The Bitcoin Sign Finally Gets an Approved Unicode Character Point

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by Eugenia Romanenko · 3 min read
The Bitcoin Sign Finally Gets an Approved Unicode Character Point
Photo: bit4coin photo contest

The Unicode Standard accepted the Bitcoin sign, which will be introduced in a future version of Unicode.

Now, a future version of Unicode, a global standard for text, which appears to come out in 2016, will include a Bitcoin symbol as well.  The news comes as the price of the most discussed cryptocurrency soars having broken past the $400 level.

Last month Ken Sherriff submitted a proposal for the addition of the bitcoin sign. Thanks to his efforts, the bitcoin sign was accepted.

In his proposal, he wrote, “There is substantial demand for [Bitcoin Symbol] to be added to Unicode, the user community supports adding the sign to Unicode and its addition would fill a significant gap in Unicode’s currency symbols. This proposal has the support of the Bitcoin Foundation as well as other Bitcoin organizations, companies and developers.”

The bitcoin sign was described as “a capital letter B with two vertical lines ‘going through’ it, though the lines are only visible at the top and bottom,” reads CryptocoinsNews.

“The Bitcoin symbol is clearly popular enough that it should be in Unicode,” said Ken Shirriff in an interview. “Getting the Bitcoin symbol into the Unicode standard was clearly the right thing for Unicode and the right thing for the Bitcoin community,” he added.

Ken Lunde, another Twitter user, managed to spread the news even earlier.

This wasn’t Shirriff’s first time getting a new symbol added to Unicode. “I have been helping restore an IBM mainframe from the 1960s and it uses a strange character set (BCDIC). When I tried to write about the computer, I discovered that one symbol (the group mark symbol) was missing from Unicode. I figured I’d try to get that character added to Unicode, so I followed the steps that the power symbol people suggested, wrote up a proposal, and got the group mark symbol added to Unicode,” he asaid.

Shirriff noted that part of the process was showing the symbol used in “running text. “People on and were very helpful and gave me a ton of examples, everything from web pages to research papers,” he said. Originally, the Bitcoin Foundation was pushing to get the symbol added to Unicode, but after a year, there had been little progress, states Bitcoin Magazine.

“The Unicode 9.0 standard will come out in June, so the Bitcoin symbol should be in that version,” Shirriff added. However, he also said that font support could take more time. Between the next bitcoin halving and this symbol, it seems like Summer of 2016 should be a very exciting time.

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Eugenia Romanenko

Eugenia graduated from Minsk State Linguistic University with a degree in Intercultural Communication, Translation/Interpretation (Italian, English). Currently she works as a business analyst, freelance interpreter and tutor. She’s fond of numismatics, photos, good books and sports, adores travelling and cooking.

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