Confirmed: Bloomberg staff are testing a bitcoin price ticker

(@dannybradbury) | Published on August 10, 2013 at 19:54 BST | Companies, News, Prices

Article updated on August 11 at 23:50 (BST).

A source inside Bloomberg has privately confirmed that the company is testing a bitcoin ticker among its internal staff.

The news, which should be officially confirmed by Monday, first surfaced on BTCGeek yesterday. The site said that someone overheard an employee of the financial giant at a Satoshi Square meeting mentioning that the currency was now available on the terminal, and that subsequent checks confirmed it.

“Bloomberg employees can see the Bitcoin ticker under {XBT Crncy<GO>} on their Bloomberg terminal and look up it’s [sic] pricing,” said the site.

The company is said to be using Mt. Gox and TradeHill as sources. The former is still the incumbent exchange, in spite of its performance problems, while TradeHill has targeted high net worth individuals, and is at the front of the field in terms of negotiating with US regulators.

Our source said that this is just a prototype page to test the currency’s data feed with internal staff, and added that the company has been testing this for far longer than just a week.

The bitcoin community has been asking Bloomberg for support for a while. As early as April, one person told BitcoinTalk that he was asking for price histories, graphing, and some technical analysis, along with headlines. Bloomberg said that it was tracking interest in it among its business managers.

This isn’t the first charting or ticker service for bitcoin, of course. You can find tickers at ClarkmoodyBitcoincharts has charting, as do Bitcoinity and Bitcointicker. CoinDesk also has the Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).

Nevertheless, this will be a shot in the arm for the virtual currency – even more so, if it made it out to public users of the terminal. An internal test could indicate that Bloomberg is seeing how the ticker data performs before making it more widely available.

UPDATE:

Vera Newhouse, spokesperson for Bloomberg, has now officially confirmed the news.

“Bloomberg is testing Bitcoin data, but this is only accessible to internal users and not Bloomberg Professional service subscribers,” she said. “We often prototype new functions and dashboards; some that are eventually rolled out, and some that aren’t. It’s premature to provide any details about Bloomberg’s plans for this prototype at this stage.”

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