The Case for Using mBTC Over BTC Denominations

The Case for Using mBTC Over BTC Denominations

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As bitcoin’s price has gained quite a bit of value over the past few months, many bitcoin proponents have been asking the community to start thinking about using mBTC denominations rather than using decimal points. People proposing this idea believe it’s the right time to start referring to bitcoin percentages below one bitcoin in this fashion, to make calculations easier and to attract new users who think one bitcoin is too expensive.

Also read: Hungary’s Central Bank and Police Create Onecoin Surveillance Group

 Using mBTC Denominations

The Case for Using mBTC Over BTC Denominations The fiat value of bitcoin is getting seemingly close to the US$2000 range as the price per BTC hit an all-time high on May 11 reaching $1890 across global exchanges. Since bitcoin’s value is growing larger a bunch of cryptocurrency enthusiasts have proposed people start using mBTC denominations. One mBTCotherwise known as a millibitcoin, is one thousandth of a whole bitcoin, or 0.001BTC. At current market prices, one mBTC is worth $1.85, and people have been bolstering the mBTC idea well before one mBTC was a dollar.

The reason people would like to use the mBTC unit measurements instead is because it’s easier for humans to innumerate and communicate smaller portions of bitcoin. Furthermore, some people just learning about bitcoin sometimes believe they have to purchase a whole coin, which is not the case as anyone can purchase bitcoins in fractions. So bitcoin proponents believe using units of mBTC to describe smaller portions would allow new users to better conceptualize that they can buy ten dollars worth or 5 mBTC. There are a few wallet services and business that use the mBTC unit denomination within their application’s interface. Wallets that use mBTC include Electrum, Blockchain, and Mycelium. 

Satoshis & Bits

Another terminology that measures smaller portions of bitcoin in units is called a “Satoshi”, named after Bitcoin’s creator. A Satoshi is the smallest fraction of bitcoin that can be recorded on the blockchain and equals one hundred-millionths of a whole bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC). The name caught on around 2010 after a lot of discussion concerning the topic came up in forums. Sometimes traders refer to one Satoshi as a “Sat” which is just an abbreviation. A “bit” is another terminology used to describe a millionth of a bitcoin.

The Case for Using mBTC Over BTC Denominations Using Satoshis and bits as a language to discuss smaller bitcoin denominations is more widely used than mBTC. A few symbols have been created to represent a Satoshi measurement, but nothing has gained widespread adoption.

Would it be Easier to Explain to New Users?

The Case for Using mBTC Over BTC Denominations Throughout the past few weeks, the topic of changing the denomination language has come up in forums a lot more than usual. On May 11, one bitcoin proponent describes why people should think about mBTC units, saying that it would be far easier to communicate to new users.  

“Many new people that ask to me about bitcoins are “scared” by the fact that to buy a bitcoin you need several thousand of euros,” explains the post.

To buy 0.05 of “something” sounds weird and little. So I think the community would greatly benefit if it switches to mBTC in exchanges and wallets. Also for shopping it would be easier to think that you are paying for a beer that costs three mBTC and not 0.003 BTC.

Others believe things are just fine the way it is and it would be too difficult for the community and industry to adopt this language. Furthermore, some believe wallets companies, exchanges, and bitcoin-based businesses should decide to use whatever they prefer. Moreover, due to the rise of miner fees, some say the proposal of mBTC units is futile as many smaller denominations of bitcoin held in wallets can’t be used and are essentially unspendable addresses.

For now changing the language of bitcoin units probably won’t happen very quickly but there are those that believe the cryptocurrency environment is still young and starting this trend now would be helpful for communication.

What do you think about promoting the use of mBTC for smaller bitcoin denominations? Let is know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Bitcoin.com, and Pixabay.


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  • gagandeep cheema

    How much percent is it safe to invest in Bitcoin ” the fastest emerging cryptocurrency” seems doubtful to every new users for investment.Moreover, to push all doubts out of the boundaries from where to start learning and grabbing information regarding “Virtual Currency” ?

    • Tom Mornini

      > How much percent is it safe to invest in Bitcoin

      That’s your call.

      > “the fastest emerging cryptocurrency” seems doubtful to every new users for investment.

      It wasn’t doubtful to me in 2013 nor others before me. It was fact every year it has had a value except 2014, when it was the worst performing currency.

      > Moreover, to push all our doubts out of the boundaries from where to start learning and grabbing information regarding “Bitcoin” ?

      Same place you learn about everything else today: Google.

      • Mary

        Actually, since 2013 Bitcoin has only increased from about $1250 to $1800 or about 45%. That’s well below most stocks on the New York Stock Exchange. in fact many of the largest companies on earth, such as Apple Computer, has increased more in value percentage wise this year alone than Bitcoin in 4 years.

    • Mary

      Invest in some of the other Crypto’s, such as Ethereum, Dash or Ripple. There is much more to gain as these are technologically superior to Bitcoin.

  • Tom Mornini

    There’s no case to be made except that made by the marketplace.

    Bitcoin is fully distributed, and doesn’t care how you think it should be.

    • Mary

      No its not, that’s an illusion. Bitcoin is controlled by a few mining pools and 2 hardware companies. Moreover, less than one percent of the bitcoin holders own more than 99% of all bitcoins in circulation. In raw power-concentration Bitcoin is one of the most centralized organizations/products on earth.

  • Milli, Micro, Nano, Pico, Kilo, Mega, Terra, Penta…Whatever floats your boat, just don’t get lost in the notation. A Bitcoin will still be a Bitcoin, a transaction still needs two addresses and more if it is going to be confirmed expeditiously, a fee will still be charged, and fractions will still return as unspent. Sweeping and HODL will still have use. And, miners, exchanges, traders, and clearinghouses will still be required to speed up confirmations. The last thing to be concerned with is an attention to a decimal understanding. I am thinking of a number between 10 x 10 to the power of 12 and 10 x 10 to the power of negative 12 and its worth and value is rising.

  • Mohamoud Hassan

    deliberating to find a way out how to use the bitcoins is good until a formula is settlled

  • 叶振东

    Those who have this idea, their IQ is only one thousandth of Bitcoin!They lost their eyes in the Bitcoin hole!

  • earonesty

    Bitcoin is the Berkshire Hathaway of cryptocurrencies