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Google Trends searches for “Bitcoin” soars to highest point since March 2018

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Africa tops the world in terms of interest for the word “Bitcoin” with three of the top 5 countries from the continent.

Google Trends analytics shows the interest of Bitcoin is rapidly surging to levels last seen during the massive bull run in late 2017 and early last year. The interest of the term “Bitcoin” is reaching a 14 month high after a spike in number of searches in the past fortnight. The masses seem to have taken a keen interest in the asset after the recent hike in price of BTC above the $8,000 USD mark.

The fall of “Bitcoin” on Google Trends search term results in 2018

In early 2018, the price of BTC fell gradually below the $10,000 USD mark barely a month after hitting an all-time high price of $20,000 USD in mid-December. Times were good then as the world focused on this “new asset” with extremely volatile returns. However, as the gains turned to losses across the year, the interest in this volatile asset also diminished. The skyrocketing interest in the term “Bitcoin” fell drastically across 2018 and early days of 2019 until the “golden cross” happened.

The golden cross effect

“The golden cross is a bullish breakout pattern formed from a crossover involving a security's short-term moving average (such as the 50-day moving average) breaking above its long-term moving average (such as the 50-day moving average).”

In March this year, Bitcoin’s 50-day MA crossed above the 200-day MA which signaled an upcoming bullish momentum. In a space of 20 days after the golden cross, the price of Bitcoin surpassed the $5,000, $6,000, $7,000 and $8,000 marks confirming the bullish momentum. The continued surge in BTC’s price is becoming a hot topic across mainstream media and the general public as well.

The Google Trends charts rank the interest of a term over time using an index where the week with the highest number of searches ranks 100 and the rest indexed accordingly. In December 2017, Bitcoin’s search term ranked 100 and then dipped to below 10 through 2018 and is now rising as the price hikes.

“Bitcoin” Google Trends search index since March 2018

Bitcoin’s current search term index stands at 16 and is projected to hit 20 by the end of this week. While the mainstream media’s reporting is the key factor in the ‘re-rise’ of Bitcoin’s popularity, the bullish run in the past 60 days has played a huge role in bringing the attention back to the flagship cryptocurrency.

Africa showing great interest in cryptocurrencies

The developing world is one of the ripe markets for digital assets and blockchain technology. The lack of established financial systems, corruption and poverty across Africa, the largest developing zone is transforming the continent to a crypto zone.

Africa's interest in cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin tops the charts

According to Google Trends, three countries rank among the top 5 nations interested in Bitcoin. South Africa is the leading country in Google searches for “Bitcoin” followed by Netherlands, Nigeria, Austria and Ghana respectively.

Other related queries to “Bitcoin”

“Bitcoin” rules the world of cryptocurrency in value, stature and adoption. The word has had such a massive impact in the past year pushing other search queries along with it. The rise in value of Bitcoin is the likely explanation to “moon dash” and “moon bitcoin cash” seeing a spike of 2,300% and 2,050% respectively on the Google Trends analytics.

This makes the two terms the highest growing terms related to “Bitcoin” in the past 14 months.

The correlation with Bitcoin’s price

Bitcoin’s price is heavily correlated to their search trends as reported by SEMrush, a search engine marketing agency. The company found a 91% correlation between the search term of Bitcoin and the price of BTC.

This is easily explainable as the media bursts during a strong bullish trend in BTC’s price and becomes quiet during a bearish trend as seen in the past year. This causes an increase in BTC searches when the price is going up causing an even bigger spike in the price and when the price is shooting downwards, the searches also reduce significantly.

Banning cryptocurrency related advertisements on their platform last year, Google contributed heavily on the decreasing number of searches. The company has however joined Facebook in lifting the crypto ad ban in the past few months.

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Divergence: Bitcoin (BTC) Slide, Mining Difficulty Rising

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Even if prices are wishy-washy, it appears as if Bitcoin (BTC) network is being bulwarked. More miners are entering as mining difficulty rise.

In 2019, Bitcoin has been recording new levels in both price and mining difficulty. Unfortunately, towards the end of last month, the price of Bitcoin lost its steam to towards the $10K mark. In contrast, the mining difficulty is on the rise and well observed by a keen Twitter user:

“Bitcoin mining difficulty has just hit an all-time high. The network is stronger than ever.”

On May 31, the Bitcoin mining difficulty rose by 11.26 percent to reach a new difficulty level of 7.46T from a previous difficulty of 7.45T. The increase in the mining difficulty was recorded in Token Insight’s report for the first quarter of 2019.

The report titled “Cryptocurrency Mining Industry Quarterly Report,” noted that:

“Difficulty adjustments during the first and second quarter of 2019 are to be expected. The last bull market period of BTC leads to a large remnant of hash power, which is impossible to be multiplied by the capacity of Samsung and TSMC chips. BTC mining has an average network hash rate of 45.76EH/s and a current difficulty of 6.39T, which is expected to exceed its previous record-high of 7.46T, corresponding to an average hash rate of 53.33 EH/s.”

