Fewer and fewer people are searching for “bitcoin” these days, and speculators are wondering what to make of it.
Bloomberg first noticed the damning Google Trends report. This chart condenses the past year of people typing “bitcoin” into a Google search bar, and it shows that searches for this particular cryptocurrency are approaching new six-month lows. They’re down some 80% since bitcoin hit its all-time high in December.
The crypto community are mostly scratching their heads at this data point. Why aren’t people googling “bitcoin” anymore? Does it mean something or nothing for bitcoin’s price?
Google Trends reveals that this decline isn’t strictly limited to bitcoin. A similar pattern, more pronounced in Litecoin than others, is touching other cryptocurrencies. Searches are down for litecoin, ether, and the generic term “altcoin” as well.
It’s not just that people are searching for “bitcoin” less often; people are googling cryptocurrency terms less often in general. Redditors are offering their theories on why. A user named Permacoin suggests that bitcoin’s price affects its search search performance, not vice versa.
“I still think that the searches are just a laggard of price,” he writes, “and when the price goes crazy, so does search.” The bitcoin market finds itself in a state of slow rebuilding after February’s major crash. There’s nothing especially exciting happening with the price lately, so people aren’t googling as often to find out what’s going on.
Bitcoin apologists might suggest that the drop in search is related to cryptocurrency hitting some kind of critical mass of awareness. Perhaps enough people have a conversational understanding of bitcoin that we learn about it from each other instead of Google. “Once you find out about bitcoin, you don’t just keep searching ‘bitcoin’ every day,” writes Lobas.
Besides, bitcoin enthusiasts will find you and educate you whether you want them to or not.