The exciting start of 2020, in terms of price action, has brought serious retail attention to the cryptocurrency market. Google Trends data shows that Bitcoin and altcoin searches are recording their highest levels since August of 2019.
Bitcoin Price Drives Attention
The largest digital asset began the year trading at $7,170. At the time of this writing, Bitcoin’s price is at $10,350, marking an increase of 44% in less than 44 days.
Significant price movements generally attract attention from the masses. Google Trends confirms this. Searches for “Bitcoin” are increasing in the last few weeks. Moreover, the last time they were this high was during the first week of August 2019. As Cryptopotato reported in early January 2020, Nigeria, South Africa, Austria, Ghana, and Switzerland were the top five countries searching for Bitcoin. Interestingly, all of them are still delivering the most searches.
It’s also important to note that the searches for “buy Bitcoin” are also on the rise. This is even more important than the increase in the “bitcoin” searches because it reveals increased purchasing interest among retail investors. Moreover, searches for the “bitcoin” keyword also tend to increase when the price is going down.
Most alternative coins deliver impressive returns as well. This has brought additional attention to the entire field as well. Hence, searches for the word “cryptocurrency” are also increasing accordingly.
In any case, it’s worth noting that Google searches are usually a trailing indicator. This suggests that they tend to pick up only after the increase in the price is already a fact.
Institutional Interest On The Rise Too
Retail investors are not the only ones showing an increased enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies.
Data coming from the first-ever SEC registered cryptocurrency backed investment vehicle, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), managed by Grayscale Investments, hints for interest growth among institutional investors.
As of yesterday, the price of 1 GBTC share was 9.69, while the market price per share was at $13. This provides a premium of over 30%. In other words, institutional investors are happy to pray a larger premium to buy Bitcoin but not be bothered with its custody and storage.
Another example comes from the Bitcoin Futures trading platform of the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Bakkt. Its regulated warehousing brings institutional investors to the Bitcoin scene. The Bakkt Trading Bot notes that the monthly futures volume surged yesterday, reaching the previously set all-time high.