Bitcoin Foundation Forms Committee to Create Bitcoin Unicode Symbol

The foundation is seeking volunteers for its Standards Committee, which will be tasked with finding bitcoin's Unicode symbol.

AccessTimeIconJun 19, 2014 at 12:52 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:53 a.m. UTC
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The Bitcoin Foundation is looking for volunteers for its Standards Committee, which will be tasked with creating and adopting a bitcoin Unicode symbol.

This committee will also examine denomination conventions, develop a recommended standard and deal with other, unspecified duties.

Unicode symbol for bitcoin

The foundation started discussing the possibility of introducing a Unicode symbol for bitcoin last year. Numerous proposals were floated, ranging from '฿' (Thai Baht symbol) to 'Ƀ' (U+0243).

Different variants of existing symbols were also proposed, alongside entirely new designs – nearly all of them based on a 'B' with some form of horizontal or vertical stroke overlay. Some of these designs are already in limited use, but there is no standard.

The Bitcoin Foundation Standards Committee will have to look at a number of different options, assess them, put them up for vote and eventually adopt one. Then comes the task of adding it to Unicode.

In addition to designing and implementing a new Unicode symbol, bitcoin will also require an ISO currency code standard. Currency code XBT is gaining traction for bitcoin under the ISO 4217 standard.

Standard bitcoin denominations

The second main task involves bitcoin denominations. The foundation states that the committee will have to examine denomination conventions and “come up with a recommended standard” for them.

This could prove a daunting task, as the committee will have to deal with numerous denominations rather than a single symbol. What’s more, there are already numerous denominations out there being used by developers, enthusiasts and the media.

The Bitcoin wiki currently lists a dozen denominations under 1 BTC, from 'sanbitcoin' to 'bitcoinbong' and 'satoshi'. Although many of them are used on a daily basis, they are not standardised.

The announcement was posted by Bitcoin Foundation forum admin Brad Wheeler, who cited membership director Kevin Beardsley as the go-to person for additional information.


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