Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google, the world’s leading search engine provider, recently decided to add support for the Bitcoin symbol on Google keyboards for Apple's mobile devices.
Many members of the crypto community believe this could be a sign that the giant IT firm has started to recognize bitcoin (BTC) as a mainstream currency. All iOS mobile devices now have the capital letter serif B (marked by two vertical lines) that people can use when discussing, or referencing, bitcoin. Explaining how the new bitcoin symbol can be accessed, Tim Copeland, a crypto and blockchain journalist noted:
To access it, make sure you’re using the Google keyboard, not just the default Apple one, and hold down the dollar symbol to see a pop up of several of the world’s major currency symbols. The Bitcoin symbol is located on the far left.
Google Releases Its First Crypto-Related Ad
In October 2018, Google had released an advertisement about its new Call Screen service - which involved characters talking about cryptocurrencies. Although there were mixed reactions to the ad, it appeared as if the commercial had been created to relate the widespread misunderstanding about digital assets.
The ad featuring Google’s new Call Screen service (which answers phone calls on behalf of users and transcribes the caller’s message) involved one character in the commercial stating that cryptocurrency mining consumes a lot of energy. This, after he received a message from his utility company warning him about his high power consumption.
When told by the other character in Google’s ad that cryptos aren’t “real money” and that he’s “living a lie”, he said:
Well, I’ve got news for you. Money isn’t real.
Google Lifts Months Long Ban On Crypto Ads
Earlier in September 2018, Google lifted its four-month-long ban on ads related to cryptocurrencies. Commenting on the decision, Scott Spencer, the director of product management at Google, remarked (at that time):
We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.
According to Copeland and other crypto analysts, Google’s decisions and actions as a company may not necessarily be in favor of bitcoin and other digital assets. However, the search engine giant does appear to have become more receptive towards acknowledging bitcoin’s ongoing development and increasing awareness about cryptos among users.
As explained in this Reddit post, the symbol representing Bitcoin is currently a part of the existing Unicode character set (version 10). The symbol which is now supposed to represent Bitcoin can be accessed by using the “20BF” Unicode character. This character (among others) has been a part of the standard Unicode characters since June 2017.