Bitcoin symbol

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The prevailing Bitcoin trading symbol

Bitcoin stock symbol is a capital letter B with two falling strokes at the top and bottom. The most commonly used symbol for Bitcoin was designed by Satoshi Nakamoto for the icon of an early version of the original Bitcoin client, though the very first versions of the Bitcoin client used "BC" instead of any special symbol. Presumably the symbol was intended to look similar to other currency exchange symbols. The symbol represents the currency unit "bitcoin" (100 million satoshi), as well as the Bitcoin network and currency itself. The bitcoin currency unit is also commonly given the informal currency code BTC.

Historically, similar looking Unicode symbols such as the Thai Baht (฿) have been used because the Unicode standard at the time had not included a symbol for Bitcoin. The capital letter B with stroke (Ƀ) was also used in contexts where it was likely that using the Baht symbol would cause confusion.

Currency code[edit]

The ISO 4217 currency code for Bitcoin is XBT. However, at the moment it is an unofficial code according to the ISO 4217 standard. The unit name BTC is also commonly used to represent one bitcoin, but it violates ISO 4217 because it begins with "BT", the country code of Bhutan. Bhutan does not actually use the code BTC for any currency, and XBT has not yet defined which unit it represents (just that it represents some unit of bitcoin), so the Bitcoin community is likely to continue using mainly BTC as a unit name and currency code for some time.

A formal application by the Financial Standards Working Group of the Bitcoin Foundation is nearing completion.[still true?] This application would request ISO 4217 standard to support XBT.

Why Is It Called Bitcoin XBT?[edit]

The popular ticker name ‘BTC’ violates ISO 4217, and as according to this standard, it goes against the currency of Bhutan.

According to ISO 4217, which defines rules for national currencies and their nomenclatures and also non-government-backed assets such as Gold (XAU) and Silver (XAG), the first 2 letters of the 3 letter character should denote the country code and the last letter should denote the initial letter of the national currency.

For example:

  • USD (United States Dollar) – United States (US) and its national currency Dollar
  • CND (Canadian Dollar) – Canada (CN) and its national currency Dollar
  • CNY (Chinese Yuan) – China (CN) and its national currency Yuan
  • JPY (Japanese Yen) – Japan (JP) and its national currency Yen
  • INR (Indian Rupee) – India (IN) and its national currency Rupee

So “BTC” conflicts with Bhutan’s currency which is BTN (Bhutanese Ngultrum). That’s why some use the alternative ticker name “XBT”.

Inserting the Bitcoin symbol[edit]

In lieu of the Bitcoin ticker symbol being included in the Unicode standard and its adoption into typographic fonts, BTC can be included in many documents by other means. This section focuses on online publications but the basic concepts apply to all publishing forms.

A package including a high resolution raster image with transparency (PNG), vector image (SVG) and TrueType font (TTF) is available[1]


Bitcoin – Could be the next massive symbol?

The Bitcoin stock symbol can be inserted as an image, as is done in the opening sentence of this page. The benefit of this method is that any client that can display images in line with text will be able to display the symbol. The down side to this method is that as an image, it does not always degrade as nicely as a font. If using raster image, scaling the image up/down (to fit with surrounding text) may result in pixelation, inappropriate filtering, and other issues typical of raster images. If using a vector image, scaling concerns do not apply but the display would still not benefit from font-specific rendering features such as hinting. Both forms also suffer from client-specific considerations such as whether or not a box will be drawn around the image and the general inability to easily style its display; applying color requires specific CSS, and italicizing would require a CSS skew transform, for example.

When using an image in running text on a webpage it's generally a good idea to set the alt property to an appropriate value. For example, when depicting amounts you might use alt="BTC". Text including the market symbol copied and pasted will then remain syntactically correct, replacing the stock symbol with BTC.[2]

Sample HTML code:

 .btc { height:1em; position:relative; top:0.17em; cursor:text; }
 Please send <img src="btc-sans.png" alt="BTC" class="btc" />0.01 to ...
 Please send <img src="btc-sans.svg" alt="BTC" class="btc" />0.01 to ...

Font Awesome icon[edit]

The Font Awesome collection of icons and symbols also includes the Bitcoin symbol.[3]

Sample HTML code:

 <link rel="stylesheet" href="">
 Please send <i class="fa fa-btc"></i>0.01 to ...


As few fonts include the Bitcoin symbol, a special font was created by Theymos, originally for the BitcoinTalk forum.[4] The font consists of only the Bitcoin symbol (BTC) used in the glyph for the capital letter B. The text "BTC" can be entered and styled with this font, causing it to be replaced entirely with just the symbol on those systems that support this font, while on other systems the text "BTC" is retained. Similarly, copying and pasting text will still retain "BTC". This method is used on BitcoinTalk and the BitcoinWiki.

Sample HTML code:

 @font-face { font-family: BTC; src: url(BTC.ttf); }
 Please send <span style="font-family:BTC, sans-serif">BTC</span>0.01 to ...
Fonts supporting character U+20BF[edit]
  • Horta


The multi-year symbol standard for personal computers has now been updated with the bitcoin trading symbol. On June 20, the Unicode consortium introduced the 10.0 version of the Unicode standard, which includes the bitcoin symbol "B". Overall, the update includes 8518 characters and 56 new emotion symbols (emojis).

The work lasted about 1.5 years after the Unicode Consortium, which controls this standard, approved the proposal, the implementation of which, in fact, is a multi-year process. Efforts to implement the Unicode symbol for bitcoin was launched back in 2011. The proposal for the introduction of the character from technology blogger Ken Sheriff, actually, was the second, which considered by the Consortium. Previously, the consortium rejected the same proposal from the Dutchman sander van Golovin. [5]

See Also on BitcoinWiki[edit]