There are no hard and fast rules in place yet for the selection of ticker symbols to represent a tokenized asset in the crypto space.
However, the ability to avoid the use of similar tickers in a decentralized and budding cryptocurrency environment will connote orderliness and add credence to the distinction between the crypto and the traditional stock exchange markets.
Usually, after an initial public offering, stock brokers and traders buy and sell shares of stock, bonds and other securities listed on stock exchanges which have a centralized data system - mostly a central location for record keeping though trading is not restricted to a physical place. As asset listing requirements for trading on any exchange vary from one country to the other, so do the three-letter ticker symbol has to go through an approval process before being issued by the relevant authority.
In other words, a ticker symbol is only acceptable in a country’s stock exchange market - there is no restriction to the same symbol being used in another country.
AHT ticker example
This differs to what is obtainable in a decentralized crypto environment where the market is not compartmentalized based on borders, time zones or national currencies. For example, tokens with the AHT ticker have been released to its various investors via the Waves platform and another exchange.
This is good news for the team, the Bowhead Health Project in this case, and their supporters have conducted a successful Initial Coin Offering ICO though it seems they fall short of their expected funding target.
In the backdrop of this development is the issue that may creep out of the AHT ticker claim: there is another project, which ended its ICO this week and would probably be releasing their tokens on exchanges too, with the same letters.
In other words, there is the anonymized health token AHT which is the token for the Bowhead Health project that wants to enter the market of customizable healthcare and on the other hand is the Ahoolee Tokens AHT for Ahoolee , the worldwide shopping search engine which launched the alpha version of its service in May 2017.
While there is time for the two projects to work out what is good for the progress of their respective projects, it is imperative to touch on the efforts startups need to make before they choose a ticker for their tokens to be traded on crypto exchanges.
This is a similar issue with Nimiq, the peer-to-peer third-generation Blockchain payment protocol for the World Wide Web that combines elements of Bitcoin and Ethereum, which uses smaller units known for now as Nimiq Exchange Tokens (NET) but plans to swap to NIM later in December (100 NETs = 1 NIM). Their entry into the market with the NET ticker has really frustrated some of their efforts to get listed on cryptocurrency exchanges, which has not gone down well with a few investors who think they are getting less of the project’s worth as a result.
While there could be several other reasons for the exchanges not to accept Nimiq’s NET on their platforms- those disclosed or undisclosed- because exchanges tend to have the last say on which token they choose to have on their platforms. A key issue of discussion surrounding the topic has been the choice of the NET ticker as there is already another token that uses the same NetCoin - a global cryptocurrency that was originally based on Litecoin’s coin core. Not all exchanges feel comfortable to list two different tokens with the an identical ticker.
It all boils down to the need for self-regulation. Startups seeking to run an ICO needs to ensure they conduct a thorough check for various coincidences, not only with ticker-related issues but other industry-based concerns such as the working arrangement with cryptocurrency exchanges which confuse the market more.