A request has been made at the organization maintaining the currency codes in the ISO 4217 standard to support BTC. This has been declined mainly on bases that organizations such as Reuters and Bloomberg are not reporting on the Bitcoin currency. when this changes a request can be resubmitted.
There is no official currency sign for Bitcoin as of December 2010. As an alternative, the BTC currency code can be used. Some existing Unicode symbols have been proposed but also serious work is being done on creating a custom Bitcoin sign with its own official Unicode that is recognized by the Unicode Consortium. Note that a currency sign is more complex than creating a logo as will be explained below.
New Unicode symbol
In some discussions 41, 369 and 7215 on the bitcoin forum several designs of an official Bitcoin sign have been proposed. This section on the Wiki is intended to streamline the process of arriving at an official Bitcoin currency sign with its own Unicode character code.
Having a unique Bitcoin currency sign will allow typographers to add their currency sign design in their fonts. This is similar as implementing support for the euro sign. Each font has its own version of the euro sign that fits with the style observed in the characters in the rest of the fonts of their typefaces. Note that the Unicode Consortium does not endorse Bitcoin in any way by assigning a Unicode character code, however, having a Unicode for the Bitcoin sign will also be good for PR and help having Bitcoin be taken more seriously.
Requirements and criteria
A reference Bitcoin sign could/should/must be:
- recognizable as a currency sign such as $ € ¥ £ ¢ (with one or two vertical or horzontal bars)
- not confusing with existing currency sign such as Thai Bath ฿
- build from recognizable existing characters found on most QWERTY keyboards such as bar |, minus -, capital B referring to currencies and Bitcoin
- easy to use in handwriting
- easy to compose with one or more compose seuquences that are still free and refer to the elements recognizable in the sign (For example the euro sign can be composed from = and C even though the = and C are not part of how it is pronounced.)
- possible to implement in serif and sans-serif (Most of the Unicode reference implementations are made with serifs but sans-serif also exist in sans-serif fonts. So a reference implementation in serif to what is found in the PDF is preferred.)
- possible to implement in regular, italic, bold and bold italic (for sans-serif the italic will simply be a slanted version)
- submission should be in SVG and use this template (Link to template will be added later.)
Note that a reference Bitcoin sign will only be used as a reference by the Unicode Consortium and it is up to typographers to implement their version matching the style of their typefaces and fonts.
Existing Unicode symbol
There is a discussion over which Unicode symbol might be the best suited for bitcoin.
To type Unicode characters, refer to:
It has led to the following options:
|Proposed character||Description & Pros & Cons||Unicode name||Unicode decimal input||Unicode hex input|
||THAI CURRENCY SYMBOL BAHT||Alt +0E3F|
||CIRCLED LATIN CAPITAL LETTER B||Alt +24B7|
|B⃫||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER B + COMBINING LONG DOUBLE SOLIDUS OVERLAY||U+0042 U+20EB|
||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER B + COMBINING DOUBLE VERTICAL STROKE OVERLAY||U+0042 U+20E6|
||CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER B||Alt +24D1|
|ᴃ||LATIN LETTER SMALL CAPITAL BARRED B||Alt +1D03|
|Ƀ||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER B WITH STROKE||Alt +0243|
|␢||(Unicode Block: Control Pictures) BLANK SYMBOL (graphic for space)||Alt +2422|
|币||pronounced "bi", combines "b", turned "c" and "T", many Chinese users, also 网民币 - Wangminbi, "The Netizen's Currency" (pun on Renminbi)||Chinese for "Currency"||U+5E01|
||GREEK SMALL LETTER BETA||Alt +03B2|
|¤||CURRENCY SIGN||Alt 0164||Alt +00A4|
|Ƅ||LATIN CAPITAL LETTER TONE SIX||Alt +0184|
|∄||(Unicode Block: Mathematical Operators) THERE DOES NOT EXIST||Alt +2204|
|ઘ||GUJARATI LETTER GHA (Indo-Aryan language)||Alt +0A98|
|ϭ||(Unicode Block: Greek and Coptic) COPTIC SMALL LETTER SHIMA||Alt +03ED|
|ɸ||contains 0 and I||Greek small Theta||U+0278|
|∆||delta for "digital"||Greek capital Delta||U+0394|
|ⓢ||Purposed as a smaller unit of bitcoin. E.g. A hundredth of a bitcoin||CIRCLED LATIN SMALL LETTER S||Alt +24E2|
|≡||three bars like three bits||Alt + 240|
|A 'C' with '1' and '0' inside []||
|A 'C' with a 'circle' and 'dot' inside []||
|◪||(Unicode Block: Geometric Shapes) SQUARE WITH LOWER RIGHT DIAGONAL HALF BLACK||Alt +25EA|
|☺||WHITE SMILING FACE||Alt +263A|
|☻||BLACK SMILING FACE||Alt +263B|
|㋡||CIRCLED KATAKANA TU' (Japanese)||Alt +32E1|