Bitcoin is now officially mainstream. According to BTC Geek, Bloomberg terminal users can now look up Bitcoin’s pricing history. Data comes from ubiquitous Bitcoin exchange service Mt. Gox as well as Tradehill.
For now, only Bloomberg employees can access the ticker. But the feature should make its way to regular Bloomberg terminal customers under the label XBT. The ticker probably shows what a bitcoin is worth in U.S. dollars over time.
So far, trading Bitcoins have remained a hobby activity as volatility is very important. It’s hard to predict price changes due to the lack of tools and the relatively low number of Bitcoin traders compared to currency traders. One of the most efficient tickers is Bitcoinity, but Bloomberg terminals could become the de facto standard for traders. The feature proves that investment banks are interested by the cryptocurrency.
With the Bloomberg terminal, traders could easily compare Bitcoins with other currencies in order to short them. When it comes to shorting currencies, traders do it by investing their portfolio in another currency. For example, they would sell USD to buy EUR, effectively creating a net short USD and a net long EUR position.
Yet, traders still have to use Bitcoin exchange services like Mt. Gox or Tradehill for transactions. They won’t be able to execute buy or sell orders from their Bloomberg terminals. It could be the last technical difficulty before investing some time and money in Bitcoins.
At first, the Bloomberg terminal remains a great tool to keep up with financial news. It even includes Twitter feeds now. Even if Bitcoin trading won’t become the main activity on Wall Street, the ticker creates another data point for information purposes.
Just three days ago, a federal judge in Texas ruled that Bitcoin is a currency. Transactions and institutions should therefore be regulated just like other financial institutions that deal with dollars. Similarly, back in May, Mt. Gox had to state that it provides money services in order to continue to operate in the U.S.
While the original purpose of Bitcoin was that there was no central bank and regulation, Bloomberg confirms yet again the legitimation of Bitcoins with the new ticker. Bitcoins and U.S. dollars will soon appear on the same screen, side by side. Traders, start trading.