Bitcoin has finally broken $20,000 with it nearing $24,000 at one point today while the currency currently trades at around $23,000.
That has brought much excitement for cryptonians and also some of wider finance as institutional investors diversify.
Among the general public, however, there does not appear to be much enthusiasm for this major bitcoin milestone:
Bitcoin searches are at 16 out of 100 according to Google Trends, a mere 16% of its all time high even as the price surpasses it.
Such searches currently are lower than even during summer last year or May 2017 when this space was much smaller.
Generally the same applies for the United States as well (featured image) where much appears quiet as far as this parameter is concerned.
The reason is a bit unknown, but somewhat intriguing because it also applied the last time the then all time high of $1,000 was broken.
Searches at that time were a lot lower than when that $1,000 was first taken, suggesting there’s something more objective than people know about bitcoin now, so they not searching for it. Especially as people would be searching for news and so on.
There are two possible explanations we can think of, with both potentially applying to some degree.
The more controversial one is probably that there actually isn’t any rise in demand. Instead, there has been a fall in supply through the halvening, and that by itself has been sufficient to propel bitcoin to $23,000 and perhaps more.
This can also be shown by the fact bitcoin’s transaction fees are currently just $2, far less than $20 and even $100 it reached in December 2017.
Suggesting it’s not that people are using this more or buying more bitcoin, it’s just people are selling less primarily because miners don’t have more to sell.
The other more pleasing explanation is that institutional investors are leading the rally and they don’t need to search bitcoin as they can do far more sophisticated research.
In addition even if they are searching they have significant amounts of funds under their control, so their volumes of bitcoin searches do not quite correspond to their volumes of bitcoin buying.
On the other hand, you could say during the peak of searches it was mainly individuals with perhaps $10,000 in savings looking to invest, and there were many of them.
Now, some of these searchers might be looking to invest $1 billion, completely different scale.
Thankfully we don’t have to choose between these two explanations because both probably apply to some extent, but we think the first one applies more.
And that’s simply because this exact same situation has happened before and during both times they have in common the fact they occurred shortly after the halvening.
Making this insight by Nakamoto far more radical because he is in many ways teaching by showing just what is money and just what effect changes in monetary supply have on its value.
However, it is also the case that interest is growing because as just an example, bitcoin was not even on Iran’s radar in 2017, while now they’ve passed a law to use it for imports.