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CNN Money Adds Bitcoin Ticker (XBT)

Op-ed - CNN Money Adds Bitcoin Ticker (XBT)

On February 18, 2015, CNN Money quietly announced via Twitter its new Bitcoin quote page, with the ticker XBT.

Like all CNN Money quote pages for public stocks, the XBT page has a price chart, updated daily, and a compilation of recent Bitcoin news.

CNN Money is no stranger to Bitcoin. It often publishes related news, and has a simple infographic page to explain Bitcoin. In September 2014, CNN Money’s Jose Pagliery published a book, Bitcoin: And the Future of Money, which is considered one of the best general reference books on the subject.

Now that CNN Money readers know about Bitcoin, how can they trade XBT? So far, only one option is available: trade Bitcoin on a reputable exchange like Bitstamp or Coinbase. Soon, another option more suitable to traditional investors will be available: the Winklevoss twins’ planned Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust ETF, which will be available to all investors on NASDAQ with the ticker COIN and reflect the dollar exchange rate of bitcoin on Winkdex. That will be an interesting option for those who are persuaded that XBT will rise in the mid- and long term, but prefer not to hold bitcoin.

It’s interesting to note that CNN Money treats Bitcoin like a stock. Today many people know Bitcoin as some kind of investment vehicle whose value goes up and down, and consider it as either a currency or a stock depending on whether they use it to trade on forex or stock exchanges.

But it’s important to realize that Bitcoin is not a stock.

Company stock prices go up and down in the bulls-and-bears stock market depending on the public perception of the company. When there is good news about new products on the market or strategic acquisitions, the bulls want to buy and the price goes up. When there is bad news, the bears want to sell and the price goes down. In both cases, investors buy and sell depending on what they think will happen to the stock price. That’s how the stock market works, and so far Bitcoin is no exception.

But while you can’t buy things with Apple or Microsoft stock – no pizza costs 0.2 MSFT shares – you can buy more and more things with bitcoin, including consumer goods, iPhones, meals in restaurants, groceries in supermarkets that accept bitcoin, plane tickets and more. With Bitcoin adoption sky-rocketing among consumers and merchants alike, more and more consumers use bitcoin for purchases. Those purchases are equivalent to sell orders, and they bring the price of bitcoin down.

Therefore, the growing enthusiasm of corporate investors and venture capitalists, who believe that Bitcoin is the next big thing and bet on next-generation Bitcoin killer apps, won’t necessarily result in a rise of the XBT price. It’s important that investors bear that in mind.