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, news.Bitcoin.com 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.”
Bits and Pieces
This week, the pieces of Song’s masterplan began slotting together after the developer serenaded the bitcoin community at large. He found support from Erik Voorhees, who tweeted: “I fully support the Bits standard… I’ll talk with my team about how to best start rolling it out.”
Not everyone is enamored with the idea of using bits as the default unit of bitcoin across wallets and exchanges, with some pointing out that one bit is typically what it costs to send BTC now, meaning that a single bit is essentially unspendable. Song is convinced, however, that moving to the bits standard will make the cryptocurrency more accessible to newcomers, to whom a figure such as $17,000 can seem daunting. He’s since petitioned Coinmarketcap for their help, as Song seeks groundswell support for the move to a smaller unit of bitcoin.
Do you support a move to bits as the default unit of bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
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