How Many Satoshis Are in a Bitcoin?
Table of Contents
- One bitcoin is divisible into 100 million satoshis.
- Satoshis give Bitcoin great divisibility and flexibility.
- Layers on top of Bitcoin can further subdivide satoshis, giving Bitcoin potentially infinite divisibility.
What Is a Satoshi?
A satoshi is the atomic unit of bitcoin; each bitcoin is divisible into 100,000,000 satoshis, which are often abbreviated to sat(s). The satoshi is named in honor of Bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto.
On the Bitcoin blockchain and in its source code, all amounts of bitcoin are denominated in satoshis. These amounts are only converted to bitcoin for familiarity and readability.
The existence of satoshis gives Bitcoin great divisibility: while a single bitcoin is currently worth thousands of US dollars, a satoshi is worth fractions of a penny. This gives Bitcoin greater flexibility than traditional currencies, and allows individuals to make extremely small transactions called microtransactions.
Early in Bitcoin’s history, Bitcoin’s cheapness and low transaction fees allowed it to be used for high-frequency, small-value transactions. Several online gambling websites were quick to adopt Bitcoin.
With Bitcoin’s meteoric price appreciation over the last decade and the accompanying rise in transaction fees, such use cases have been largely abandoned. However, secondary layers such as the Lightning Network and the Liquid Network have also been built, enabling faster, cheaper Bitcoin transactions.
Usage of Satoshis
Since the Bitcoin price is still below $1 million, a satoshi is still worth less than a cent. Therefore, many Bitcoin users have found it easier to denote prices of goods in Bitcoin. However, denominating prices in satoshis has gained popularity in recent years as the price of Bitcoin has increased.
In a few instances, especially in the case of micropayments, satoshis are the standard unit of measurement. For example, almost all wallets and block explorers display transaction fee rates in terms of satoshis per vByte. As the price of Bitcoin continues to rise, satoshis may well become the standard unit for many or all Bitcoin prices.
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