Every currency has its subunit. US, Australian, and Canadian dollars have cents. For the pound sterling, it’s the penny. The yen has the units called sen and rin, the ruble has the kopeyka, and so forth. Naturally, there had to be a subunit for the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, and it’s called the satoshi or sat for short.
While the fiat currency-to-subunit ratio is usually 1 to 100, it’s quite different in the case of Bitcoin. Wondering how many satoshis are in a BTC, how much they’re worth individually, and why they’re called like that? Continue reading to find out.
A Short History of Bitcoin
First, let’s briefly look at how the craze surrounding cryptocurrencies even started. The year was 2008, the world was in the middle of another recession, and a new internet domain popped into existence – bitcoin.org. A few months later, the Bitcoin network became operational, with the very first block being mined. The rest, as they say, is history.
But, that first Bitcoin owner is interesting. It was the creator of the protocol used in blockchain and the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, Satoshi Nakamoto, probably the most mysterious person in the world. Nobody really knows who Nakamoto really is and, even stranger, whether it’s one person or a whole group of individuals under the pseudonym. What we do know is that their first bundle of the world’s first cryptocurrency contained 50 bitcoins and that, today, Nakamoto’s wallet contains 1.1 million bitcoins.
The name carries even more importance today, not just for Satoshi Nakamoto being the creator of Bitcoin and its first user. It’s the denomination of the item you’ll most likely be trading at crypto exchanges.
What Is a Satoshi, Then?
Since its inception, the value of Bitcoin has constantly been on the rise. There were dips here and there, but each year, the cryptocurrency would always end up gaining value. From that infamous pizza bought for the price of 10,000 BTC, we’ve come such a long way that a single bitcoin is worth over $50,000.
With such an astronomical value for a single unit of cryptocurrency, users needed a way to make minor crypto transactions that didn’t include a bunch of zeros. That’s why a subunit called the satoshi was created.
So, how many satoshis are there in a bitcoin? Instead of using the classic 1:100 or even 1:1,000 ratio fiat currencies use, the smallest part of a bitcoin really needed to be small – a hundred million times smaller, to be precise. So, if you’ve got a whole bitcoin in your wallet, and a satoshi is equal to 100 millionth of a Bitcoin, that means you have 100,000,000 satoshis.
Using Satoshi in Transactions
It really doesn’t matter how you use Bitcoin; satoshis will most certainly come into play sooner or later. Using this denomination instead of full bitcoins makes more sense for smaller transactions, as you’ll be dealing with full amounts for each Bitcoin transaction instead of long numbers with a bunch of decimal spaces.
No satoshi-to-Bitcoin conversion or vice versa is needed within your wallet or while making purchases since it’s all automated. That being said, you might see online stores and Bitcoin betting sites opting to show SAT instead of BTC value. Knowing how to do the conversion on the go is, therefore, very handy.
To calculate the number of satoshis in a payment transaction, all you have to do is divide the BTC value by 100,000,000. Easy. Don’t worry; we’re just pulling your leg here. It’s the internet age, and, of course, there’s an app for that. A lot of sites and crypto exchanges offer calculators. No need to know how many satoshis are in a Bitcoin when you can just enter the value in Bitcoin and get the exact amount in satoshis. The process works the other way around, too, drastically speeding up crypto trading.
Satoshi’s Value in Fiat Currencies
Beginner traders will most likely purchase a bunch of satoshis instead of a full bitcoin. Depending on the crypto exchange, the amount of coins you purchase might not be shown in satoshi but instead in bitcoins, meaning a lot of decimal spaces.
Luckily, all exchanges will do the conversion for you, so you don’t have to manually calculate how many satoshis make a bitcoin or anything like that.
All right, but how much is it actually worth? At the current exchange rate, one satoshi is worth $0.00052. That means one dollar will get you somewhere about 1,923 satoshis.
The Future of Satoshi
As Bitcoin’s value continues to grow, sending crypto will rely more and more on the satoshi. While there won’t be a need for a subunit smaller than the satoshi, some crypto experts believe the satoshi will become the main unit of this cryptocurrency in the future. For that to happen, though, a single bitcoin would need to get to $1 million in value, which is still very far away.
Should it ever reach that point, people won’t need to know how many satoshis there are in a BTC or a dollar, as the value of a single unit will be exactly one cent.