The Hash Rate Will Increase By 50 Percent

Additionally, Token Insight anticipates that the mining hash rate would increase by between 30 and 50 percent by the end of the year.

The mining difficulty can roughly be an indication of increased activities by Bitcoin miners. Consequently, the BTC network may be considered more secure than before since there are more parties to validate transactions. The increase in miner activities on the BTC platform may be influenced by the rise in the price of Bitcoin since the year started. Towards the end of last year, miners were seen as turning off their rigs due to the falling prices.

Unfortunately, although the overall hash rate has increased, it does not indicate an increase in the number of miners. Neither does it suggest that those who had switched off their rigs are back online. Instead, at this point, there are many theories to support the increase in the hash rate hence the rise in mining difficulty.

A New ASIC Is in Use

One of those theories indicates a possibility that a new BTC mining ASIC with a higher hash rate has been deployed. Additionally, some Bitcoin mining pools have recorded an increase in hash rate. For instance, ViaBTC recorded a 50 percent increase in the hash rate.

Despite the increase in hash rate and mining difficulty, unconfirmed transactions are on the rise. At some point on May 31, these transactions reached 25 million. Therefore, those sending and or receiving BTC may wait a little while longer before their accounts are updated.

According to Token Insight:

“By conservative estimation, by the end of 2019, BTC mining hash rates could grow by 30 percent at most to 59EH/s with difficulties rising to 8.31T. In an optimistic estimate, by the end of 2019, BTC mining hash rate could grow by 50 percent at most to 68EH/s with difficulty rising to 9.59T.”

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Charlie Shrem Thinks That Bitcoin Vs Altcoin Debate Is Misleading

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Among the notable millionaires who made their fortunes off cryptocurrency, Charlie Shrem is a polarizing figure. A staunch supporter of bitcoin and the cryptocurrency space, Shrem spent two years in prison for activity related to an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Shrem even announced plans to continue to invest in the cryptocurrency space but to diversify his holdings and transfer his bitcoin profits toward real estate investments. He has also returned to the industry with a number of new projects and ventures.

He recently said that comparing altcoins with Bitcoin is a misleading argument and we have to focus on transaction speeds.

Bitcoin claims that “It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen.” Bitcoin has no central control: no central repository of information, no central management, and, crucially, no central point of failure. And yet, most of the actual services and businesses built within the Bitcoin ecosystem are centralized. They are run by specific people, in specific locations, with specific computer systems, and they are susceptible to specific legal entanglements.

As such, most altcoins offer no benefit over Bitcoin at all. Plus, they have less hash power securing them, involve fewer developers improving them and are usually less useful due to smaller network effects. And while many altcoins promise useful features, upon closer inspection, many of these promises are just that: promises.

The altcoin market has been consolidating at a collective market cap at around $100 billion.  That, combined with the fact that BTC hit historical resistance at about 60% dominance. The fact that the bulls succumbed to this resistance even after bitcoin’s parabolic run tells us that the index is still bearish. These signals tell us that the Bitcoin Dominance Index has topped off and is likely to correct in the near future. This assumption plays well with our narrative that alt season is not yet over.”

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Schnorr Signature can help Bitcoin achieve better scalability

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The blockchain industry has been backed with a phenomenon technology, one that has been defined to be a revolutionary development that has taken place in the 21st century.

The framework has been able to maintain and also improve the current technology continuously, but it requires to have constant implementations taking place to help eradicate the bugs and properly tackle issues like security and the ability to scale within the community.

Bitcoin Cash went ahead to announce that they will be adding the Schnorr Signatures to the network, this is in the hopes of improving the current security level and be able to accommodate for faster transactions on the platform.

The Director of Research at the Blockstream, Andrew Poelstra, went on to say that with the implementation of the Schnorr Signatures to the Bitcoin platform would go a long way in helping one of the most significant virtual assets create the multi signatures.

The Schnorr Signature will be able to offer several benefits,

Bitcoin has been using the ECDSA; this is because of the SSL Library that was needed during the very early developments of the Bitcoin, it required the open SSL to be used for the core cryptography. Poelstra stated that the Schnorr signature was able to provide the same alternative to the ECDSA when looking at the characteristics and the size.

However, it was able to enable Bitcoin to implement some of the bond protocols in their network.

Some of the significant benefits that we should take note of are the ability to enable users to create multi signatures between groups of people quickly. In this case, the signers can combine a public key into just a single joint key that will be able to represent them all.

If you would like to initiate a transaction all you need to do is an interactive protocol, and from here you produce an original signature, thus, allowing you to move your coins from one wallet to the next.

Poelstra went on to state that if the Schnorr Signature gets implemented, the EDSA will not have to get stripped off, as a network could have both of them.

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