In India, Ethereum’s the New King of Cryptocurrency, not Bitcoin
Once upon a time bitcoin took the world by storm with thousands of people asking Google ‘what is bitcoin?’ Every blessed day. Some of these crypto greenhorns didn’t even care much or also know the existence of altcoins. However, all that is changing now as the world has started warming up to Ethereum’s ether and other altcoins.
The Next Best Thing
According to reports, in the past five months, Indian crypto enthusiasts have gained more interest in Vitalik Buterin’s ether than Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin.
Ethereum attracted a whopping 34.4 percent of the total currency searches in India while bitcoin got 29.9 percent, which is quite meager compared to the pent-up interest it generated in September. People’s interest in ether was unusually high during the last week of February as searches for the coin doubled that of bitcoin.
India’s free internet service provider, Jana also found that as much as 21.2 percent of the searches were looking to buy NEM from India’s favorite exchange BuyUCoin and the other altcoins managed a five percent search result.
Indian Searches Indicate Greater Interest in Ethereum
As expected, when the price of bitcoin almost hit $20,000 in December 2017, cryptocurrency searches accounted for 30 percent of all search results during the five-month period of the study.
Ethereum’s ether hit an all-time high of near $1,500 in early 2018 when the regulatory pressure on bitcoin was trying to gain momentum.
Since the altcoin is second in command, with a market cap of over $37 billion at press time, it was normal for people to get interested in ETH as many must have been thinking it was heading to the moon.
The CEO of Jana, Nathan Eagle, told Quartz:
“Search volume is a leading indicator of what has momentum and is showing signs of growth. It may not correspond to people buying more ethereum, but there’s certainly a lot more interest.”
Eagle’s summation may not entirely be right because it could as well had been that a lot of people were buying ethereum then due to ‘fear of missing out.’ The meteoric rise of bitcoin has thought a lot of crypto enthusiasts that any coin can hit the moon at any time. Therefore once an altcoin starts showing even the slightest signs of skyrocketing, people tend to jump in as quickly as possible.
FUD Killed It
In January 2018 the Indian Finance minister, Arun Jaitley, made it clear once more that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will not be treated as legal tenders. This news drastically made a lot of investors lose interest in the market.
“The government is recommending shutting down exchanges and limiting currencies altogether, coupled with the decline in prices has lead to the feverish pitch waning away dramatically. There are still quite a lot of searches, but maybe we’re getting closer to what a true steady state should look like,” said Eagle.
Of a truth, some investors who borrowed money to buy bitcoin at $20,000 may have lost faith in the markets, however, true hodlers like an Arizona Lawyer, Scott Weiss is not ready to sell off his coins. “I feel the exact same about my crypto investment at a $20,000 price as I did about it at a $6,500 price. I am a long-term holder and believe bitcoin will survive this turbulence,” he declared.
Will bitcoin ever surpass the $20,000 price area again? Time will tell.