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If I have 36,235.97 BTC, would I shorten that by writing that I have 36.2k BTC or would I write 36.2 kBTC?

It seems that latter is proper for SI units, while the former is used more often for money, at least in the U.S.

  • You could always use tonal Bitcoins;) – ThePiachu Jun 26 '12 at 16:10
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    This is a very interesting question, but it's probably the quirkiest and least useful of a legitimate question I've seen in a long time! ;) – ThePiachu Jun 26 '12 at 16:15
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    If I had 36,235,97 BTC I wouldn't tell anyone. If anyone asks I'ld say that I have 98.76 bitcoins but even then most of them are in cold storage so don't even try. – Stephen Gornick Jun 26 '12 at 22:41
  • I had some fun writing this guide to denominations a while back. – Gary Rowe Jun 27 '12 at 14:14
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I would write 36.2K BTC.

On the other hand, if I had 0.0362 BTC, I would write 36.2 mBTC.

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    @Lohoris: Are you the one who downvoted me? For mentioning mBTC, the accepted abbreviation for millibitcoin which should become more standard as BTC price increases? (Which is also used by bitcoin-qt by the way) – Meni Rosenfeld Jun 26 '12 at 17:14
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    In other words you've downvoted a correct answer because you don't like the facts mentioned in it. – Meni Rosenfeld Jun 26 '12 at 17:21
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    mBTC ftw. :) also, 3.62 bitcents (aka cBTC :) ) works. – nanotube Jun 26 '12 at 17:48
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    Given that the community have agreed on an answer to this, I'm upvoting. SI units FTW. – Gary Rowe Jun 27 '12 at 14:16
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    The common people will use what everyone else is using. Which means that if we establish a convention of SI, everyone will use SI. That doesn't preclude the possibility of a shortened name or fancy symbol though. – Meni Rosenfeld Jun 28 '12 at 11:27
3

Definitely 36.2k BTC.

As you noticed, it's what is most used for money anyway.

And, for the record, I'd never short lesser units as @Meni suggested, because it would only cause confusion: it's not a SI unit we are talking about, it's money, and money uses different conventions.

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    Then what, in your opinion, is the convention for writing 0.0000063 BTC? – Meni Rosenfeld Jun 26 '12 at 17:16
  • @MeniRosenfeld 6.3u BTC? Unless you can use a mu letter. – ThePiachu Jun 26 '12 at 18:01
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    @ThePiachu: That's what I think (though probably should be 6.3 uBTC). I'm challenging Lohoris' reluctance to use small SI prefixes. – Meni Rosenfeld Jun 26 '12 at 18:06
  • 0.0000063 BTC, until they are valued enough it will be commonplace to exchange such amounts. – o0'. Jun 27 '12 at 8:50
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As BTC is written on the right side of the amount, it suggests being more like a science quantity, rather than a currency, which usually have their signs on the left side. So I'd argue that if you want to write 36,235.97 BTC, you should do it like 36.2 kBTC, but if you wanted to write BTC36,235.97, you'd write BTC36.2k. I haven't seen the latter version used, so probably the first one would be preferred, but then again, nobody would notice anyway...

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    Not a valid comparison. BTC is supposed to be a currency code like USD, not a currency symbol. AFAIK people say "100 USD", not "USD100". – Meni Rosenfeld Jun 26 '12 at 16:31
  • I googled "usd100": About 1,680,000 results, and then "100usd": About 1,520,000 results – Highly Irregular Jun 27 '12 at 4:01
  • @HighlyIrregular: Interesting. – Meni Rosenfeld Jun 27 '12 at 4:33
  • @HighlyIrregular: Oh, but "100 USD" (with space, exact) gives 14,900,000 results. And you do know the number of results is mostly made up (or a very wild guess at best), right? – Meni Rosenfeld Jun 27 '12 at 4:39
  • @MeniRosenfeld I wasn't claiming it was reliable, but there's obviously a lot of variation out there in notation (and for what it's worth "100 USD" gives me a bit over 5m results, rather than 14m!) – Highly Irregular Jun 27 '12 at 5:02

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