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A couple of linked questions really. Firstly, let's say BTC is worth $50k US, that means to purchase your groceries might be 0.002BTC. A sandwich might be 0.0000598. Has a system already been proposed to have better units? With 1 US cent equating to 0.000002BTC could we ever have precision issues?

Secondly, with a hard limit of 21 million BTC and a world population of 8bn, we're talking each person on average could own around .0025BTC. Which at current market cap, is about $100 US. By contrast there's approx $40tn US in regular cash, about 40-60X the market cap of BTC if I didn't make a silly mistake (and depending the value the day you read this).

Doesn't this imply that for BTC to be a real-world currency, it's already large value must end up more like $2m US per coin. At which point your $2.99 sandwich is going to cost 0.000001495 and we're needing 9 decimal places for accurate accounting to the equivalent of one US cent today.

As a newcomer to this world, how does BTC plan to work around these issues to be a practical everyday currency? Is it a trivial thing, or actually a problem?

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Today 1 US dollar is 0.000027 BTC which is 2,700 Satoshi So one US cent is 27 Satoshi

When was the last time you purchased something with a total transaction value of one cent?

If Bitcoin's value increases as you say then there will be a need for a smaller unit. I think the Lightning Network can already have transactions measured in millisatoshi - a thousand times smaller.

So, It isn't a major problem.

It isn't especially unusual for the major unit of a currency to have a high value. For example the UK currency known as the pound sterling was created in the early Anglo-Saxon period one and a half millennia ago and was essentially a pound weight of silver. That represented a huge amount of money at the time, enough to buy several thousand chickens or a hundred knives at a time when ordinary people could probably afford few of either.


Related questions:

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  • I haven't purchased for 1c for a long time, but I frequently buy things where the number of cents is not a multiple of 5/10. e.g. buying gas, or things which are $0.99c. To how many decimal places is BTC stored, I'm assuming more than 9 :) edit: oh your link mentions we have 1^8 integral subdivisions
    – Mr. Boy
    Jun 1 at 14:03
  • Indeed, at the protocol level "1 BTC" doesn't exist. It is all represented as multiples of satoshis (each being equal to 0.00000001 BTC). Jun 1 at 17:12

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