Searches for ‘bitcoin’ and ‘ethereum’ have plummeted by as much as 83% since highs in 2021, according to Google Trends data. After reaching an all-time high of 100 in early May 2021, Ethereum-related searches have declined to 17, while for Bitcoin the decline has been 79% over the same period.
Search volumes for both cryptocurrencies are at their lowest levels since late 2020, coinciding with an ongoing bear market that has seen the price of each coin decline by between 65% and 70% since record highs posted last November. The low levels also come at a time when Ethereum is about to complete its long-awaited Merge, which appears not to have resuscitated public interest in cryptocurrencies.
Bear Market Continues
Google does update how it collects and records data, so direct comparisons of volumes across the past few years aren’t 100% reliable. Nonetheless, the available data paints a bleak picture for the cryptocurrency market, insofar as it suggests a lack of interest from retail investors and traders.
Other social data corroborate Googles figures to varying extents. According to BitInfoCharts, tweets per day on the subject of Bitcoin have dropped from as many as 363,000 in May 2021, to just over 100,000 now. Something similar applies to Ethereum, which saw a peak of 136,000 in March of this year, only for numbers to decline to around 40,000.
Such info indicates not so much a collapse in public interest as a gradual waning. That said, a closer reading of tweets data, for instance, shows a partial recovery in the past few months.
In the case of Ethereum, its tweets per day sank as low as 20,000 in July, only to more than double in a couple of months. On the other hand, Bitcoin has seen more or less a continuous decline since March.
This all coincides with price data, which is likely leading public interest in cryptocurrencies. For example, bitcoin is down by 56.3% since its 2022 high of approximately USD 47,459.
Other Google Trends data also supports the view of a bear market. Searches for ‘NFT‘, for example, reached a peak of 100 in January of this year, only to fall to 13 today.
Likewise, searches for ‘metaverse’ have tailed off, again falling from a peak in January to 18. Together with all the other search data, this suggests that the market is very much going through a down-cycle.
Can The Merge Revive Interest?
The cryptocurrency market has been starved of exceptionally good news in 2022, although Ethereum’s upcoming Merge is expected to be one exception. Excitement surrounding this shift to proof-of-stake has seen the price of ETH move from USD 1,435 in late August to 1,700 as of writing, a jump of around 18.5%.
Unfortunately, ETH’s relative outperformance of BTC has done little to grab the attention of the general public. Returning to the aforementioned Google Trends data, searches for ETH have also declined in the short- and medium-term, with 12-month peaks in June declining over the following months.
The situation is arguably worse for Bitcoin, however. Google’s data shows that, over the past five years, it hasn’t regained the public interest last witnessed in December 2017, which still represents its record high as far as Google searches are concerned.
The cryptocurrency market finds itself in very unpromising macroeconomic conditions. Inflation is running high throughout much of the developed world, while rising interest rates have also had the effect of suppressing global stock markets.
In such a context, the cryptocurrency market — including Bitcoin and Ethereum — has little hope of seeing a massive surge in public interest. This accounts for why Google Trends data is so low, and why Twitter data is down from previous peaks.
One ray of hope is that the Merge has managed to get some of the mainstream media talking semi-positively about cryptocurrency, or more specifically Ethereum. The normally left-leaning Guardian newspaper in the UK ran a positive story about how Ethereum will be reducing its energy consumption by 99%, although it had fewer positive words for the proof-of-work Bitcoin.
At the same time, some analysts and commentators have suggested that the lack of widespread search interest in crypto indicates that now is a good time to buy. In other words, it shows that the market is at a bottom, with coins selling at a steep discount relative to ‘real’ values.