[Bitcoin-development] "bits": Unit of account

Arne Brutschy abrutschy at xylon.de
Sun Apr 20 17:42:45 UTC 2014


> While SI units are great for people well versed in them, there is a
> very good reason people aren't asking for 100 micro dollars in change.
> The average person is not going to be confident that the prefix they
> are using is the correct one, people WILL send 1000x more or less than
> intended if we go down this road, and these mistakes will happen
> frequently. Labeling should be easy enough for kindergarten kids.

Agree - but why do you propose not only a new label but also a different

Also, everybody in the metric world is used to the milli- prefix due to
meters and millimeters. It's not such a stretch to expect people to
master that; but I agree that most people would struggle with microbitcoins.

> I propose that users are offered a preference to denominate the
> Bitcoin currency in a unit called a bit. Where one bitcoin (BTC)
> equals one million bits (bits) and one bit equals 100 satoshis.

There have been many proposals for more or less arbitrary subunits. What
would be the merit of your proposal? I don't really follow the reasoning
that it's better if it's uncommon for everyone rather than just uncommon
for people not used to metric units.

Regarding the label of a "bit": I have to agree with the others that bit
is heavily overused as a unit, but I am a computer scientist, so I don't
have the "average joe's" perspective on this. I find it weird to use as
it's already in use in English - "a bit of work" etc

I don't really see the advantage of a "bit" - it is part of "bitcoin"
and it's short, but that's about it. I think we are free to pick
anything we want for a label, so why not avoid ambiguities?

See this thread for many creative ideas for labels (and another
arbitrary subunit proposal:


More information about the bitcoin-dev mailing list