On June 1, 2017, Swedish-based XBT Provider AB announced that its bitcoin exchange-traded notes will be available on UK-based financial services company Hargreaves Lansdown’s online investment platform. As per Ryan Radloff, Head of Investor Relations for XBT Provider:
“By adding self-service, online dealing, the team at Hargreaves Lansdown is providing UK investors with professional and quick access to the bitcoin space in the UK and greater Europe. This is very exciting for any investors who have been thinking about buying bitcoin but did not want the hassle of security and regulation involved in buying bitcoin directly from exchanges. Now investors can quickly add bitcoin exposure to their portfolio via their brokerage account.”
According to the release, all clients with Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and brokerage accounts with the financial firm will have the option to add bitcoin to their portfolio by simply logging into their accounts and performing a search for ‘XBT.’
XBT is the unofficial currency code for bitcoin as it is not yet recognized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Typically, according to ISO currency code naming standards, the first two letters of a currency code consists of a two-digit ISO 3316 country code and the third letter represents the currency. Although BTC is commonly used in the cryptocurrency community to stand for bitcoin, ‘BT’ already signifies the country of Bhutan.
XBT was used to represent bitcoin, with the letter ‘X’ representing that it is not a national currency. The second two letters ‘BT’ were used because XBC already represents European Unit of Account 9.