[bitcoin-dev] BIP Proposal: Utilization of bits denomination

Daniel McNally therealsangaman at gmail.com
Wed Dec 13 23:00:02 UTC 2017

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

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