by Liam Kelly
The curiosity surrounding bitcoin comes mostly from its skyrocketing value. Even before the price surge following the suspension of the most recent hard fork, bitcoin has been appearing more frequently on Google Trends than Gold.
Telling a Story with Data
The upward trend in bitcoin’s price is being followed along by a similar pattern in search engine traffic. As younger generations turn away from more traditional systems, the potential of a longer term investment in the currency is becoming more appealing.
Google Trends offers a concrete look into the ways that these shifting interests are manifested. The following chart provides a visual aid to the changing financial landscape.
It provides information beginning from November 13, 2016, until November 5, 2017. The search term, “Buy Bitcoin,” is represented by the blue line, while the search term, “Buy Gold,” is represented by the red.
From this data, we find another axis on which we can measure bitcoin’s growing popularity. To what extent this spells a longer life, or a more stable one, compared to gold, there are critics on both sides of the argument. The international community is far from consistent in their stance on most cryptocurrencies, but it is interesting to find out why specific regions are more or less interested in the subject.
Also interesting to note, is the staggering interest in the digital currency all along southern portions of Africa. Western Cape, Mpumalanga, and North West are also showing huge increases in trade frequency of bitcoin-related buzzwords.
These regions are certainly not alone, as Bolivian, Colombian, Slovenian, and Nigerian search engines also report massive online interest in the currency. The relevance for the first two countries revolves around economic instability in the country, while Slovenia is host to one of the largest bitcoin exchanges, Bitstamp.
Nigeria, much like South Africa, is openly embracing the currency as a new form of investment during a period of recession as well as a means for bypassing high remittance fees.