Satoshi (unit)

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File:Ext 38dKJsdjh SatoshiUsage.png
The term "satoshi" in use on a message board
The satoshi is currently the smallest unit of the bitcoin currency recorded on the block chain. It is a one hundred millionth of a single bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC). The source code also uses satoshi when specifying an amount of bitcoin.

Although the satoshi is the finest amount that can be recorded in the block chain,

As of October 2017, 1 US cent is worth approximately 171 satoshi.


The value of a bitcoin in satoshi was decided by Satoshi Nakamoto to be 100 million no later than November 2008.

On November 15, 2010, ribuck proposed that the one hundredth of a bitcoin (0.01 BTC) be called a Satoshi. Four months later he instead suggested that the one hundred millionth unit be called an austrian or a satoshi. The name satoshi caught on, and was widely adopted thereafter.



Traditionally, the plural form has been simply satoshi, but the term satoshis is also popular and equally correct. If the plural form were to follow the rules of Japanese grammar, it may be pronounced as satoshisa, or simply satoshi.<ref name="jj73"/>


Satoshi is often abbreviated to sat or s, although no currency symbol has been widely adopted. There are various proposed symbols:

Symbol Explanation
<span style="font-size:x-large">里</span> In Japanese names, this character can (rarely) be read "satoshi". It is an uncommon Chinese/Japanese character on its own, and an infrequent radical (kangxi #166). It can be seen as a radical in the common kanji 理 and 量, used in meaningful words like: 理想 (ideals), 理論 (theory), 理性 (reason), 理科 (science), and 量 (quantity). "Satoshi" is a rare reading; more commonly it is read as "ri" or "sato".
<span style="font-size:x-large">シ</span> A Japanese katakana representing the syllable "shi". Note that this character is extremely common in Japanese, so it could cause confusion. Also, it can mean "death" in Japanese and Chinese.
<span style="font-size:x-large">㋛</span> As above, but circled to distinguish it from the katakana.
<span style="font-size:x-large">し</span> As above, but this is the hiragana instead of the katakana. This is even more common than シ in Japanese writing, however.
<span style="font-size:x-large">サ</span> A Japanese katakana representing the syllable "sa". Maybe it looks more reminiscent of a currency symbol than others. Note that this character is extremely common in Japanese, so it could cause confusion.