How to estimate the cost of things in BTC

There are a number of things you can buy with bitcoins these days. You’ll find things ranging from bamboo flutes to dried ginger online.

Price listings in BTC can be really confusing because of the currency conversion that usually goes with estimating the cost. I think the futuristic way to list items that are sold for bitcoins should be in BTC units and maybe for the sake of those who need to estimate the cost in some national currency, also provide conversion in the local currency.

As a buyer, I’ve figured out a way to quickly estimate the cost of an item without having to convert to a national currency and that way involves having a rough idea of what my monthly paycheck is in BTC and then comparing the cost as a fraction of this amount to determine if it’s affordable or not.

Here’s an example: let’s say I get paid 1 BTC per month (as at the time of this writing, that is 354,331 NGN or 717 USD) and let’s say I consider a decent headphone to not be more than 10% of this income; then that means that I would be comfortable spending between 0.10 BTC and 0.12 BTC on a good pair. Thinking about items in terms of how many of those my income can buy could be a reasonable way to estimate their costs without having to go through complicated currency conversions and would also help me make a decision about whether or not to buy quickly.

What do you think?