Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.
Google Trends shows that the ‘Bitcoin’ keyword is currently just 13% of what it was in 2017. Previously, memetic excitement followed Bitcoin’s price rise in lockstep. If Bitcoin is headed towards overcoming its previous all-time price, what does that mean for Bitcoin’s potential growth?
What’s the Current Search Volume of Bitcoin?
Bitcoin has always been propelled by the younger generations, those that spend more time in the digital realm than IRL. Correspondingly, the internet generation became a major factor in accounting for the value of assets. This not only extends to Bitcoin but also to a more exuberant type of stock trading.
Accustomed to generating memetic buzz, millennials and early-adopter Bitcoin evangelists spearheaded Bitcoin adoption across social media. In 2017, at Bitcoin’s all-time-high at nearly $20k, this became apparent as this Google Trends graph shows, tracking Bitcoin’s interest over time.
These spikes in interest aligned perfectly with Bitcoin’s previous bull runs. However, in the ongoing Bitcoin bull run threatening to surpass its all-time peak in 2017, we are seeing no such peak in interest.
Three major Bitcoin bull runs within three years, showing a stark absence of Google Trends correlation with Bitcoin’s latest bull run. What can we infer from this?
Bitcoin Has Become a Household Name
As we had demonstrated with the comparative Bitcoin adoption survey, three years ago, people still harbored doubts about the very nature of Bitcoin. Recall that 61-year-old Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, called Bitcoin a fraud in 2017 because he couldn’t comprehend how it derives value. This sentiment was shared across the board, especially among the older population.
However, Bitcoin familiarity has grown tremendously since 2017. Even among the population over 65, Bitcoin familiarity increased by 51%. Now, JPMorgan Chase analysts project Bitcoin to become a viable alternative to gold, becoming digital gold but without the high negative costs incurred by mining, storing and securing gold.
As Bitcoin becomes a household name, it is to be expected that we will see diminished social media buzz and interest around Bitcoin, even amid another bull run.
Cause of Bitcoin’s First Major Bull Run
A greater level of novelty and enthusiasm surrounding Bitcoin may have sparked its first bull run, but what caused it to achieve such an all-time-high, thus capturing headlines and generating interest? According to finance professor John Griffin at the University of Texas, Bitcoin’s 2017 bull run was largely artificial. In other words, he claims that it was manipulated.
In his 66-page paper, prof. Griffin argues that Tether (USDT) trading was responsible for at least half of Bitcoin’s price rise.
“It was creating price support for bitcoin, and over the period that we examined, had huge price effects…Our research would indicate that there are sophisticated people harnessing investor interest for their benefit.”
This would imply that Bitcoin’s 2017 bull run was less organic than people would like to think. More importantly, the very search results on Google Trends could be manipulated. It is no secret that people use algorithms tied to Google Trends in order to establish correlations between searches and BTC price.
The logic behind this is simple. If the algorithms detect a rise in search, it initiates Bitcoin buying which then increases Bitcoin price, allowing for greater gains for quick BTC selloffs.
The Potential of the Google Trends/Bitcoin Discrepancy
Cross-correlation between Google Trends and Bitcoin’s price is usually moderately positive, at 0.64. This means there is plenty of potential for Bitcoin to rise beyond expectations, as the meming on social media truly begins in earnest.
For the time being, as there are more hodlers than ever, people have cryptocurrency apps as a part of their trading routine, eschewing mundane methods such as search engines. However, once Bitcoin price heads over its previous all-time high, we can expect to see a frenzy of headlines, spurring another BTC buying spree.
Bitcoin interest is already so high that even Coinbase suffered an outage recently. Do you have accounts on multiple crypto exchanges to prepare yourself accordingly?Let us know in the comments section below.
Tim Fries is the cofounder of The Tokenist. He has a B. Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Tim served as a Senior Associate on the investment team at RW Baird's US Private Equity division, and is also the co-founder of Protective Technologies Capital, an investment firms specializing in sensing, protection and control solutions.