What is the difference between BTC and XBT?

  • This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Adriaan Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Jan 30, 2018
231
45
28
www.bitcoinforbeginners.io
#1
Some of you may have noticed that in many cases Bitcoin is referred to with the ticker BTC, this is the most commonly used ticker. However sometimes also XBT is used; this refers to the same Bitcoin blockchain as BTC, it is only a different ticker symbol. For example mainly the exchanges Kraken and Bitmex use the XBT symbol for Bitcoin, where Coinbase/GDAX use BTC. Even in the Bitcoin Futures exchanges use different symbols: the CME uses BTC and CBOE uses XBT. I think the reason to use any of both tickers is arbitrary, and this is because Bitcoin is decentralized so there are no rules or enforcements how people want to call or name it. However the meaning of XBT is that it conforms with an ISO standard like is used for commodities like Gold (XAU) that all start with X. In this ISO standard the ticker XBT has not officially been taken yet, so it is unofficially been used to refer to Bitcoin.

According to ISO standards for currencies the BTC ticker could technically not be used, because according to those standards, the first 2 letters have to refer to the country and the third letter to the first letter of the currency name, example USD, country: US, currency: Dollar. In case of BTC there is no country ofcourse AND BT would refer to Butan, for which the currency ticker is BTN.

So technically probably the most appropriate ticker symbol would be XBT, but for getting it listed officially for the particular ISO standard, it needs to be supported by a major bank for as far as I understood, although it is said that the Bitcoin Foundation is trying to push such initiative.

TL;DR: there is no difference; both mean Bitcoin.
 
Last edited:
Jun 12, 2018
70
6
8
#2
Even in the Bitcoin Futures exchanges use different symbols: the CME uses BTC and CBOE uses XBT. I think the reason to use any of both tickers is arbitrary, and this is because Bitcoin is decentralized so there are no rules or enforcements how people want to call or name it