What is a Satoshi?

By Julia Cook
Published Jun 2, 2022 and Updated Nov 8th, 2022

‘SATS’ is the abbreviation for ‘satoshis,’ in the same way that ‘USD’ is an abbreviation for ‘United States Dollar.’

How Many SATs Are in a Bitcoin?

A Satoshi is the smallest denominator of a Bitcoin, with there being 100 million satoshis to one Bitcoin (BTC.) This reads as 0.00000001 BTC. Therefore, when people talk about buying X dollars worth of Bitcoin, they are usually referring to buying a certain number of satoshis, unless they are buying BTC as whole units.

Although 100 million may seem an excessive number, it is important to remember that Bitcoin was conceived a global, decentralized currency and the only way that Bitcoin could possibly serve such a function would be to ensure that there were enough units of currency to accommodate such a possibility.

Additionally, smaller currencies are needed for smaller transactions and if the value of the smallest denominator of a Bitcoin is too great, then it will not have any real-world use. This was clear when the price of Bitcoin reached nearly $68,000 USD in November 2021, the value of a satoshi was still affordable at a value of around 0.000675 USD.

The name ‘Satoshi’ comes from the pseudonym of the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshis are the main cryptocurrency that is accepted for real world payment. They are also often used to purchase altcoins and other digital commodities. Currently, the biggest deterrents against their widespread implementation are their volatile value, the uncertainty regarding their future regulation by governments and the high transaction fees.