Anyone who has been around the Bitcoin market for some time, or even most newcomers, will have no doubt noticed certain symbols associated with Bitcoin – most commonly, BTC. However, XBT is yet another three letter symbol used to represent an abbreviated version of Bitcoin. Here’s an in-depth look at the meaning of XBT, what it stands for, and everything else you need to know about the alternative ticker symbol.
Financial markets all vary in the assets that trade within them, ranging from forex currencies, to commodities, stocks and indices, metals, cryptocurrencies, and many more. Because the international financial world is so vast and widespread, each asset trades globally using an agreed upon standard nomenclature for a price ticker symbol that represents what is essentially an abbreviated version of the asset or company’s full name.
For example, a national currency might include the name of the country of origin within the abbreviation as is the case with the United States dollar trading as USD. The national currency dollar is used across many countries, making the first two letters of each symbol especially important to pay attention to, and is often the country code itself.
Specifically, currencies like USD, Bitcoin, and even gold follow ISO 4217 standards, published in 1978 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that defines alpha codes and numeric codes for the representation of currencies. But much like everything else related to the sometimes unorthodox cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin confusingly trades under two separate price symbols, XBT and BTC.
The acronym XBT, specifically applies to the ISO 4217 standard, in which Bitcoin follows similar guidelines of other non national currencies, such as gold, silver, palladium, and more. XBT is one of two Bitcoin codes, with BTC code being the other. Although BTC is still the more popular term for the cryptocurrency asset, XBT is better suited for its potential as a global reserve currency.
The X in XBT is in reference to any asset that acts as a “supranational” currency that isn’t bound to any particular country borders, much like XAU in gold or XAG in silver markets. The two latter financial instruments have been trading globally for hundreds of years, transcending nation states.
Bitcoin also has no borders its bound to, and because the asset is a decentralized currency, it is much more similar to a gold or silver versus a currency like the dollar or the yuan that is tied to a superpower government.
Bitcoin is a new technology developed within the last 15 years, long after most currency codes were established. The symbol XBT was used to avoid any confusion with existing currencies. For example, the Bhutanese ngultrum utilizes the BTN ticker name, and XBC stands for the bond market unit E.U.A.-9 – the European Unit of Account 9 as defined by ISO 4217. Thus, a new abbreviation XBT was created.
The BTC XBT / XBT BTC difference is in the coin code or cryptocurrency ticker symbols only. Comparing XBT to BTC is like comparing apples directly to the same exact type of apples. BTC sometimes refers to the cryptocurrency asset itself, while the term XBT is used for more professional services, such as derivatives trading.
The XBT ticker still continues to confuse those that are more familiar with BTC. It would be ideal if the cryptocurrency community and financial world would come together to unify the Bitcoin standard under XBT to better reflect its potential as a global reserve currency.
Adding to the confusion, there are dozens of other forms and forks of Bitcoin, such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin Diamond (BTD), Bitcoin SV (BSV), and several others. But there is only one original Bitcoin and it uses both BTC and XBT.
During these earliest times for Bitcoin, the price per coin was virtually worthless, valued first at less than a penny each. The cryptocurrency was difficult to acquire, and only early miners using regular PCs were able to obtain them. The peak of the very first bull market topped out at $30 per coin.
Bitcoin begins to take off toward more than $1,000 per coin, rising from a low of under $5 in 2011 and 2012. Two especially large bullish impulses took Bitcoin to the peak over $1,200 per coin in 2013. The first peak happened when Mt. Gox shut down their platform to allow the cryptocurrency market to cool off.
The hack of Mt. Gox and other factors caused the first major peak and bear market in Bitcoin, from 2014 and 2015. The cryptocurrency dropped more than 80% from $1,200 to around $160 per coin at the low.
The way back up from the first bear market, was the bull market that put Bitcoin and crypto on the map. Because Bitcoin had emerged so quickly and seemingly out of nowhere, many were quick to write it off as a bubble or a fad, and missed out on it. Bitcoin eventually reached a high of just under $20,000 at the peak.
After what most believed was the bubble popping, Bitcoin fell to $3,000 at the low. But unlike the past bear market, development continued strong due to the asset class becoming a respected part of the financial industry.
The firm foundation built during the bear market gave the crypto market lasting power that now gave institutions and corporations the confidence to buy into Bitcoin, fueling the FOMO and bull market of 2020 and 2021. Ongoing stimulus efforts by governments have inflated monetary supply to the tune of trillions, and Bitcoin is becoming a hedge against that monetary abuse.
In the future, Bitcoin price predictions reach as high as $1 million per coin, with the peak of the 2021 bull market estimated to reach prices of $200,000 or more.
Buying XBT is easy from popular cryptocurrency trading platform PrimeXBT. Users can access a third party module and get XBT to fund their margin accounts and begin trading immediately.
Because there’s still much confusion associated with Bitcoin having two different price tickers and so many knockoffs in the market, we’ve prepared this list of commonly asked questions to help guide you in the future.
Bitcoin XBT is the price ticker for Bitcoin according to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 4217. The three letter ticker symbol references its “supranational” design that isn’t associated with any specific country or region.
XBT coin, currency, stock, whatever you want to call it, it is all Bitcoin. Just make sure that when you are purchasing XBT, you are doing it from a reputable source like PrimeXBT, which even has the ticker symbol in its company name.
XBT crypto is stored just like any other coins via a wallet connected to the blockchain. Users of XBT can store their coins in a cold storage wallet, or in a hot wallet for faster access, albeit more exposure to risk.
There is no better choice between XBT or BTC because they are both the same exact currency at its core. XBT is exactly the same as the BTC code, but better suited for international usage as a currency.
This is a common misconception perpetuated by Robinhood traders, who believe that crypto is a stock, and the XBT stock price is what they follow. This is incorrect, as cryptocurrencies are digital assets that are very different from stocks, and much more volatile.
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