[bitcoin-dev] BIP Proposal: Utilization of bits denomination
David A. Harding
dave at dtrt.org
Wed Dec 13 21:36:07 UTC 2017
On Wed, Dec 13, 2017 at 01:46:09PM -0600, Jimmy Song via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> 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.
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
- 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 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). Maybe a table of scale can emphasize this
Wrong (IMO): Right (IMO):
 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.
 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.
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