There certainly are varied opinions about Bitcoin. Everyone from Warren Buffett and Marc Andreessen to the Winklevoss twins and the Internal Revenue Service has opined on the viability of the digital currency. Depending on your vantage point, Bitcoin may be the biggest technology innovation since the Internet or a fad whose crash will be as precipitous as its meteoric rise.

Regardless of your position, virtual currencies have become increasingly interesting to investors and financial market participants around the world. That’s why we are pleased to announce today that Bloomberg is providing Bitcoin pricing to our 320,000+ global subscribers. By typing VCCY<GO> on the Bloomberg Professional service, business and financial professionals can now monitor and chart data from bitcoin exchanges Coinbase and Kraken, while tracking related virtual currency news and social media posts from more than 100,000 sources.

Why are we providing information on our platform about such a controversial market? Three main reasons:

• Transparency – Bloomberg was founded to provide transparency to opaque financial markets and we believe all markets, even digital currencies, greatly benefit from increased transparency.

• Client demand – Serving the needs and objectives of clients has always been a guiding principle of Bloomberg. Clients are increasingly interested in Bitcoin and other digital currencies and are looking for tools to better monitor developments in these markets.

• Innovation – While bitcoin and other virtual currency markets are still nascent, they represent an interesting intersection of finance and technology. Given that Bloomberg sits squarely at that intersection, providing pricing for this underdeveloped market is a natural fit for us.

It’s worth noting that we are not endorsing or guaranteeing Bitcoin, and investors cannot trade Bitcoin or other digital currencies on Bloomberg. Global interest in digital currencies has undoubtedly increased, but these instruments still represent a fraction of fiat currency usage. Reaction from governments around the world to digital currencies has been mixed and the regulatory environment remains very unclear. And while Bitcoin has thus far survived intense media scrutiny, scandal and wild price swings, there certainly is no guarantee that Bitcoin will persevere.

The Bloomberg Professional service provides financial and business professionals data, news, analytics and execution systems across many asset classes. With the addition of Bitcoin pricing, we’re doing what Bloomberg has always done: provide transparency and solutions for the markets that matter to our clients.

So what’s next? We are always monitoring for market developments and are constantly looking for ways to add value for our users. Stay tuned for more.

Contributed by Tod Van Name, Global Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities at Bloomberg