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In a debate with my friend. I stated "I bought some bitcoin" and "I have some bitcoin".

My friend argues this is a completely incorrect usage of "some" before a non-plural noun. In fact, my friend says that the use of "some" is completely misleading since I don't actually own multiple bitcoins or even a singular whole bitcoin. I'm arguing that it's a perfectly reasonable usage just like I might, "have some pie", I have some bitcoin.

I think at worst it's simply an informal usage case, but one I hear daily with the current popularity of crypto-currency.

Thanks in advance for some outside perspective!

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  • If you want to be really accurate, you would say I bought some Bitcoin bits (1,000,000 bits is equal to 1 bitcoin). I think "some bitcoin" is perfectly understandable though.
    – ColleenV
    Dec 8 '17 at 13:32
  • I disagree with your friend. If you have 12 Satori you still have some Bitcoin, but no bitcoins
    – mplungjan
    Dec 8 '17 at 13:32
  • I would say that "some bitcoin" is completely defensible. We refer to "some money", "some cash", "some foreign currency". More to the point, we can say "some sterling", e.g. "I bought some sterling", where sterling means a quantity of British currency.
    – rjpond
    Dec 8 '17 at 19:58
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The confusion comes from the fact that normally we expect currencies to be countable. You buy dollars, euros, pounds, etc.

And not so long ago, one would indeed buy bitcoins (lucky are those that did and still have them...) but nowadays, with a single bitcoin at the moment I write this being worth more than USD14000, a lot of people buy and sell bitcoin in the way they would buy and sell gold, or silver: in small, measurable amounts, but not in full bitcoins anymore.

So for people who still see the bitcoin as just another currency like the dollar or the rupee, it makes sense to think people buy bitcoins.

For people that actually do trade in small parts of bitcoins nowadays, it feels much more like trading gold or silver, so they are likely to use bitcoin in the same way, as uncountable.

Who's right, and who's wrong? I can see the logic in both cases, and I would actually not dare to call one or the other wrong, as long as one uses it consistently.

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