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Formalize an alternative unit and ticker name for 1/1,000,000th of a Bitcoin Cash.

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Avatar for JonathanSilverblood
Written by   236
10 months ago
Topics: Bitcoin Cash

We're soon past 2020 and it has been more than a decade since the introduction of Bitcoin. In the years that have passed, we have had countless users tell us that it is difficult and frustrating to adapt to some of Bitcoins peculiarities:

  • Some believe they can't afford a whole Bitcoin

  • Many have difficulty relating to what 0.00001645 is worth

  • Payment registers and bookkeeping doesn't support Bitcoin

  • Displaying small prices takes up a lot of space (think: ₿ 0.0000507 vs $1)

All of the issues above share a common problem and represent significant friction against adoption in commerce. For people who only wants to speculate on value gains, this is not a problem, but for those who want to transition to a world where crypto is the predominant payment system and the unit of account to get a stable and globally accessible currency I believe we need to address this.

If we are to be successful, we should build our tools and services to work well in a world in which we are successful. In such a world, Bitcoin Cash will have a higher valuation, and this decimal problem will be worse than it is today.

Humans are not good at relating to small decimal numbers.

So lets break down the simplest way in which we can make this change easy and relatable. Just like we added "Cash" to Bitcoin, I suggest we add "Cash" to the Bit unit, to get Bitcash. This is already how many people, new users in particular, naturally talk about Bitcoin Cash and you can see a clear example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq_GK2ms5Ps&feature=youtu.be

Taking it one step further, if we assign the ticker XCH to the Bitcash unit we end up with something that address the problem above, while being compliant with the expectations of registers and bookkeeping applications.

I can get down and explain how and why in gritty detail, but I think the problem right now isn't that we don't have the information, but rather that we're lacking the agency to act. As such, I will instead link to a presentation by Andrew Clifford re-iterating that we have a problem here: https://youtu.be/TIQUmFH_I-4?t=307

Remember: if we don't serve our users well - we will fail to get adoption.

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Avatar for JonathanSilverblood
Written by   236
10 months ago
Topics: Bitcoin Cash
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Comments

Bitcash is a pretty good name suggestion, "backward-compatible" with the traditional bit unit but simultaneously differentiating from a bit on BTC. Also bitcash is less confusing than bit w.r.t. the programming term.

I think XCH is both compatible with and unused so far in ISO 4217, so that's looking good too.

To complete the proposal, it would be nice to also have a currency symbol (like ₿) since using the full ticker XCH everywhere can be a bit verbose.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

I'm open to suggestions for currency symbol, it would indeed be useful to have on to make presentation short and clean.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

My suggestion

U+023B : Ȼ

U+023C : ȼ

U+03FE : Ͼ

U+037C : ͼ

$ 0.01
10 months ago

"Ͼ" This is a really cool sigma. Didn't know it could be written this way. It's too bad that it's connected to sigma because it looks perfect for "Bitcash" or whatever related to BCH.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Is it a problem that it is connected to sigma?

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Just that it has a pre-existing meaning. It might make sense to co-opt it. Or perhaps come up with a back story that makes sigma meaningful as a symbol for BCH.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Hardly anyone knows that it is a sign for Sigma. It's a very alternative sign. I think that it can be adapted without any problems.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

I continue to believe this is a promising idea that needs to be explored... despite people ridiculing me for saying it.

The idea of listing XCH separately from BCH is the best of both worlds. We remain BCH but provide an alternate manner of conceiving of what we offer that fits into people's existing paradigms.

Prices may be labeled in fiat today but there is no chance of people moving away from that paradigm and towards ours if our money is not organized in a manner that fits into existing currency paradigms in people's heads, which are always whole numbers and sometimes with a couple decimals.

Taking advantage of the simple urge of new investors to buy units that are inexpensive is also a great idea. We have to meet the marketplace where it is, not expect them to come to us all on their own.

I am planning to integrate this idea into my adoption app. Definitely down to work on gaining consensus on some version of the idea.

$ 0.05
10 months ago

I agree but not only if it comes to Bitcoin. The main problem is cryptocurrency is too difficult and if it comes to paying it's impossible. I say impossible because those few in my country who do accept it are extremely expensive shoot/organizations (exception if you buy weed) and the prices are overrated.

