To ฿ or not to Ƀ: Bitcoin debates stealing Thai baht’s identity

First they stole the dogs, but we didn’t speak out because we’re cat nerdsThen they stole our sacred traditions, but we didn’t speak out because it was Singabore. Finally, they came for our baht, and we said hell no you can’t have our money.

Proponents of the Bitcoin are debating a symbol to represent the universal currency, and some have suggested taking that of the Thai baht: ฿.

As Saiyai Sakawee reports on the Tech in Asia blog, the debate has taken on a new urgency after an industry group started pushing another optionɃ. As an unregulated, non-centralized currency, Bitcoin’s boosters don’t appreciate an organized effort to control its image and many have rejected the suggested symbol.

Some point to the use of “$” for a variety of currencies as a precedent for hijacking the B-stroke from Thailand’s baht.

“As others have said in the past, the $ represents the Mexican Peso, the Canadian Dollar and the American Dollar,” said Reddit user Asperous in a discussion of the topic. “I see no problem with re-using the symbol.”

Others however demand something unique for the first-of-its-kind currency and say using the symbol for THB will create confusion.

Bitcoin has been using a graphic logo of the letter B with two lines through it, similar to the dollar sign.

The advantages of ฿ and Ƀ however are that they are part of the unicode character system, and can be typed from any keyboard using most typefaces.

To achieve widespread adoption and maintain its character, the currency will likely have to wait until the keepers on the unicode standard adopt it for inclusion.

“Whatever gets used, it needs to be something in Unicode,” user EightyMHZ wrote. “Using vector graphics everywhere or creating a new font … is not going to work.”

Photo: Antana

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