Coinbase is making some changes in the way it handles its ‘bits’ feature.
Last year, the wallet service introduced an option to display amounts in bits, or one millionths of a bitcoin. Now, it will be the default setting for all new users, a furtherance of Coinbase’s stated belief that in the future, bits will be the common denomination of bitcoin transactions. Users still have the option to disable the feature.
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Even so, it is often awkward to express commonly transacted sums (e.g. $5.00) in bits (20,010.47), although it can be equally awkward in BTC (0.02004). Coinbase will therefore be rounding displayed amounts to the nearest whole bit, the exact amount of which can be viewed by mousing over the figure.
The transaction list will also have decimals lined up to make it easier to visually scan through the numbers. Amounts expressed in BTC will be rounded to four decimal places, which will allow for proper alignment for the vast majority of transactions.
As part of the changes, Coinbase says it will be giving away 100 bits ($0.024) to each new user.