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How Many Satoshis Are in a Bitcoin? (1 BTC = 100M Sats)

Like a dollar can be broken down into cent-sized units called satoshis. One Bitcoin is equal to 100M satoshis. In this article, we learn why satoshis are so important to Bitcoin adoption!

Drew
Drew
Feb 3, 2024February 3, 20245 min read5 minutes read

It’s a common misconception that purchasing Bitcoin means buying a whole Bitcoin. In fact, some of the most enthusiastic Bitcoiners are still trying to become a "whole-coiner.” 

The smallest unit of account is called a satoshi…

How Many Satoshis are in Each Bitcoin?

  • Each Bitcoin is divisible into 100,000,000 satoshis, often abbreviated to sats.

  • A satoshi is the atomic unit of Bitcoin.

  • The total number of Satoshis that will ever exist is 2.1 quadrillion. 

This extreme divisibility facilitates microtransactions and makes Bitcoin adaptable to everyone’s economic needs, from nation-states and sovereign wealth funds to individuals looking for coffee or a slice of pizza with satoshis. 

Satoshi: USD Conversion

March 1st, 2024

1 satoshi = 0.000621 USD

1 USD = 1,611.43 satoshis

Example: If you bought a $100 item with one Bitcoin, your charge might ring up as 0.0025 BTC (if BTC equaled $40,000). However, it’s easier to understand 250,000 satoshis.

What is a Satoshi?

A satoshi, named after Bitcoin’s anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. As Bitcoin’s value continues to appreciate over the coming years, it will be difficult for the average investor to acquire a whole Bitcoin.

Satoshi Origin

On November 15, 2010, ribuck proposed that 0.01 BTC, or one-hundredth of a Bitcoin, should be named a ‘Satoshi.’ 

Bitcoin Talk Forum Post: Satoshi Proposed

Bitcoin Talk Forum

However, four months later, he revised his proposal, suggesting that the term 'Austrian' or 'Satoshi' be used.

The term 'Satoshi' won out, gained popularity and became widely accepted.

Bitcoin Talk Forum Post: Satoshi Accepted

Bitcoin Talk Forum

Bitcoin’s Divisibility: More Than Just Convenience

Bitcoin’s divisibility is not just a matter of convenience. It’s a critical feature that enhances Bitcoin’s scalability and accessibility, allowing users from all economic backgrounds to participate in the Bitcoin economy.

Bitcoin Units of Measure: How Satoshis Breakdown

On the blockchain, all values are initially expressed in satoshis and then converted for display purposes. The source code of Bitcoin also refers to amounts in terms of satoshis, particularly when dealing with small fractions of a Bitcoin, like in:

  • Fee calculations per byte

  • Rewards from a faucet

… where satoshis enhances readability.

Millisatoshi’s: Scaling Bitcoin on Lightning 

The Lightning Network and other Layer 2 scaling solutions utilize even smaller units of satoshis — “millisatoshis” or “msats” for short. 

millisatoshi is one-thousandth of a satoshi.

Millisatoshis are used within the Lightning Network to facilitate microtransactions for more precise accounting and settlement. 

This division allows even smaller transactions to be effectively represented within the Lightning Network.

  • 1 satoshi = 0.00000001 BTC

  • 1 millisatoshi (msat) = 0.00000000001 BTC or 1/1000th of a satoshi

NOTE: Millisatoshis are not recognized on the Bitcoin main chain. 

When a Lightning transaction is closed and settled on the Bitcoin blockchain, the amounts are rounded to the nearest satoshi, as the main chain does not support smaller units than a satoshi.

Learn more about how Bitcoin is gaining widespread adoption with fast, super-cheap micropayments that are accessible to everyone, allowing for worldwide financial inclusion.

Satoshi Currency Symbol 

Satoshi is often abbreviated to sat or sats, although no currency symbol has been officially adopted.

How Many Satoshi’s = Top 10% Bitcoin Holder

As of March 1st, 2024: To be in the top 10% of Bitcoin holders, based on the data from BitInfoCharts, only requires between 0.01 and 0.1 BTC.

Bitcoin Rich List

BitInfoCharts

  • Addresses with balances between 0.01 and 0.1 BTC account for about 15.17% of all addresses.

  • The next category up, 0.1 to 1 BTC, represents about 6.73% of addresses.

Bitcoin has a capped supply of 21 million coins. This finite supply is fundamental to its design, ensuring scarcity and potentially enhancing its value over time. 

Recent estimates suggest there are approximately 56 million millionaires and only 2,755 billionaires worldwide. 

Let’s do some #Bitcoinmath. 

If the total supply of 21 million Bitcoin were to be evenly distributed among these millionaires, each millionaire would receive:

ONLY approximately 0.375 Bitcoin

In contrast, if the same total supply were distributed among the billionaires, each would receive about 7,620 Bitcoin.

fork does not affect the 21 million supply limit.

This stark difference highlights the concentration of wealth and the potential impact on Bitcoin ownership.

Permanently Lost Satoshi’s 

According to the Investment Manager at Cane Island of Digital Research and Author of "#Bitcoin Spreads Like a Virus" & "The Debauchery of Currency, a Bloody History of Money," Timothy Peterson, up to approximately 6 million Bitcoin, constituting about 30% of the total Bitcoin supply, are believed to be permanently lost, equating to a value of $311.4 billion.

In June of 2010, username laszlo commented on the Bitcoin talk forum about if it makes sense to try to recover keys for lost coins. However, the computing power to accomplish this is unreasonable and unlikely to be pulled off.

Satoshi responded by stating:

Bitcoin Talk Forum Satoshi Post: Dying Bitcoin’s

Bitcoin Talk Forum

Looking to the future, the increasing value of Bitcoin could lead to a scenario where pricing in satoshis becomes more practical.

As Bitcoin’s value potentially escalates, using its smallest unit for everyday transactions could become commonplace, similar to how cents are used in the dollar system. 

Don’t let the high price of a single Bitcoin deter you. Start small. Think in satoshis. Stack sats. Remain humble. And smash buy Bitcoin with Swan today!

Drew

Drew

Drew is a Research Analyst for Swan Bitcoin. He is dedicated to helping onboard the next 10 million Bitcoiners.

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