XBT vs BTC crypto: the difference between XBT and BTC crypto

XBT vs BTC crypto: What is the difference?

11.01.2022 18:55
by Nina Petrov
11 min read

The world is still learning ways it can benefit from blockchain technology. Most people have only a vague knowledge of crypto. One of the most common things people are confused with is what is XBT coin is and how is it related to bitcoin? 

In the previous years, the crypto market experienced accelerated development and reached stunning $3 trillion worth in 2021. It might sound surprising that such a big industry has a hard time naming its main trading assets, but it is true. This article breaks through the XBT vs. BTC dilemma, caused by inconsistent international coding for bitcoin. 

We explore the background and history of the confusion, and bring some clarification to  much the same three-letter codes.

BTC vs. XBT: What’s in the name?

Bitcoin physical coin
Source: Pexels.com

To be clear from the very start, there is no XBT BTC difference. Both of these cryptocurrency abbreviations refer to exactly the same thing: bitcoin.

The fact that the most famous cryptocurrency has two acronyms is confusing many people new to crypto. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, bitcoin is based on innovative technology, which is still not fully regulated by most influential financial and legal institutions. As bitcoin enters the financial mainstream, the institutions are struggling to make space for bitcoin in the official frameworks. On the other hand, crypto stepped out of the anonymity of geek circles into the global market, and many people worldwide are trading with it. It is impossible to avoid crypto as international trade asset, and hence the changes, appearing confusing at first.

You can think about these two codes as a name and a nickname. If a person’s name is Thomas, everyone probably calls him Tommy. However, his ID holds his full name. The same is with bitcoin. We all know it as BTC, which is its nickname, while its official name is XBT. 

What does BTC mean?

The BTC acronym refers to bitcoin, the first, most famous, and most valuable cryptocurrency in the world. The word Bitcoin consists of the words “bit” and “coin.” The term “bit” refers to the basic information unit in computing, while “coin” indicates pieces of metallic money. Thus, the name suggests virtual money.

The bitcoin name is probably akin to the concept of bit gold. Before bitcoin was finally invented in 2008, bit gold referred to a hypothetical protocol independent of third parties, which would safely store and transfer value online. Bit gold sought to avoid hyperinflation scenarios, as seen several times during the 20th century.

In English, there is still no orthography convention on whether bitcoin should be written with capital letters. However, according to the prevailing compromise, we write the uppercase (Bitcoin) when referring to the technology behind the currency. On the other hand, the lowercase (bitcoin) refers to cryptocurrency itself. 

BTC abbreviation is not formal. However, it is the most commonly used bitcoin abbreviation in fintech circles.

What does XBT mean? 

While most people are familiar with what BTC stands for, many wonder what XBT currency is. As we previously mentioned, XBT coins are also bitcoins. The only difference is that abbreviation XBT is the current official international code for bitcoin.

According to existing standards, the letters B and T in the acronym stand for “bitcoin”. The first sign is X since bitcoin is based on blockchain technology and doesn’t belong to any country in particular. We can say that the XBT meaning translates to “bitcoin, the international currency”. 

Bitcoin invest
Source: Pexels.com

Why does Bitcoin have two different tickers?

Bitcoin has a long history of brand modifications. As no central authority defines it, its image was entirely created by the community. The same applies to both its ticker symbol and its logos.

As already explained above, the BTC identifier was adopted from the beginning. It will probably stay a colloquial ticker symbol for the bitcoin trade symbol in the future, despite the changing official code. 

In this sense, bitcoin shares the same destiny as other cryptocurrencies. 

A recent event is illustrative of the ongoing trouble with crypto ticker symbols. Namely, in August this year, a stablecoin previously known as Paxos Standard changed its label to Paxos Dollar. The ticker symbol also changed from PAX to USPD. 

This wouldn’t be a piece of big news if there were no Unit Protocol, a decentralized lending platform whose token has had the same identifier (USPD) since July last year. As Unit Protocol got there first, many expected them to complain and rivalry to escalate. However, this didn’t happen, and the recently founded Unit Protocol never reported Paxos, the seventh largest stablecoin in the market. 

The dispute ended with a statement from a Paxos spokesperson saying that shared tickers are a common thing in the crypto world. According to Paxos, there are dozens of such cases, and this doesn’t seem to bother or confuse the consumers. 

Just like it changed the alphabetic identifier, the visual bitcoin symbol also has a history. 

The original bitcoin logo dates back to the beginning of 2009. It was probably the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto who created the very first symbol for bitcoin. From that moment on, the logo changed at least three times. Until today, the bitcoin currency symbol kept the distinctive yellow colours and the Latin letter B. However, it is an ongoing process, and we might see more transformations in the future.

Temporary XBT Cryptocurrency Code Confusion

This bitcoin abbreviation has to do with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ISO is a global non-governmental organization based in Switzerland, and it is of great authority in setting standards for international trade. Namely, every asset we can trade (money, agriculture products, shipping services, etc.) is regulated by ISO standards. If a product is made according to an ISO standard and is for sale in the international market, a buyer from another country will easily recognize the certificate. 

In the case of the financial industry, for example, ISO is the one who decides that the abbreviation USD will officially stand for US dollar wherever it is exchanged in the world.

On the other hand, ISO still doesn’t have official standards tailored for the crypto industry. For now, financial institutions worldwide align with ISO 4217 standards. This standard dates back to 1978 and deals with fiat currencies of the time. 

Although published four decades before the invention of cryptocurrencies, this standard is relevant for crypto because of its labelling logic. According to this standard, an official currency ticker should start with the alphabetic country code. That is why the US dollar ticker starts with the US, Canadian dollar ticker with CA, and so on. In cases where an asset doesn’t have any particular national origins, ISO assigns X as the first letter.

