What is the function of Ether being divisible to 18 decimal places?

cointoncointon Member Posts: 9
Is an atto-ether, or one quintillionth of an ether really necessary?
That's 0.000000000000000001 ether.
A billionth of a billionth of a unit.
In other words, there are 2-3 orders of magnitude more units in a single ether than there will ever be satoshis in the entire Bitcoin system.
(2 quadrillion 100 trillion satoshis).
A single ether is around 476 Bitcoin systems in terms of units.
So if you invest 10 BTC in Ethereum, you will have as many units as 9.5 million Bitcoin systems.
If 90000000 ether are created to start the system, that's 42.8 billion Bitcoin systems in terms of units.
Isn't that a little ridiculous?
Doesn't this kind of divisibility make the numbers on the other side of the decimal irrelevant?
It's inconceivable.
Post edited by cointon on


  • pocesarpocesar Member Posts: 5
    well precision is always welcomed when it's about currency. fiat forex uses 4 decimal places, even though that's non existant in fiat itself. what IF one billionth "worths" for than we are used to? we have a mind fixed on 2 decimal places, and commonly regard cents as useless and just as a psychological factor on price (99,98 instead of 100). since ethereum is all about flexibility, it's all good
  • cointoncointon Member Posts: 9
    Not exactly sure what you mean by "what IF one billionth "worths" for than we are used to?".
    It's not a billionth of a unit, it's a billionth of a billionth of a unit which to give you an idea is the scale of a quark in terms of meters.
    Maybe a physicist can get used to that. :)
    The only way this would be necessary is if ether became some kind of base functional unit for the entire future world distributed network.
  • roeinyourboatroeinyourboat Member Posts: 2
    Are there any negatives to having that many decimal places? I can't think of any.
  • StephanTualStephanTual London, EnglandMember, Moderator Posts: 1,282 mod
    Precision in a unit of value is always welcome. It has no downside.

    Divisibility doesn't affect value - if a British Pound had 10 numbers after the decimal point, it would still be worth one British Pound.

    I.e., 10.00 == 10.0000000000000000
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