NewsBusiness

'Time to Switch to Satoshis': Mike Novogratz

The CEO of Galaxy Digital has said that crypto exchanges should start listing Satoshis (Sats), the smallest unit of Bitcoin.

3 min read
Novogratz is a former Goldman Sachs partner. Image: Shutterstock.

In brief

  • Galaxy Digital CEO Michael Novogratz has argued that exchanges should list satoshis (Sats) instead of Bitcoin.
  • A satoshi is the smallest unit of Bitcoin; there are 100 million Sats in each Bitcoin.

Mike Novogratz, CEO of digital asset firm Galaxy Digital, argues that cryptocurrency exchanges should switch over from listing Bitcoin to listing satoshis (Sats), the smallest unit of the cryptocurrency.

Novogratz made the case for Sats in a tweet over the weekend. 

“It is time to switch to Satoshis," Novogratz wrote, adding that "many people" have told him that Bitcoin at $58,000 is too expensive. “Which exchange will be the first to quote in Sats?” he asked.

Novogratz also tagged some of the heads of the world’s most popular crypto exchanges in his tweet, including Changpeng Zhao of Binance, Brian Armstrong of Coinbase, Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX, and Tyler Winklevoss of Gemini. 

Why list Sats?

As Novogratz’s tweet implies, the call to list Sats is an effort to help spur Bitcoin’s wider adoption. 

Bitcoin—today, at least—looks expensive to newcomers, at about $58,000 per coin, making it daunting to people who may not realize it’s possible to buy just fractions of one Bitcoin. 

Listing Sats could help to make Bitcoin more accessible. “While it makes financially no difference to change the denomination from BTC to Sats, it has a psychological impact that likely helps further adoption,” Ingo Fiedler, co-founder of the Blockchain Research Lab, told Decrypt

But according to his tweet, Novogratz is arguing for directly replacing BTC with Sats. That might be too far for some. After all, while Bitcoin may be a household name, Satoshis don’t have nearly the same level of brand recognition.

“The sensible action is for exchanges to duplicate their BTC/USD trading pair to offer both denominations while sharing the orders between them to keep liquidity,” Fiedler added.

But what are Sats?

Sats are the smallest divisible denomination of Bitcoin. Unlike pounds or dollars, which are comprised of 100 pennies or cents, there are 100 million Sats in each Bitcoin. At Bitcoin’s current price, a satoshi’s dollar value is $0.0005776.

If Bitcoin’s price remains in its current range, or climbs higher, it becomes increasingly possible that prices for smaller transactions could be quoted in Sats, since for most everyday transactions, prices are unlikely to exceed one BTC. 

“Until recently, using Bitcoin as the main accounting unit was the logical choice,” Jason Deane, Bitcoin analyst at Quantum Economics, told Decrypt, adding, “Since this headline measure is approaching a value that seems impossible for small-to-medium level adopters, it makes sense to begin transitioning to Satoshis at this point.” 

In other words, when you buy your morning coffee with Bitcoin, it would be a lot easier to spend 25 Sats than 0.00000025 Bitcoin.

Stay on top of crypto news, get daily updates in your inbox.