Apple device users can now include the Bitcoin symbol in their texts. The latest update to the Google keyboard for iOS, places this symbol ahead of all the other currency symbols. This is the second time Google makes concessions to cryptocurrencies. Last year, in September, the internet giant lifted the ban on cryptocurrency ads for Google Adwords.
A Sign for Things to Come?
A Bitcoin enthusiast shared a print screen of his Google keyboard on Twitter, accompanied by the message:
Wow I just noticed that the ₿ symbol is now the first currency when u long press $ on Google keyboard… Does everyone know this? Bitcoin is becoming pervasive everywhere.
Wow I just noticed that the ₿ symbol is now the first currency when u long press $ on Google keyboard…
— JP [ ₿⚡️] (@jpthor__) February 18, 2019
There were lively responses to the original tweet from the crypto community. However, there was some confusion among crypto fans on Reddit. They wondered whether the symbol stands for Bitcoin or for Baht, the fiat currency of Thailand. The doubts disappeared upon closer analysis of the icon. Google did indeed add the Bitcoin symbol among its list of currencies.
Apart from the novelty, Google’s decision has a deeper meaning. It signifies a growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies. They are a part of regular people’s lives and they discuss Bitcoin and other digital currencies among each other. Thus, it is natural to let them insert the crypto symbol in their texts.
Not the First Keyboard to Adopt the Crypto Symbol
Although the latest update to the Google keyboard is newsworthy, it is not a premiere. The first keyboard that included the Bitcoin symbol is Unicode. First efforts to add the symbol go as far back as 2011, but that proposal was rejected.
In 2015, Ken Shirriff proposed the addition of the symbol to Unicode again. Finally, the Unicode Consortium accepted it and included the symbol in the 10.0 version, released in June 2017. To use the Bitcoin symbol, all you need to do is type the combination U+20BF.
How Can Users Insert the Bitcoin Symbol in Texts?
Users have to long press on the $ symbol on the Google keyboard. A tab containing various currency symbols will pop up. The Bitcoin symbol is the first one on the left.
It is interesting to note that this addition is only available to iOS users. There is no indication of when and if the Bitcoin symbol will be available for Android phones. Also, it is not universally available for all iPhones, either. For instance, users in France and the Scandinavian countries claimed that they do not have the crypto symbol.