Samourai Wallet announced the release of a new app update on September 28 that removes fiat values for wallet balances and transaction fees. Instead, the wallet now shows only satoshis (sat), the smallest unit of bitcoin, for all values.
In the announcement, the bitcoin wallet provider knew that the change could cause some frustration among users and possibly cause some to leave the app. However, the decision was made in order to clear confusion about the (limited) role fiat currency plays in the bitcoin economy. The goal is to draw attention to the fact that users are in fact “transacting with the token native to the Bitcoin network, BTC, and nothing else.”
With the influx of new investors in 2017 and 2018, users have become accustomed to seeing bitcoin and altcoin values described in USD values. This reasoning, Samouria’s blog post implies, hides the true independent principle of bitcoin, which can act as a separate currency system that does not depend on traditional fiat currencies.
The current mainstream concept is that bitcoin is an investment, where some financial institutions are going so far as recommending bitcoin for retirement accounts. While the investment concept is viable, it is important to keep in mind that bitcoin was originally meant to provide a payment option outside of centralized banking institutions. Development since bitcoin’s launch has not strayed from this principle and has not become dependent on fiat in any way. The misconception mainly comes from exchanges or thought leaders with ulterior motives, according to Samourai Wallet.
Launched in 2015, Samourai Wallet is an open-source app that has tried to remain true to bitcoin’s ethos. It is a privacy-centric wallet with the mission to keep users’ transactions private and identities masked.
As Samouai’s mission states,
We are privacy activists who have dedicated our lives to creating the software that Silicon Valley will never build, the regulators will never allow, and the VC’s will never invest in. We build the software that Bitcoin deserves.
Samorai’s main goal has been to focus on bitcoin as a payment utility for merchants and customers. The switch to satoshis as the core unit of measurement backs up this belief, even though it could be a shock to users. The move to sats could possibly be considered too early at this stage in cryptocurrencies.
With a belief in maintaining a healthy bitcoin network, the wallet developers made a decision in 2017 not to support Bitcoin Cash and considered it an attack on the Bitcoin network.
As one of the first to switch to satoshi-only measurements, Samourai’s gutsy update could be the start of a larger effort to separate bitcoin distinctly from the fiat currencies.
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