I wouldn't know why bookkeeping is impossible but a bottleneck is if I pay the receiver can state he never received it. What if? There's no proof and that is what people want. Easy and security.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Personally, I'd say you are overthinking this.

  • wallets are valued in fiat, not in crypto for quite some time to come (probably for years to come).
  • when people start to label prices in crypto instead of fiat, this is a problem that will be solved bottom up, not top down. And the solution is going to depend highly on the actual value of the coin (i.e. how many satoshis does a bread cost).
$ 0.00
10 months ago

when people start to label prices in crypto instead of fiat

By staying with 8 decimals and difficulties to integrate into existing infrastructure you delay, if not prohibit entirely, this process.

this is a problem that will be solved bottom up

I agree, but greasing the wheels a bit and help things along could be helpful to our end-goal of getting adopted in commerce. I'm in no way advocating for a top-down dictating of a given unit. I'm hoping that we can agree on 1) this is a problem we have, 2) this is a problem worth solving and 3) solving this problem is a matter of finding a common presentation of the raw numbers in the protocol.

$ 0.01
10 months ago

I agree on part of the problem. I agree that it is important to talk to bookkeeping software makers on an approach that works well. And I agree that this likely means they store (in the books) the equivalant of micro-BCH (i.e. 2 digits after the separator).

On all that I agree.

Where I'm not sure I see any need for action is in wallets, in websites or exchanges or by the general public. (see my post above for why).

By staying with 8 decimals and difficulties to integrate into existing infrastructure you delay, if not prohibit entirely, this process.

Having 8 decimals is just one way of displaying and it gives the best user experience. Nobody wants to spend millions of 'cash'. Ten million for a meal doesn't have quite the ring to it. Even milli-bch is a worse UX for most. People will hate the chance.

And what I'm not sure about is why the ecosystem needs to take action and take the UX hit as your private display can be set to anything. And software that doesn't like more than 2 digits should just set their display accordingly.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

I think the ecosystem should take action, because taking action improves on our ability to get adopted in commerce. I don't think we need to force all wallets, exchanges etc to use one over the other, or even offer all them. I do think, however, that we should agree and formalize at least one ISO4217 compatible unit that also works in accounting software, that may use ISO4217 due to legal requirements.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

I do think, however, that we should agree and formalize at least one ISO4217 compatible unit that also works in accounting software, that may use ISO4217 due to legal requirements.

Anyone doing this work is something I would welcome and support. Doesn't have to be an "ecosystem" effort, just someone spending the time of talking to the expers in that field and iterating through it.

The words "formalize" may give people the wrong impression: this directly falls under the permissionless innovation.
But, absolutely, I'll help to make sure such a document is shared and made easy to find somehow.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Having 8 decimals is just one way of displaying and it gives the best user experience

I strongly disagree with this.

$ 0.02
10 months ago

I would support Bitcash as an informal, highly promoted unit and XCH as a formal/accounting, low-key unit. I support this idea in general of working toward the use case that we want, not just getting stuck on the use case we have (speculation).

$ 0.01
10 months ago

How is this supposed to work? Should there be a ticker XCH for the same currency as the BCH? There will be a mess. Some exchanges will list BCH, others XCH. Users will be confused. In addition, great efforts have already been made to promote the Bitcoin Cash and BCH brands. With BitCash and XCH you would have to start from scratch. Moreover, the name is similar to Bcash, which the BTC trolls use to insult Bitcoin Cash.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Users will be confused.

Who are your users and what is your target goal?

If you're a trader who wants to speculate and do trading, you're right. Is that the purpose and goal of Bitcoin Cash?

$ 0.00
10 months ago

I'm not a trader and I don't speculate, but I buy Bitcoin Cash for fiat to use. Even new users will continue to buy Bitcoin Cash for fiat for a long time. Only a few can earn Bitcoin Cash. And when there will be more and more ways to earn Bitcoin Cash, some will write you earn 0.07 BCH and others write you earn 70000 XCH? This is confusing. A new ticker is not good, but a small unit Bit (or CashBit) would be helpful.

1 BCH = 1000000 Bit (or CashBit)

The symbol for CashBit could be: ¢, ȼ or ͼ

$ 0.00
10 months ago

What does that mean? I mean the XCH thing, the sats term for BCH?

