For "normal" currencies there is usually a sign (e.g. $, €) and a code (e.g. USD and EUR) to denote that a number is a monetary value. Depending on your locale setting the sign can be written before or after the amount (variously) and the code (correct me if I'm wrong) can be written strictly only on one side or the other. For example, in Sweden we write 10€ and 10 EUR but in the UK they write €10 and EUR 10.

My question is: how it should be treated in the world of cryptocurrencies? Those currencies don't have any symbols, only codes (depends on how you see it). Should they be treated as "real" currencies and have the code placed depending on localization? I'm confused because I've never encountered any situation where it's written ETH 10 instead of 10 ETH.

3 Answers 3


Yes, they should be treated as real currencies. There's a large number of FX (foreign exchange) bureau's that will exchange them for normal currency, so they are defacto "money".

Also, Bitcoin does have an icon, a B with two vertical lines


And bitcoin and the rest all have official currency codes, that you can use for ForEx


A good list is here: https://coinmarketcap.com/all/views/all/

All can be prefixed or suffixed the same as any other currency.

  • True, they can be exchanged to real money. Maybe that was just the answer I was looking for. About the Bitcoin sign, AFAIK it's not part of the Unicode table (but Ethereum's Ξ is) and therefore I don't consider any of them to have real signs to use. There are thousands of currencies and not even 0.01% of them have a sign representing them.
    – Cheezen
    Sep 28, 2018 at 8:37
  • Yes I tried CoinMarketCap before with a different locale to see if it made any difference but it didn't. Did the same with Ethplorer.io and Etherscan.com and got no difference, hence my confusion.
    – Cheezen
    Sep 28, 2018 at 8:42
  • Remember, the sign isn't always useful - lots of physical currencies are dollars of some sort, so $ isn't always that useful - do you mean USD? Or CAD? Maybe NZD, or AUD? So, if you have a UX that requires distinction between currencies, then the ISO codes are the way to go, otherwise it's just a mess ;)
    – RemarkLima
    Sep 28, 2018 at 19:01
  • Luckily signs more or less doesn't exist for cryptocurrencies so the ISO code is my only option :)
    – Cheezen
    Sep 29, 2018 at 21:34

In general, symbols are used before the number and short codes are used after the number. So, for Etherium, we could type 10 ETH, I belive.

  • Actually it's not true. In Russian for example, all currencies place the symbol after the amount. As mentioned in the UK both the sign and the code is written before the amount.
    – Cheezen
    Sep 28, 2018 at 8:36
  • Well, I think we should think the country of use at first place. I have noticed many articles online which proves that. There are some places that they put the sign before the number and there are also some places that they do the opposite. Here is a good article to read docs.microsoft.com/en-us/globalization/locale/…
    – Tolga
    Sep 30, 2018 at 12:42

All cryptocurrencies are denominated in Bitcoin value, simply replace the pound sign for example with one of Bitcoin, to represent their satoshi value.

A tonne of examples on dribbble for this if you need inspiration.

  • 1
    I don't believe all cryptocurrencies are denominated in Bitcoin. They can be converted to any other currency, sure, but cryptocurrencies are separated and have their own currency code (such as BTC, ETH, ADA etc) that aren't related to Bitcoin.
    – Cheezen
    Sep 28, 2018 at 8:54
  • I think you don't understand cryptocurrency or how users use them then, all cryptocurrencies are valued in sats (satoshis) - their individual currency code (.e.g ETH/XRP) are simply the ticker they have for being listed on exchanges to be traded. You wouldn't refer to each 2000 cryptos currently on the market as their own currency code. I suggest you take a look at some crypto apps like Blockfolio and/or Delta and look how they list cryptos and display their values - notice how values are either displayed in FIAT (USD/Pounds) or Satoshi value.
    – lamps92
    Sep 28, 2018 at 15:07
  • I'm not talking about "how users use them", I'm talking about how the currencies are defined. Correct me if I'm wrong here: all currencies are not valued in Satoshi, only Bitcoin is since that's is smallest value. The equivalent for Ethereum is Wei and they are two completely separate blockchains and their blocks work in completely different ways. When buying on an exchange service their values are usually converted to a BTC or ETH value but they are not all denominated in Bitcoin.
    – Cheezen
    Sep 29, 2018 at 21:47

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