Table of Contents:

  • What is XBT?
    • Where does XBT come from?
    • Why is XBT confusing for some people?
      • XBT vs BTC
      • The “X” Cryptocurrency Ticker Symbols
      • Bitcoin, Forks, and Cryptocurrencies
      • Confusing ISO Ticker Symbols
    • What is the difference between XBT and BTC?
    • Where can you purchase XBT?
    • How can you pay for XBT?
      • Bank Services
      • Credit/Debit Cards
      • Digital Payment Options
      • Bitcoin ATMs
      • Crypto Exchange Platforms
    • XBT Crypto Wallets
    • Wrap Up

What is XBT?

Many experienced and inexperienced crypto investors are confused by the ticker symbol XBT. Investors don’t know if it represents a specific cryptocurrency or if it’s the same as a crypto token with a different acronym. Here we explain XBT, BTC, and the relationship between them.

XBT is a ticker symbol used for Bitcoin. It refers to the same cryptocurrency as the ticker symbol BTC. Some crypto exchanges denote Bitcoin as XBT and others as BTC. XBT is the international ticker symbol for Bitcoin while BTC is the most commonly used one.

It was first used in 2013 on a Bloomberg machine. After its initial use, it caught on and professional traders have been using it ever since. However, despite its use by professional traders, many experienced crypto investors still don’t know that XBT and BTC represent the same cryptocurrency. Currently, there is no plan to combine or eliminate either of the ticker symbols.

Where does XBT come from?

XBT meets the requirements established for a ticker symbol by the International Standards Organization. More specifically, it satisfies the requirements of ISO 4217. The “X” in XBT is used to indicate that it is a supranational currency. It is not connected to a specific government, country, or region.

Moreover, under ISO 4217, the first 2 characters of a currency indicate its country of origin. The last character is the first letter of the currency. Some examples are the Chinese Yuan (CNY), Japanese Yen (JPY), United States Dollar (USD), and Canadian Dollar (CND).

Why is XBT confusing for some people?

XBT is confusing for three reasons: people are unaccustomed to seeing and hearing the ticker symbol; there are cryptocurrencies with similar ticker symbols; and its popular and international ticker symbols are different.


The confusion between these two ticker symbols is the result of people not knowing the history of Bitcoin’s development and not trading it internationally or being involved in Bitcoin derivatives and contracts for difference (CFDs). When trading Bitcoin on international markets or investing in CFDs and derivatives, the investor must use the XBT ticker symbol.

The “X” Cryptocurrency Ticker Symbols

There is more than one cryptocurrency that has a ticker symbol that starts with the letter “X”. Other cryptocurrencies that may be confused with XBT are XRP (Ripple), XTZ (Tezos), and XLM (Stellar Lumens). None of the “X” cryptocurrencies are the same as XBT. They are all different cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin, Forks, and Cryptocurrencies

The Bitcoin blockchain causes its fair share of confusion because there have been a number of hard forks off the Bitcoin blockchain. So, some Bitcoin enthusiasts may not realize that XBT and BTC are the same because there are so many crypto token derivatives from the Bitcoin blockchain.

Currently, people are trading Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin Diamond (BTD), Bitcoin SV (BSV), and other crypto tokens that have resulted from hard forks off of the Bitcoin blockchain and contributed to the growing number of cryptocurrencies overall.

Confusing ISO Ticker Symbols

Bitcoin has only been around for about 15 years. Given that it is a newcomer to the international trading marketplace, it has to avoid confusion with pre-existing currencies like XBC and BTN.

BTN is the ticker symbol for Bhutanese Ngultrum, the currency of Bhutan. So, BTC, as an international ticker signal, could incorrectly signal that Bitcoin is a Bhutanese currency.

XBC is the ticker symbol for a bond market unit of the European Unit of Accounting (E.U.A.-9). This ticker symbol was approved by the ISO before Bitcoin came onto the market.

In short, the solution could be not to make the BTC ticker the international ticker symbol for Bitcoin. Also, trying to combine XBT and BTC to create a ticker symbol more familiar to all Bitcoin crypto traders is also complicated by the existence of ticker symbols with similar letters (e.g., XBC).

What is the difference between XBT and BTC?

The major difference between XBT and BTC is how they are used in the crypto trading marketplace. BTC is popular in the domestic market because it is the most popular ticker symbol for the cryptocurrency, while XBT is the international ticker symbol and is used by crypto investors who invest in derivatives and (CFDs).

Some cryptocurrency exchanges first supported XBT as the flagship cryptocurrency’s ticker symbol, with Kraken being a well-known example. Given the popularity of the BTC ticker, as of April 26, 2021, Kraken started supporting BTC over XBT.

Where can you purchase XBT?

XBT can be found on popular crypto exchanges, like PrimeXBT, Exodus, and BitMEX. Some of these platforms permit investors to invest in derivatives and CFDs.

How can you pay for XBT?

Bank Services

There are a variety of ways to pay for your XBT. Investors can connect their bank accounts to a centralized crypto exchange and transfer the funds for each XBT purchase to the crypto platform. You can also pay for XBT via wire transfers.

Credit/Debit Cards

Investors can purchase XBT from certain platforms using their credit and/or debit cards.

Digital Payment Options

XBT can be bought using digital payment apps like PayPal and Cash App.

Bitcoin ATMs

In some countries, crypto investors can go to a Bitcoin ATM and purchase XBT using fiat currency or cryptocurrency.

Crypto Exchange Platforms

Investors who are active in the crypto market can also search for platforms that list XBT or BTC and purchase it using the crypto tokens in their wallets.

XBT Crypto Wallets

As a crypto investor, you are expected to keep your private keys in a safe, secure place. In addition, you are expected to store your crypto tokens in a safe and secure crypto wallet that is compatible with the assets you are using.

As XBT is Bitcoin, any wallet supporting the flagship cryptocurrency will support these tokens, although it will likely use the BTC ticker symbol for it.

Wrapping Up

Regardless of whether you choose to trade XBT, BTC, or both, you are trading Bitcoin. It is important that you recognize both ticker symbols when they are used and the differences between the listings. Most notably, XBT is mostly used for the international trade of Bitcoin and when crypto enthusiasts invest in derivatives and CFDs.

Featured image via Unsplash.