What is the reason that the least significant trit is at the very left in the IOTA ternary implementation when all other numbering systems have it at the very right?

For T = -1:
(dec)8 is T01 instead of 10T

Same for trytes:
(ASCII) 1 is VA instead of AV
(ASCII) 2 is WA instead of AW

Is there a reason for this or was it just random choice?

  • I’m voting to close this question because it is about the legacy-network and it is a good idea to keep only Shimmer/ShimmerEVM and latest IOTA Chrysalis questions Commented Apr 24, 2023 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


By convention, unbalanced ternary notation have the most significant trit on the left.

By convention, balanced ternary notation have the least significant trit first.

Iota use balanced ternary, so least significant trit first (i.e. on the left)

  • 2
    What convention? Any sources?
    – Zauz
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 11:07

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