Shapeshift Throws Its Support Behind the Bits Standard for Measuring Bitcoin

Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song is on a mission to redefine the default standard for measuring bitcoin. If Song has his way, BTC will be recorded in “bits” by default, with each bit corresponding to one thousandth of a bitcoin. His Bitcoin Improvement Proposal for bits was submitted in December and this week, the plan came a step closer to reality after Shapeshift’s Erik Voorhees threw his weight behind the plan.

One Bitcoin, One Thousand Bits

The notion of rebranding bitcoin so that the cryptocurrency can be referenced in more relatable amounts is not a new one. Previous suggestions included referring to 0.001 – or one thousandth of a bitcoin – as a millibit. In an op-ed in early December, wrote:

With BTC/USD now running into five figures – seven if you include decimal points – bitcoin has become unwieldy. It’s time to consider alternative ways of measuring the cryptocurrency, especially when dealing with fractions of a coin.

A couple of weeks later, respected bitcoin developer Jimmy Song began making noises about simply using “bits” instead of millibits, a suggestion which, it was generally agreed, made more sense. Song then formalized this idea into “BIP 176: Utilization of bits denomination” and submitted it to Github.

Other developers swiftly lent their support on Github, with one writing: “I 100% agree this is absolutely needed. I spend more hours in the day explaining how bitcoin is divisible, than I really should be to MBA, and Econ major folks. They just don’t get it. They want to feel they own one whole of something. This is now very apparent with the XRP, ADA, XLM, BTS, DOGE pumps.” […]

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