What are Satoshis aka SATs? A Satoshi is the smallest unit of Bitcoin and is worth 0.00000001th of a whole Bitcoin. But what is the story behind the Satoshi as a unit of virtual currency and who is the namesake?
A Brief History Of Bitcoin
Satoshi Nakamoto is the name given when you ask, “Who started Bitcoin?” Investopedia reports that the single person Satoshi Nakamoto has not been found and has not come forward. There is speculation in some quarters that the name is a pseudonym for a collective or a small group.
There was even a case of mistaken identity surrounding the name. An engineer named Dorian Nakamoto was named in a 2014 Newsweek article as the “real” Satoshi Nakamoto, but this was later debunked.
The Satoshi Paper
Whoever is behind the Nakamoto name published a paper several years earlier (2008) that referred to a peer-to-peer network that could be used to generate virtual currency. That paper was called Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, and it addresses the “elephant in the room” associated with crypto–double spending.
How do you address the problem of repeated use of the same private key to spend the same Bitcoin over and over again?
That was the dilemma facing all virtual currencies, and solving that issue required addressing it directly by decentralizing the transactions, establishing time stamps, publicly-visible proof that a transaction occurred, and other proofs needed to build a system that could sustainably function in spite of attempts to hack or game the system.
Bitcoin and the blockchain owe a massive debt to the work done on this paper, but it certainly wasn’t the end of the line for innovation and the evolution of the cryptocurrency “ecosystem”.
Satoshi Nakamoto: “He” or “They”?
“Satoshi Nakamoto” as a figure or collective, fairly disappeared from the Bitcoin world in 2010 according to some sources; the legend goes that it was time to move on “to other things”. We may or may not ever get definitive word on who is behind the name, but the legacy lives on thanks to the unit of virtual currency known as Satoshis.
How Many Satoshis Are In $50 Billion?
Naming the smallest unit of Bitcoin after this person is not just an homage to the mind or minds that made crypto possible the way we understand it today; “Satoshi Nakamoto” is said to own some $50 billion worth of Bitcoin. The spending power of that sum is staggering under current Bitcoin valuation, but who really owns these coins and what do they do with them? We may never know.
Satoshis: The Smallest Possible Unit of Measure
Making the smallest unit of Bitcoin something affordable for the average person given the price for a full coin at press time was a stroke of genius (intentional or not).
Anyone willing to learn the technology can reap the benefit of Bitcoin’s (current) generally upward trends. Buying in for a fraction of the cost of a full coin is a good way to experiment with crypto investing.
There is elevated risk in spending a large amount of real world money on commodities or investments you know little about. Reduced risk can help new investors navigate these opportunities without breaking the bank if they are careful.
Investing In Satoshis
Who can afford to purchase an entire Bitcoin? It’s possible to do so, but for many, investing in Satoshis is a more cost-effective way to enter into the world of Bitcoin. Because the value of a Satoshi is 100 millionth of a whole Bitcoin, it will always be tied to the overall valuation of the currency.
There is not an unlimited supply of Bitcoin–as designed, the blockchain is only meant to produce a finite number. It’s a fairly large number (21 million Bitcoins) and the supply gets closer to being used up with every passing year. The reseller’s market notwithstanding, Bitcoin’s shelf life (for new coins) is limited but steps are taken to slow the pace toward going “empty” for new Bitcoin.
The enigma of Satoshi Nakamoto lives on–will we ever learn who holds that approximately $50 billion worth of Bitcoin? We may not, but you can explore the world of crypto using Satoshis as a low-risk experimental opportunity as you learn the ropes. At press time, one Satoshi is worth 0.0003872 USD. You can’t use that as anything more than a reference for future trading, but it’s clear that the number’s indeed low enough to try experimenting with.
You can buy Satoshis on any platform or exchange offering them. Some have tiered restrictions on how much you can buy in a day, and other constraints for new accounts may apply. No two exchanges operate exactly the same, and it’s smart to shop around for the most trusted exchange you can find.
Joe Wallace has covered real estate and financial topics, including crypto and NFTs since 1995. His work has appeared on Veteran.com, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and many print and online publications. Joe is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.