Bitcoin has a units problem. Several, actually:
- Let’s say you could buy lunch for $6 USD. At a recent exchange rate ($620/BTC), that’s 0.0097 Bitcoin. No merchant wants to say, “that’ll be point-oh-oh-nine-seven Bitcoin, please.”
- People aren’t handy with small fractions, or values with a bunch of zeros between the decimal-point and the first significant digit. Such values are unlike tangible countable numbers, and harder to mentally tally and compare.
- In the realm of money, it’s rare to use more than two digits after the decimal — hundredths of the common unit (‘cents’). And when you do, there’s an implication of trifling value that may be disregarded for simplicity. Which leads to…
- People just starting out in Bitcoin get a subconscious impression, because of nominal quantities, that they’re giving up something substantial (e.g., $40) for something trifling (0.065 Bitcoin). Or, they feel that Bitcoin is only worth the fuss of trying if substantial-seeming “whole units” can be cheaply obtained.
Success ought to be making everyday transactions in Bitcoin incrementally easier to think about — but as Bitcoin grows in value, these unit issues are making casual mental-money tasks harder.
But, through the power of novel coinage, there is a better solution.
Introducing the Zibcoin
Zibcoin is an alternate denominational unit for Bitcoin.
A Zibcoin is one-millionth of a Bitcoin.
1 Bitcoin = 1,000,000 Zibcoin
1 Zibcoin = 0.000001 Bitcoin
That is, Zibcoin is a friendlier name for a microbitcoin (“µBTC”).
Cryptocoin-cognoscenti will note that a Zibcoin is 100 Satoshi — one Satoshi being the smallest-possible quantity in the Bitcoin system. As with US Dollars and many other world currencies, a Zibcoin value will never need more than two decimal places:
1 Zibcoin = 100 Satoshi
1 Satoshi = 0.01 Zibcoin
Still, fractional-parts of a Zibcoin are generally safe to ignore. These tiny amounts are not now, nor likely to soon become, values of concern.
That $6 lunch is now 9700 Zibcoin. Or just, “9700 zib”, for short.
‘Zib’ is a distinctive word with no meaning-collisions in English. It can acquire a strong, new meaning through organic use. It can also roll off the tongue as a crypto-payment action verb: “Zib me 20,000 by Monday, please.”
There’s even a currency-like Unicode character, ‘Ƶ’ (Z with stroke), ready for Zibcoin duty.
At a recent exchange rate (USD $620/BTC):
USD $1 = ฿0.001613 = Ƶ1,613
The value-illusion created by large nominal quantities works in Zibcoin’s favor.
(Note that for now, Zibcoin is even slightly cheaper than Dogecoin: you get about a 20% higher warm-fuzzy-number in return for your fiat money. Such bargain!)
Bitcoin can rise in value another 1,000x without Zibcoin reaching US Dollar parity, so casual purchase prices and calculations can safely ignore decimals for a long while.
Why not just use microbitcoin?
The microbitcoin unit is the right size to make the numbers nice, but the name and related abbreviations cause problems.
“Microbitcoin” itself is a mouthful, four syllables where one would be best. It doubles-down on geekiness — ‘micro’ and ‘bit’ both being arcane techie-related terms — and ‘micro’ again brings in unfortunate implications of “tiny; hard-to-see; safely ignorable”.
The milli- (thousandths) and micro- (millionths) metric prefixes are easy for laypeople to mix up. Many are tempted to abbreviate micro- with an ‘m’, but that more properly means milli-, something a thousand-times different. The standard abbreviation for micro- is actually the Greek letter ‘µ’ (“mu”), yielding “µBTC” — which invites a wide range of contrasting multisyllabic pronunciations.
In contrast, a Zibcoin is not easily confused with other units. While several concise notations are possible — zib, Z (plain), Ƶ (with slash), ZBC — each is shorter than “uBTC”, in print and speech, and with fewer, tighter pronunciation options. Zibcoin faces a larger initial novelty barrier, but thereafter wins on compactness and clarity.
Making the leap
You may have begun reading this as a fan of Bitcoin, but have now become a fan of Zibcoin. If so, the time has come to dump your impractical Bitcoin, and move entirely into future-ready Zibcoin.
Fortunately, this is a no-fee transaction which can be performed offline, or indeed entirely in your imagination. Even paper wallets can be updated with nothing more than a pencil: move your decimal point 6 digits to the right, adding zeros to the end as necessary. Then, prepend a flourishing, Zorro-like Ƶ.
You’re done, and furthermore, congratulations! You may have just become a Zibcoin millionaire.
On the other hand, maybe you’re not convinced. Perhaps you think the whole thing sounds silly: unnecessary, superficial, arbitrary, and doomed.
But remember what you thought when you first heard about Bitcoin.
As you fumble with “point-oh-oh” values, think of Zibs.
When you or a friend confuse ‘milli-’ and ‘micro-’, or ‘µBTC’ and ‘mBTC’, remember the Zib option.
When getting the count of right-of-the-decimal zeros wrong causes a financial error, request the correction in Zibcoin, for a change.
After you’ve tried Plan ฿, and Plan m, and Plan µ, give Plan Ƶ a try.
You may find that Zibcoin is the last currency unit you’ll ever need.
Get more details and help make the switch at zibcoin.org.