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What Is A Satoshi: Bitcoin's Smallest Unit Explained!

Did you know? Bitcoin’s smallest unit is called a Satoshi. Find out what 1 Satoshi is worth in USD and learn why a Satoshi is important to Bitcoin’s ecosystem.
April 7, 2022

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Picture this for a moment. You’re in El Salvador, the only country where Bitcoin is legal tender, and you want to buy a packet of bread. Obviously, you wouldn’t pay 1 whole BTC worth $42,115.81 for a packet of bread. 

You’d need a smaller unit that would make small-value transactions like buying bread simple. Fiat currencies like the USD have Quarter, Dime, Nickel, Cent, and Mill while the Indian Rupee has Paisa. 

Similarly, Bitcoin also has units to make smaller transactions simple. The smallest one is known as a satoshi unit. Let’s explore what a satoshi is worth and why it is important to the Bitcoin ecosystem. 

What's A Satoshi Unit?

A Satoshi means the smallest unit of Bitcoin that can be recorded on the blockchain. It derives its name from the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Other names were floated as well, but Satoshi stuck.

In purely mathematical terms, a Satoshi unit is equal to one hundred millionths of one Bitcoin. Having a unit as small as Satoshi gives Bitcoin advantages like being able to process granular transactions.

There exists a Millisatoshi as well that is one hundred billionths of one Bitcoin. That said, Millisatoshi is used for very rare granular transactions that are smaller than a Satoshi. 

Who Created The Satoshi Unit In Bitcoin?

The historical origins of the term Satoshi are interesting. Records suggest that Satoshi Nakamoto coined the term in 2008 and revealed 1 Bitcoin to be worth 100 million Satoshis. 

A popular contributor to Bitcoin called “ribuck” proposed that an “Austrian” or “Satoshi” be worth one hundred millionths of a BTC. The term Austrian didn’t catch on but Satoshi did. 

How Much Is 1 Satoshi Unit Worth?

A Satoshi is approximately one hundred millionths of one Bitcoin. That’s 0.00000001 BTC, which means that 1 Satoshi is equal to USD 0.0004223498. Conversely, 1 USD is worth 2373.177 Satoshi. 

Just like the US Dollar is stylized as USD, Satoshi is represented at times by SATS. Here's what Satoshi is worth in popular fiat currencies.

Metric

USD To Satoshi

EUR To Satoshi

GBP To Satoshi

1

2,373.177

2,619

3,149.924

10

23,731.77

26,189

31,499.24

100

237,318

261,887

314,992

1,000

2,373,177

2,618,870

3,149,924

10,000

23,711,637

26,188,698

31,499,241

Why Is The Satoshi Unit Important?

Subunits can increase a currency’s efficiency, even if it is a digital one like Bitcoin. Moreover, a currency is a unit of account. That’s why subunits can have a higher impact than most people assume.  

1. Makes Smaller Transactions Easy

A subunit of Bitcoin like Satoshi makes it easier to carry out granular payments like in the example of buying bread. This is a very important feature now more than ever because of the staggering value of BTC.    

2. Defacto Blockchain Denomination

The default denomination for BTC on the blockchain is Satoshi, which the blockchain reads and converts into what you eventually see as the figure on display. 

Satoshi is also a pillar of BTC’s source code, which uses it to specify the total number of BTC. Rewards that are very tiny in nature, like price or fee per byte, are also displayed in Satoshi for ease. 

3. Mirrors Fiat Currencies

Bitcoin eventually aims to become legal tender in major cities and countries. For that, BTC will need to mirror some of the strengths of its predecessors (fiat currencies) like subunits that make trade easier. 

Not that every fiat currency has or uses subunits. For example, the subunits of Icelandic Krona and Japanese Yen are rarely or never used. But subunits are known to make life easier for all parties involved. 

Bitcoin's Satoshi Unit Vs Ethereum's Wei

Bitcoin isn’t the only top cryptocurrency to have the smallest subunit. Its closest competitor and second-biggest cryptocurrency Ethereum also has one as well. 

What a Satoshi is to Bitcoin, Wei is to Ethereum. Wei is the smallest unit of Ethereum that’s equal to one quintillionth of one Ether. Mathematically, a Wei would look like this compared to a Satoshi. 

  • One ETH = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Wei
  • One BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshi

Both the smallest subunits of Bitcoin and Ethereum are used to make granular transactions simpler. Here’s a table that pits Bitcoin’s Satoshi versus Ethereum’s Wei.

Metric

Bitcoin Satoshi

Ethereum Wei

Named After

Satoshi Nakamoto

Wei Dai

Value Of 1 USD

2,373.177

338,225,603,739,330.0000

Value Of 1 Native Crypto

100,000,000 Satoshi

1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Wei

FAQs About Satoshi Unit

Q. How Many US Dollars Is 100 Satoshi?

A Satoshi is the smallest known unit of Bitcoin. One hundred millionths of one Bitcoin is equal to a Satoshi. The price of one Bitcoin as of writing this blog is $42,115.81, which means 100 Satoshi = 0.042071 US Dollars.

Q. How Much Is 50 Satoshi Worth In US Dollars?

A Satoshi is the smallest subunit of Bitcoin which is approximately worth one hundred millionths of a single BTC. Keeping this in mind, 50 Satoshi would be worth close to 0.021036 US Dollars.

Note: Facts & figures are true as of 23-03-2022. None of the information shared here is to be construed as investment advice. Exercise caution when investing in unregulated assets like cryptocurrency.

Shriram Shekhar
Shriram is a Content Marketer at Cube Wealth, the Financial Freedom App with a smart Perfect Portfolio Planner. He has developed cutting edge IT products for over 2 years before turning to his passion for the written word. Shriram’s love for philosophy, product development, and empowering people through quality content is what got him to Cube Wealth.

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