What is a 'Satoshi'?



I am aware that Satoshi Nakamoto is the author of the paper that originated Bitcoin and the creator of the original bitcoin client. However, I often hear the term Satoshi as if it was a monetary unit.

What is a Satoshi?


Posted 2011-08-30T22:53:42.277

Reputation: 11 179



A Satoshi is the smallest fraction of a Bitcoin that can currently be sent: 0.00000001 BTC, that is, a hundredth of a millionth BTC. In the future, however, the protocol may be updated to allow further subdivisions, should they be needed.

Further examples of units

  • 1 BTC = 1,000 mBTC (millibitcoin)
  • 1 BTC = 1,000,000 μBTC (microbitcoin)
  • 1 BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshis
  • 1 mBTC = 100,000 Satoshis
  • 1 μBTC (microbitcoin) = 100 Satoshis

Michael McGowan

Posted 2011-08-30T22:53:42.277

Reputation: 3 354

3Isn't one BTC a HUNDRED million Satoshis? – Blaisorblade – 2014-05-11T23:51:40.643

1yes 1 btc is divided into 100 million satoshi – Fil – 2016-06-29T23:26:52.210

1 uBTC = 0.000001 BTC = 1 bit – Sebastian Xawery Wiśniowiecki – 2017-01-03T22:08:44.640


Note that it's possible that future protocol versions will introduce amounts smaller than a Satoshi, if deemed required by the community. I'm not sure how likely this is. http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/122/will-we-ever-need-smaller-amounts-of-bitcoin-than-a-satoshi

– ripper234 – 2011-08-30T23:02:57.993

1@ripper234 not likely, when 1BTC = US$1,000,000 then 1 Satoshi will be exactly 1c. – Willtech – 2018-01-28T11:08:05.187

@ripper234, I think the protocol would only update once 1 Satoshi is worth more than 1 cent or smallest denomination in one of today's fiat currencies since it would be needed by that culture that used BTC. – Scott – 2018-04-06T21:50:35.470

While not in raw Bitcoin, we are seeing milli satoshis now in Lightning Network – ripper234 – 2018-04-25T15:45:09.943

1@eMansipater It might be worth editing your answer just a touch to ensure that people don't think that there is a limit to the number of decimal places possible. – Gary Rowe – 2011-09-09T10:35:24.750

1It's Michael's answer, but I updated it anyway. – eMansipater – 2011-09-10T12:08:48.727


1 mBTC = 0.001 BTC

1 mBTC = 100,000 Satoshis

1 uBTC = 0.000001 BTC

1 μBTC = 100 Satoshis

1 Satoshi = 0.00000001 BTC

100 Satoshis = 0.000001 BTC

1,000 Satoshis = 0.00001 BTC

10,000 Satoshis = 0.0001 BTC

1 BTC = 100,000,000 Satoshis

1 BTC = 1,000,000 μBTC

1 BTC = 1000 mBTC

Aka Gambit

Posted 2011-08-30T22:53:42.277

Reputation: 129

1 uBTC = 0.000001 BTC = 1 bit – Sebastian Xawery Wiśniowiecki – 2017-01-03T22:08:17.397


A Satoshi is 0.00000001 BTC and currently the smallest transaction unit.

If a Satoshi was equivalent to one penny, a microBTC would be equivalent to one dollar, and one BTC would be equivalent to 1,000,000 dollars.

With one BTC on the order of $1,000 USD, a Satoshi is equivalent to .001 penny


Posted 2011-08-30T22:53:42.277

Reputation: 107

3@Murch -1 on your comment. He words it different and different readers respond differently to different wordings. He apparently explains it the way he thinks about it. Not all readers have a high enough IQ to see all wordings as equivalent, thus there is value in multiple answers. See also my comment to Lohoris. Vertical screen and database space are not scarce resources. The Knowledge Age is a post-scarcity antidote to Malthusian propaganda. I tried to obviate your down vote, but another person down voted after I wrote this comment. Democracy is the LEAST common denominator. – Shelby Moore III – 2014-08-25T16:29:55.403

@ShelbyMooreIII We disagree: You find it useful, I don't. That's quite alright though. – Murch – 2014-08-26T18:41:53.480

Most informative answer to someone who hits Google for "1 satoshi", e.g. for someone who encounters the term but knows little of BTC. – Daerdemandt – 2017-03-02T08:05:07.313


A Satoshi is a one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin.

Bitcoins are delimited to eight decimal places so even if Bitcoins are worth $1,000,000 each, you can still do penny transactions.


Posted 2011-08-30T22:53:42.277

Reputation: 110

This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.

– o0'. – 2013-03-12T12:19:04.240

@Lohoris Just for my sake, can you clarify why this isn't an answer? It's not as comprehensive as the other answer, but it's definition does seem to match the definition of a Satoshi provided by the other answer, at least numerically (since the smallest unit could change in the future). – None – 2013-07-21T15:42:29.360

@JohnBensin it doesn't add anything to the accepted answer, and it has been posted much later. Also, it includes a pointless "if (when?) Bitcoins are worth $1,000,000 each". – o0'. – 2013-07-21T15:54:23.037

1@Lohoris I agree. I downvoted because I felt that it didn't add anything to the question. The speculation may have just been an extreme/hypothetical example, but I agree that it doesn't add any new information. – None – 2013-07-21T16:25:37.030

@Lohoris -1 on your comment. "Not adding anything" to prior answers doesn't constitute "not an answer". Clarifying that Satoshi is intended to be analogous to the penny if BTC attains sufficient valuation is addressing the question "What is a Satoshi?". I wish I could downvote your comment. – Shelby Moore III – 2014-08-25T00:00:54.883

@ShelbyMooreIII but you can't, ha! That being said, no, I reiterate that repeating what has been already said is polluting the site and should be removed. – o0'. – 2014-08-25T07:59:56.690

@Lohoris then your redundant comment should be removed for polluting the site as you've just restated part of what you wrote in the earlier comment. Also his answer is not redundant, e.g. see my comment to Murch under capecoralhobo's answer. P.S. note who I am, I've dealt with your poor Malthusian logic on PoW recently in Bitcointalk.org as AnonyMint in rpietila's altcoin thread. – Shelby Moore III – 2014-08-25T16:21:01.053


If you need formula

108 Satoshis == 1 BTC

or in Python

def btc2satoshi(btc: float) -> int:
  return int(btc * 10**8)

BTC = 1.0

Anatoli Babenia

Posted 2011-08-30T22:53:42.277

Reputation: 66

1@JeanMonet thanks for the fix! That was a dumb mistake, indeed. ) – Anatoli Babenia – 2020-09-26T04:35:54.400