moin and moins

I am departing from my regular way of spelling all headlines with capital letters for this post, since it is important to have small letters.

What is a moin?

This is what I would like to call a millibitcoin (0.001 bitcoin).

Obviously, as Tuur Demester just remarked over Twitter, it makes more and more sense to think in moins. With bitcoin prices rising to hundreds of dollars or euros, you end up quoting the price of a cup of coffee as o.00something, which doesn’t make much sense in everyday life.

Here is his tweet in full:

My secret insider sources are confirming that MilliBitcoins are coming to the Bitcoin space in a big way. Maybe even under a better name.

Now, there is one slight problem with that tweet. It should be “millibitcoins” (small m). That’s because when you are talking about Bitcoin (capital B) that means the network and the protocol. And the units allowed on that network are bitcoins, with a small b. At least that’s what Wikipedia says. I agree with that. It would be better to have different names for the network and the units, but as long as that is not the case, one should at least use capitalization as a fall-back for achieving precision.

But I also think that “millibitcoins” is not an attractive name to use. It’s too long.

So, as Demester notes, there may be room for improvement.

My idea would be just to remove the “llibitc” part. Which leaves us with moin.

As a German, I am aware of the fact that this is a friendly greeting in some parts of Germany.

And if you take the plural form “moins”, it just happens that this means “less” in French, which is a nice fit for the fact that one moin is worth less than one bitcoin.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

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