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

Clark Moody clark at clarkmoody.com
Thu Dec 14 23:11:17 UTC 2017

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?


@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 ;-)


On Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 4:01 PM, Natanael via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> Reposting /u/BashCo's post on reddit here, for visibility:
> ---8<---------------------------------------------------------------
> > 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
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