Comparing the price of bitcoin at the beginning of 2018 with early June, it's easy to see that the digital currency has lost a good deal of its sparkle. In the first few days of the year, the price of BTC climbed above $17,000 briefly. As of this writing, it's hovering above $7,000, with some investors expecting the value to continue to fall going forward. Although bitcoin remains the largest digital currency in the world by market cap, it has spent the better part of 2018 struggling to maintain the incredible momentum it built up late last year. Coinciding with the decline in bitcoin's value, CNBC reports that Google searches for the term "bitcoin" have plummeted by 75% since January. In the past three months, the number of searches for the popular cryptocurrency has roughly halved.
Link to Buyer Interest?
While there's not necessarily a direct correlation between Google searches for "bitcoin" and the price of the digital currency itself, there is reason to believe that a drop in bitcoin searches is bad news for the cryptocurrency. DataTrek Research co-founder Nicholas Colas suggests that his company uses Google Trends "to track search queries for 'bitcoin' as a proxy for potential new buyers," adding that "bitcoin needs a new narrative in order to reestablish global attention."
Google Trends assigns numerical values to represent search interest relative to the highest level of interest in that term over a specified region and time. The highest value, 100, indicates peak popularity for the term among Google searchers. On Jan. 1, bitcoin's popularity measure was 37. By June 2, it dropped to just 9.
Other Measures of Interest
Colas utilizes other means of gauging investor interest in bitcoin, too, including wallet growth. For April and May of this year, growth in new wallets was about 2% per month. The first quarter compounded monthly growth was 3.7%, Colas reported. Compared to the last quarter of 2017, though, this number is weak; wallet growth for Q4 last year, compounded monthly, was 7.6%.
Bitcoin is not alone in seeing search interest drop off this year. Ethereum has fallen in search frequency by 70%, while ripple is down by 87%. EOS, however, has moved the opposite direction, with searches nearly doubling so far this year.
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