XBT vs BTC

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A lot of people are still confused about the BTC and XBT symbols.

These two abbreviation symbols have created a lot of questions as par, whether they represent the same cryptocurrency or not.

Most assets like; fiat currencies, metals (i.e. Gold, Silver, Bronze etc.), and stocks, only have 1 ticker they are being used for recognition on the international standards.

However, that is not the case with Bitcoin XBT stock symbol. Due to its unregulated nature, Bitcoin has two commonly used tickers and terms as: BTC and XBT.

In this post, I will explain to you why the two symbols are used to represent Bitcoin asset.

Let get started!

What does XBT stand for?

XBT is a new abbreviation for Bitcoin that is starting to come into use, and reflects its growing legitimacy as an international currency.

The abbreviation “XBT” comes from the International Standards Organization (ISO) that maintains a list of internationally recognized currencies.

Understanding currency tickers

Despite some common beliefs, no one registers a cryptocurrency ticker (they are not protected under copyright law). It pertains to all known crypto tickers, including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

They are perceived as the standard ones due to the fact that they come straight from Satoshi’s and Vitalik’s respective white papers.

For ICO issuers, it is a mundane practice to specify the name and the ticker of the token to avoid confusion.

In order to list stocks, bonds or other securities on the NYSE, there is an approval process involved, but there are no geographical restrictions, which essentially means that the same ticker could work in another country.

However, when it comes to the decentralized world of cryptocurrencies, it is not an easy feat – there are certain coins in the likes of Nimiq’s NET that fail to get listed on exchanges because it coincides with another cryptocurrency.

Let’s get started already. Hope you are still ready now?

Is XBT the same as BTC?

Yes, XBT or BTC is the same thing (i.e., Bitcoin). The only reason for the confusion is, because some exchanges are using the term XBT, while the majority of them are using BTC, and that’s more popular currently.

Btx Vs Xbt

If you ask me, BTC vs XBT is more like comparing the owner of your first name with other names. BTC and XBT practically represents the same Bitcoin cryptocurrency asset – that is to say: 1 XBT = 1 BTC directly.

Why XBT cryptocurrency symbol?

Currently, Bitcoin is popularly represented as BTC, but some exchanges, especially the ones that started in the early days of the market still refers to BTC as XBT, because the ticker BTC violates ISO 4217, which is a standard delineating currency designation.

The ISO 4371 standard builds abbreviations based on the first two letters of the currency’s country code and the third is usually the first letter of every currency’s name.

Some examples are:

  • USD: US Dollar
  • JPY: Japanese Yen
  • GBP: Great Britain Pound

This same standard also states that, if a currency is not linked to a particular country, its ticker initial should start with an ‘X’ alphabet.

Some examples in stocks are:

  • XAU: Gold
  • XAG: Silver

Since Bitcoin is clearly a currency that does not belong to a specific country, technically, it’s ticker must start with an ‘X’. Hence, the ticker ‘XBT’.

Origination of the BTC symbol

Satoshi Nakamoto always referred to the cryptocurrency as ‘Bitcoin’, never as BTC. But the abbreviation BTC was naturally chosen by the Bitcoin community, while discussing the asset on forums like Bitcointalk.org

When the first Bitcoin exchanges launched, they adopted the ‘BTC’ ticker as well, which further legitimized it into being used popularly by all other recently established exchanges.

Exchange that trade XBT/USD pairs

Only few cryptocurrency exchange platforms still have the cryptocurrency symbol in their list of pairs. Below are the trading platforms that has it currently:

BitMEX trading platform

BitMEX is a derivatives exchange that uses XBT for its Bitcoin perpetual cryptocurrency coin swap contracts.

Kraken exchange platform

Kraken is a cryptocurrency spot exchange that uses XBT for its Bitcoin/Fiat pairs (like XBT/USD) and for its Altcoin/Bitcoin pairs (like ETH/XBT).

XBT symbol

As you can see above already, the two symbols represents the same Bitcoin cryptocurrency asset. But the platforms that are still using it until now are those that have been in the market for a very long time.

If you ask me which acronym of Bitcoin I like more, I would definitely choose ‘BTC’ as it sounds more relatable to Bitcoin than XBT, and it is being used predominately also despite XBT’s introduction.

However, I don’t mean that I don’t want a standard nomenclature for it, but so far the acronym ‘BTC’ seems to be winning in all battles unconcerned of any ISO’s permission.

So that’s all from me on ‘What is XBT?’. If you are looking to invest in Bitcoin, i hope this post content have also enlightened you a bit on Bitcoin cryptocurrency naming conventions.


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