ISO publications assign both alphabetic and numeric standards to the same products, making things even more transparent. If we look back at the example of USD (alphabetic ISO code), its numeric counterpart is 840 (numeric ISO code). Right now, there is no official numeric code for bitcoin.

There is another reason BTC isn’t acceptable by ISO. As already mentioned, the first two letters refer to a country, and BT is already adopted as Bhutan’s country code. Since bitcoin has nothing to do with Bhutan or any other country for that matter, BTC falls off as a potential international ticker.

It is only partially true to say that XBT is the “official” acronym for bitcoin for all these reasons. The only thing we know for certain is that BTC can’t ever be the official abbreviation. So, XBT is accepted as a temporary official ticker for bitcoin until ISO publishes official and explicit standards for crypto assets.

When was the term XBT first used and why?

The XBT ticker was first introduced by CNN Money, a famous business news website, in February 2015. The reason why such a significant financial portal chose XBT was the fact that BTC wasn’t compliant with ISO standards, as explained above. The need to standardize bitcoin was a signal that it was paving its way to the financial mainstream. That year, Bitcoin finally got out of the first crypto winter and reached mainstream two years later.

CNN Money posted live price updates, price widgets, and a bitcoin news feed. The logic behind the new identifier was very similar to that of gold (XAU) or silver (XBA), so bitcoin was treated as “digital gold.” Although classified under stocks, this was a great affirmation for emerging Bitcoin technology. 

The Future of XBT Bitcoin Acronym

The world is currently in the process of legally and financially defining crypto assets. This is done on both global and national levels. As we are in a transition phase regarding crypto standardization, there is a certain amount of confusion when it comes to the status of cryptocurrencies.

At the moment, both BTC and XBT are acceptable by users, websites, and exchange platforms. BTC stays a traditional and more recognizable bitcoin ticker symbol. XBT is bitcoin’s semi-official ticker. It was soon accepted by some of the largest crypto exchange platforms such as Kraken (although they reintroduced BTC in April this year).

ISO is preparing a new ISO 20022 standard that should be published and implemented by 2023. This standard is expected to help regulate the crypto market and make cryptocurrencies much easier to sell and buy. 

Is XBT a legitimate international currency? 

The moment ISO 4217 was applied to it in 2015, the XBT crypto gained global market-based legitimacy. In other words, it meant international recognition. Bitcoin was integrated into the accounting systems and global trading networks. From that moment on, bitcoin has been a legitimate global trading asset.

Years later, BTC currency still struggles to be recognized by some national authorities. However, the announced ISO 20022 is expected to resolve the remaining issues around the crypto trade.

FAQ 

Since there is a lot of confusion surrounding bitcoin and altcoin identifiers, the following section should offer some clarifications.

What is correct: XBT or BTC?

For the moment, exchange platforms, websites, and individuals are free to use both codes.

What does BTC stand for?

BTC is the oldest and the most familiar bitcoin acronym.

What is a BXT coin?

The ticker BXT refers to either 

  • BitFXT coin, a cryptocurrency operating on the Ethereum platform
  • BitTokens, a cryptocurrency which is a version of Bitcoin with quicker transactions and block times

As these two cryptocurrencies share the same code, this is another example of ticker confusion that currently goes on in the crypto market due to a lack of standards.

What is a BTX coin?

The BitCore crypto (BTX) is another bitcoin derivative. It is similar to BitcoinCash (BCH) or Bitcoin Gold (BTG). However, it is a less popular type of BTC alternative, the so-called hybrid fork. However, these are more popular and are the so-called hard forks.
BTX has a scalable and smaller blockchain. It is, therefore, faster and provides more decentralized mining.

What is an XBTC coin?

xBTC value is attached to the BTC market share. It enables access to every existing altcoin, hence all crypto except bitcoin. In other words, the xBTC grows as BTC share reduces (hence the altcoins share goes up).

What is the current XBT price?

The current XBT stock prices are:

  • USD to XBT/BTC rate is 0,000017
  • XBT/BTC to USD rate is 57.730,80

What is COINaXBT SS?

Bitcoin tracker one (a.k.a. COINXBT SS) refers to an Exchange Traded Product. It’s a certificate that reflects the return of bitcoin expressed in Swedish Krona.

What is BitcoinCash abbreviation?

BitcoinCash ticker symbol is BCH. It is a cryptocurrency and another hard fork bitcoin derivate. I was one of the most successful altcoins for some time. Lately, however, it has been decreasing in value and popularity.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps not many people are aware of it, but cryptocurrencies have changed global financial history forever. Legacy of the great 2009 recession, blockchain technology gave hope that there is a way to make decentralized virtual currencies resistant to financial crisis. The digital currencies were expected to provide more accessible, quicker, and safer trading.

The very nature of cryptocurrencies and the inadequate legal framework caused some confusion around crypto abbreviations. The XBT vs. BTC dilemma is a false one, as both codes refer to bitcoin. 

The critical question, therefore, is not what is XBT coin. Rather, there are bigger issues concerning the new blockchain technology hiding behind this code confusion. Crypto is confusing so many people because national and global institutions are still struggling to understand and standardize their trade. The new code, XBT, is an indicator of bitcoin’s rising popularity and outdated ISO standards. 

Disclaimer: All information contained here should not, under any circumstances, be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.

Author

  • Nina Petrov is a theoretical mathematician, passionate about new trends in the global economy and blockchain technology. She is a devoted content creator and editor, crypto-enthusiast and stock market analyst.

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