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Jonathan proposes:

1 BCH = 1000000 XCH

that means:

1 XCH = 100 Satoshis

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Oh, okay I see. That's really confusing.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

One $5 coffe with current bitcoin cash prices in...

BCH: 0.01760563 XCH: 17,605.63

If we assume a successful scenario where BCH price goes up significantly:

BCH: 0.00002857 XCH: 28.57

Which do you think is less confusing for users that want to pay in a store, 0.00002857 or 28.57?

$ 0.01
10 months ago

Oh, that's how it is. Now, I understand it and it's easier to understand. Because right now when I am confused with the amount of BCH in $ I have to go for conversion. But why the ticker is XCH? I am just curious.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

The ISO4217 standard for currency code dictates that a code must either start with letters representing the issuing country, or with an X to indicate that it's not a national currency code.

XCH is an arbitrary choice but it happens to not be in use by something else at the moment and XCH is similar to BCH.

By being ISO4217 compliant, it means you can use it in bookkeeping software and other formal infrastructure that chooses to use ISO4217 or is being forced to by regulation.

By having an ISO4217 compliant currency code, we reduce barrier to entry, reduce friction and help integrate with existing infrastructure.

$ 0.01
10 months ago

In principle there is nothing against ISO4217 code. BTC also has an ISO code XBT. It is not used and is hardly known, but it does not bother. The same can be true for Bitcoin Cash.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

BTC primary goal is not to be usable as cash and integrate into payment system. We can't do a direct comparison with BTC on this.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

I see it is based on ISO4217 regulations and X means it does not belong to any national currency. Thanks for answering my curiosity, sir.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

X means it does not belong to any national currency

The actual standard is a bit more harsh in its wording. It says that anything starting with X is not regulated by them and not recognized by them.

This is a pretty old standard that essentially says that nothing but national currencies are going to be acceptable to them (but we give you some room to play if you start with X).

$ 0.00
10 months ago

They did accept EUR though, as a transnational unit, but that kindof came as a result from successfully adding EU into another ISO list of "nations".

They also have units for Gold and Silver and some other commodities.

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Currencies starting with X are actually accepted for registration in the ISO 4217 list. ISO 4217 uses X for things that are not related to any particular country (otherwise, the code starts with the two-letter ISO 3166-1 country code). For example, precious metals have official ISO 4217 codes starting with X.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_4217#X_currencies

$ 0.00
10 months ago

Oh, they don't recognize those who started with X but in the end, if you start with X they gave some room to play? What's that? they don't recognize but they let you play?

$ 0.00
10 months ago

so if I understand correctly, 1 bitcash is equal to 0.000001 BCH and 100 sats?

what happens with "fractional" satoshis?

$ 0.00
10 months ago

You understand correctly.

Fractional satoshis may or may not come, and in particular: if we don't serve our users well we shouldn't expect to gain adoption. If we don't gain adoption, then we'll never have a pressing need for fractional satoshis.

I would love to get fractional satoshis in the future, but I feel that we're repeating a decade old pattern of building for the usecase we have (speculation, trading) rather than the usecase we seek (commerce).

It would be a nice change of pace if we could fix something as simple as agreeing on an alternative but coherent presentation for the satoshis that are in the protocol.

to be honest, I'd be fine with just using satoshis directly, and I've fine with some other X## ticker, and I don't care about the name bitcash, cash, bit, or whatnot.

I care about system integrators and developers of bookkeeping software and payment registers not implementing Bitcoin Cash due to increased cost to handle the special case of 8 decimals, invalid ticker code according to ISO standard which might be an issue they can't handle since it's in a 3rd party library downstreams and that humans make youtube videos and look puzzled while trying to explain that something cost 0.000.. something.

$ 0.01
10 months ago

I care about system integrators and developers of bookkeeping software and payment registers not implementing Bitcoin Cash due to increased cost to handle the special case of 8 decimals

yeah, this has ALWAYS been the problem with POS adoption by merchant service providers .. i'm actually shocked that companies like BitPay haven't insisted on defaulting to bits to ease this pain point

$ 0.00
10 months ago

to be honest, I'd be fine with just using satoshis directly

I'd think that practically every wallet has the standard range of visualizations. BCH/mBCH/µBCH ( bits or cash)/sats.

$ 0.00
10 months ago