Search engine queries for “bitcoin” are at a 16-month high according to Google Trends; and are making a dent on China’s Baidu too.
Although we are not back at the heady heights of late 2017, interest has picked up markedly.
The all-time high is scored at 100 by Google Trends, with the current level worldwide on 25.
The last time searches were running at that pitch was in the week 18-24 February 2018.
Searches for bitcoin are most prevalent in Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana.
Coinbase highlights that in the US bitcoin now outstrips “kim kardashian” and “royal wedding”, in a sure sign that the digital currency has returned to capture a valuable slice of the cultural zeitgeist.
Whether or not Google searches are a leading or lagging indicator has been the subject of much debate, but whichever side you come down on, it at minimum reflects where the price is in today’s renewed bullish environment.
Bitcoin catching up on Trump
We did our own comparison, adding in “Donald Trump”. That’s not to say Kim K is not as popular as she ever was, but the US president feels like a better signifier.
By that measure bitcoin has some catching up to do but the trajectory is excellent.
Pulling out from the year view to the past five years, we can see that the last time bitcoin overtook the president was in December 2017
Chinese banks, Baidu and the bitcoin price
After hitting a near-term high at $13,800 the bitcoin price has pulled back sharply but, the uptrend is still in tact.
Bitcoin is currently trading at $12,111 after falling in the Asia session, perhaps as a result of the trade war truce breaking out between China and the US at the G20.
China is thought to have driven a lot of the recent buying. And it is not just the trade dispute that has the country’s investors jumpy and increasingly open to taking a position in bitcoin.
The government has been pumping money into medium-sized regional banks after being forced to step in and take over the failing Baoshang Bank.
Bad debts emanating chiefly from the property market mean banks are carrying sizeable portfolios of non-performing debt.
Add to that the general deflationary nature of the policies of the major central banks, and bitcoin becomes an attractive hedge against monetary dovishness – and no more so than in China.
So while we are on China, what are people searching for on Baidu with a crypto slant?
Under its ‘hot spot’ section (Google Translates), the keywords “bitcoin returns to $10,000” is in the list of top searches at number 48, and is rising.