived at rough consensus that this was a cumbersome way to express the mass of a human, we might then find a group of people making the superficially sensible proposal that we use SI prefixes and say I weigh 14 yoctoearths. This would be tidy, systematic and precise, but that might not be enough to make it the best option. It might be even better to choose a base unit that human intuition can make sense of, and THEN add prefixes as needed.
I dislike the name "bits" but I think 100 satoshis does make a nice base unit. If we cannot crowdsource a more inspiring label we may be stuck with bits just due to linguistic network effects.
-Ethan
I think one could make the argument that the only people who talk
about and understand 24 bit audio or 256 bit cryptography are the ones
who can tell the difference very easily.
To me, your example seems to try hard to make the case for a problem
that won't exist in reality.
Bitcoin (BTC), Millibitcoin (mBTC) and Microbitcoin (µBTC) is the
correct< approach. It's tidy, systematic and precise. But that won't
stop people from using something that's easier to deal with as I just
had to google the µ character again.
Let's also keep in mind that Coinbase has been using "bits" as the
https://blog.coinbase.com/bits-is-the-new-default-and-all-new-users-get-100-bits-for-free-9165f757594b
Just from a linguistic standpoint, chances are we'll end up with bits
anyway. Why fight it? We don't have a SI prefix educational mandate.
Marcel
---8<---------------------------------------------------------------
Post by David A. Harding via bitcoin-dev
Before anyone says 'bits' are too confusing because it's a computer
science term, here's a list of homonyms
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_true_homonyms] that you use every
day. Homonyms are fine because our brains are able to interpret language
based on context, so it's a non-argument.
This ignores the fact that there exists multiple meanings of bits *within
the same context*, and that beginners likely can't tell them apart.
Feel free to try it yourself - talk about Bitcoin "bits" of a particular
value with somebody who doesn't understand Bitcoin. Then explain that the
cryptography uses 256 bit keys. I would be surprised if you could find
somebody who would not be confused by that.
Let's say a website says a song is 24 bits. Was that 24 bit audio resolution
or 24 bit price? Somebody writes about 256 bit keys, are that their size or
value?
You guys here can probably tell the difference. Can everybody...? Bits will
cause confusion, because plenty of people will not be able to tell these
apart. They will not know WHEN to apply one definition or the other.
https://www.reddit.com/r/bitcoin/comments/24m3nb/_/ch8gua7
_______________________________________________
bitcoin-dev mailing list
https://lists.linuxfoundation.org/mailman/listinfo/bitcoin-dev
Daniel McNally via bitcoin-dev
2017-12-13 23:00:02 UTC
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I think standardization of this term is a great idea. I second all of
Jimmy's points. I think the analogy of dollars & cents to bits and satoshis
is easy to grasp, particularly given that satoshis and cents are the
smallest tangible units of their respective currencies. It's a concept
that's common across cultures and countries as it also applies to pounds
and pence, pesos and centavos, etc...

To David's points, I agree that it's not ideal that bit is a homonym for
other words, but I don't think it's a terrible flaw as context will usually
make the meaning clear. I'm actually not in love with the term "bit," but
rather the idea of a non-SI term for a millionth of a bitcoin. But bit has
already caught on to some extent and I can't think of anything better.
- Microbitcoins trains users to understand SI prefixes, allowing them to easily
migrate from one prefix to the next. This will be important when bitcoin
prices rise to $10M USD[1] and the bits denomination has the same
problems the millibitcoin denomination has now, but it's also useful in
the short term when interacting with users who make very large payments
(bitcoin-scale) or very small payments (nanobitcoin-scale).[2]
I find the SI prefixes to be very user unfriendly. I have plenty of smart
friends and family who constantly confuse mega, giga, micro, nano, and so
on. Rather than try to train users, I think we should choose terms that
will be easy for them to grasp right away. Even for people fluent in SI
terms, I think some of the problems regarding unit bias still exist. 500
microbitcoins sounds diminutive and uttering it is a reminder that it's a
very small fraction of a larger unit. 500 bits sounds like you have 500 of
something, neat!

I consider "bits" to be a term that's quite future proofed. While I won't
dismiss the possibility of $10M or $100M bitcoins in the not-too-distant
future, there would still be plenty of time for a bit to be a useful
day-to-day unit. Even at the $10M point, small ticket items like coffee
could still be priced at 0.30 bits for example, not bad I'd say.

Should bitcoin ever soar past the $100M mark, it might be time for a new
term akin to bits and maybe a hard fork to allow for more decimal places on
chain. A nanobitcoin could not be transacted with today anyhow. These would
all be good problems to have.

Thanks for reading and thanks to Jimmy for taking the initiative with this
BIP.

Daniel
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