I see that bitcoin is reaching 1000USD. If bitcoin becomes widely accepted currency, then we'll have to deal with decimal numbers like 0.00023 for onions etc. This can be cumbersome and might become a blocker for bitcoin adoption.

To overcome this problem, some people already started using mBTC (milli bitcoin) as units. But this is confusing. The better solution would be to split the bitcoins (like we do in stocks). With this approach, when BTC reaches 1000USD, we can split 1BTC into 1000BTC and it would be easy to manage the currency.

So my question is, does the bitcoin algorithm supports splitting of bitcoin?

  • The problem is that something like this could cause a hard fork.
    – user12008
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 2:37
  • what's the mBTC BTC,I want to know.
    – user12009
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 3:16
  • This is not an answer, additional questions like this should be placed in the comments section instead.
    – Scrybe
    Commented Jan 10, 2014 at 5:06

3 Answers 3


No. And that would be even more confusing. You would have to synchronize the split, and for historical prices you would need to know if they were old BTC or BTC after first split, second split etc... Just use mBTC, uBTC, satoshi, or even fractions of the smallest unit if need be.


The protocol can be changed to provide for further division of BTC.

The protocol could also be changed to provide for a one time split or reverse split by adjusting all accounts on a certain date/block.

The problem is that something like this could cause a hard fork.


The reasoning behind stock splittings is not preventing cumbersome numbers. It's because you can't sell half a stock, so if a stock costs 1000€ you can't invest just 500€. Thus, a high stock price limits the minimum investment. This is not the case for Bitcoin, because it is divisable into a thousand mBTC, a million µBTC or even 100 Million Satoshis. If this should not be enough some day, the protocol would have to be changed, which is possible although difficult.

However, the protocol obviously makes no specifications on the naming of the units. If everybody would agree to call mBTC BTC from now on, nothing would have to change. But I'm pretty sure this won't happen, because in my opinion this would be a lot more confusing than just using mBTC.

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